Neil Lennon: Bolton boss angry with 'rubbish' referee Roger East

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Macron Stadium
Bolton 1-2 Liverpool: Neil Lennon 'not happy with referee's performance'

Bolton manager Neil Lennon was furious with referee Roger East's performance as his side lost 2-1 to Liverpool in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.

East awarded Bolton a contentious penalty - scored by Eidur Gudjohnsen - but then showed Trotters midfielder Neil Danns two yellow cards.

Raheem Sterling equalised and Philippe Coutinho scored a stoppage-time winner.

Asked about East, Lennon said: "I thought he was rubbish. I thought he spoiled what was a very good game."

Gudjohnsen gave Bolton a 59th-minute lead after Martin Skrtel was adjudged to have fouled Zach Clough.

But seven minutes later the Championship side were reduced to 10 men when Danns was booked for the second time for a lunge at Joe Allen.

The former Celtic boss "understood" why Danns was shown a second yellow card, but questioned his first caution.

He said: "He doesn't make contact and it's his first challenge of the game. I thought there were other things that went on in the game that went Liverpool's way.

"I told Neil at half-time he had to be careful but the first one wasn't a yellow card. I don't think the referee had a choice with the second."

Lennon also said he was "not convinced that our penalty was a penalty either".

He added: "The sending-off changed the game because I thought at 1-0, and with 11 men, we were OK. We were comfortable. I didn't feel we were being pegged in. I didn't feel we were under immense pressure but then the pressure came with being a man down against a quality side.

"The it was a case of getting caught ball watching with four minutes left and against a team as good as Liverpool you can't afford to do that."

Victory earned Liverpool a fifth-round trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday, 14 February.

Reds manager Brendan Rodgers praised Coutinho, saying he will be "world class in the next couple of years".

The 22-year-old Brazilian's winning goal came two days after he signed a new contract running until June 2020.

Rodgers said: "You'd pay money to watch that kid and watch how he plays football. He is a great role model for many technical players who are technically good and maybe not as big in stature.

"He's a wonderful player and he's really committed to this club.

"The result was justice. At 1-0, I expected us to win. I think the confidence in the team is very high.

"We created some chances and didn't quite take them and went a goal down to what was never a penalty. After that we kept our composure and quality. We scored two but could have had many, many more.

"We have got great belief at the moment and you can't question their character."

Top Stories