Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish praised the spirit of his side after they scored a 101st-minute penalty to earn a 1-1 draw at Arsenal.
Robin van Persie’s 98th-minute spot-kick had looked to have kept Arsenal on the tail of leaders Manchester United, but there was still time, owing to a lengthy stoppage after Jamie Carragher was knocked out on the field, for Emmanuel Eboue to foul Lucas Leiva and allow Dirk Kuyt to net. Carragher`s withdrawal left Liverpool short of experience, with rookie defenders Jack Robinson and John Flanagan repelling Arsenal.
“What we did at the end epitomised the performance,” Dalglish said. “We lost two players (Carragher and Andy Carroll), we had two teenagers at right and left-back, playing against a side looking to win the league. We remained committed to getting something out of the game.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was unhappy that, after eight minutes on added time had been signalled, referee Andre Marriner awarded Liverpool`s penalty three minutes after that time had passed.
Wenger had words with Dalglish on the touchline after Kuyt`s goal, but the Scot added: “I’d rather not repeat what was said.
“I don’t know why a conversation between two managers is relevant after a game like that. It’s not worth the time of day.”
Wenger was unhappy that so much added time had been played, and also claimed that he did not believe Liverpool’s penalty should have been awarded.
He said: “It was a game where Liverpool defended a lot. I feel hard done by in the end because the time was over by three minutes.
“But you have to take it and you continue to fight. Extra time was eight minutes. Lucas played in an intelligent way. He stopped his run and the referee saw penalty, but what can you do about it?”
n Stoke striker Jon Walters paid tribute to his team-mates after the resounding 5-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Bolton at Wembley.
Stoke will face Manchester City in the final after Walters scored twice, with the other goals coming from Matthew Etherington, Robert Huth and Kenwyne Jones. Walters said: “We wanted to achieve something this year. It was a tough game but we did really well from back to front. I’m made up to be quite honest. It’s been very hard over the years but a lot of people have helped me along the way.”
Defender Andy Wilkinson, who is from Stoke, added: “Words can’t describe it. It’s unbelievable. The fans have been great, it’s like a home game for us. I’m a bit emotional, I’m going to enjoy it and then focus on the final.”