Liverpool FC were held to a 0-0 draw in the fourth round of the FA Cup against a resilient Bolton Wanderers.
The Reds will now have to travel to the Macron Stadium next month in a replay and their progress to the final 16 of the competition would be decided only then.
Liverpool created enough, but the lack of quality in the final third ultimately led the Reds down. Brendan Rodgers rested Martin Skrtel, Lucas Leiva, Alberto Moreno, Lazar Markovic and Steven Gerrard as he looks for some freshness in Tuesday’s very crucial tie against Chelsea, the second and final leg of the semi-final.
Rodgers was visibly not pleased with referee Kevin Friend’s performance.
“Matt Mills should have been sent off,” said the Reds boss.
“It would have changed the game. It was clear either he got a second yellow or straight red as last man It was a great ball by Jordan and Lazar Markovic was in, he clearing brings him down for a foul. If you are playing 35 minutes or so against 10 men you think you can make the extra man count. We were disappointed with that.
“But I didn’t think it was a penalty, though. Jordan came in and give credit to Jay Spearing, he recovered well and used his body and was strong.”
The Liverpool boss was happy with his side’s performance, but acknowledged the finishing was not up to the mark.
“We did everything but put the ball into the net. Creative-wise, we were excellent and defensively solid against a good team. We worked the spaces very well and with a bit of luck or the ball dropping for us and better finishing, we would have won the game. It was a good performance but we didn’t just get the goal.”
With a replay set to be played in the beginning of next month, Liverpool add a game in a pretty hectic February. The Reds boss, however, dismissed suggestions that Liverpool could have avoided this situation to not add to their burdens
“We are still in the hat, but of course you want to get through,” said the Reds boss.
“The pitch is beautiful at Bolton and has a lovely roll on it. The replay will be another opportunity for players who are coming back from injury to play.
“We want to do well in the competition and we see it as a very important game.
“If you want to be a successful team you want the second half of the season to be busy. We aren’t complaining, we have a big squad. The team is playing well at the moment and when it’s like that everybody wants to play.”