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Benteke insists controversial late penalty was correct call

SoccerNews in English Premier League 6 Mar 2016

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Christian Benteke insists referee Andre Marriner was right to award the controversial late penalty that sealed Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Joe Ledley gave the hosts the lead at Selhurst Park before James Milner was sent off for a second yellow card, yet Jurgen Klopp’s side responded soon afterwards through Roberto Firmino’s equaliser.

With the game looking set to finish as a draw, Benteke went to ground after the slightest of contacts from Damien Delaney in the fourth minute of injury time, allowing the Belgium international to stroke home from the spot in confident fashion and snatch the points.

But Benteke insists there was sufficient contact to merit the penalty, telling Sky Sports: “I think he touched me, otherwise I don’t go down. The referee knows better than us and he took the right decision.”

Benteke’s spot-kick ended his run of 715 minutes in all competitions without a goal for Liverpool and the former Aston Villa striker was delighted to make his mark from the bench.

“You have to be ready when the manager needs you and I tried to do my best today,” he said.

Dejan Lovren hailed his side’s resilience to come from a goal and a man down to record a third-straight league win and head into Thursday’s Europa League clash with Manchester United in confident mood.

“It was an incredible performance from all of us, especially after the red card. We stepped up and showed our skills and character,” he said.

“This is a lift for everyone ahead of a tough game in the Europa League on Thursday.

“It’s definitely a good thing for our confidence and for all the supporters who came here today and we need to continue like that.”

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