BRENDAN RODGERS believes Liverpool deserved better after being denied dramatic victory in his first derby.
Rodgers’s men surrendered a two-goal lead before the interval as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Goodison in the 219th meeting with Everton yesterday.
But the visitors could have snatched a winner in the fourth minute of injury time when Luis Suarez converted a Sebastian Coates but saw the effort wrongly disallowed by assistant referee Simon Bennett.
“Instead of being a well-deserved and brilliant win for us, we are left feeling frustrated,” said Rodgers.
“At the same time I am very proud because of the way my young team performed in a real cauldron. They stood up in that atmosphere.
“I was bitterly disappointed at not getting the winner. It was a brilliant game and I thought we stood up well. I am so disappointed it didn't count because it was an easy decision.”
It was the latest in what Rodgers believes is a series of calls to have gone against Liverpool, but he added: “I am not going to keep going on about officials because it has been happening to us all season. But that one at the end was quite straightforward.
“It was a free-kick from deep and the ball was in the air for a long time and you could clearly see he was onside.
“When he put it in he was marginally level. It was a terrific finish and he could have had a hat-trick.”
Young trio Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom – along with Joe Allen, Nuri Sahin and Coates – all made their derby debuts yesterday.
And Rodgers added: “I am very proud when you look at the team today with Raheem at 17, Suso 18, Wisdom 19, Jonjo Shelvey 20, while Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson are 22.
“They are all young players who will only grow and get better. They played against a team with great experience at this level.”