David Moyes has accused referee Martin Atkinson of ruining the 216th Merseyside derby.

The referees decision to send off Jack Rodwell for a perfectly legitimate challenge on Luis Suarez on 23-minutes provided the talking, and turning point from the match.

The game appeared to be shaping into a good contest until referee Martin Atkinson intervened to put Everton at a significant disadvantage. Rodwell, keeping a close rein on Suarez, put a challenge on the Uruguayan, winning the ball whilst keeping his studs directed towards the turf. Atkinson deemed the challenge to be dangerous, and he brandished a red card to the pure amazement of nearly everybody inside the ground.

Moyes said: “I thought it ruined the game. There are a lot of questions asked about tackles in derbies but it wasn´t down to a bad tackle by a player today.

“I knew we´d get something at some point in the game and at 11 v 11 we had our fair share but the game just stopped at that moment

“We´ve not had this referee since myself and Steve Round were fined a year ago after the Man United game and it was interesting that PGMOL sent him in this week to the referees appraisal prior to this game.

“I´d have been disappointed if he´d have even given a free kick for it and if he´d have given a yellow card you would have said ‘what was that for?´.

Moyes said he wasn´t sure if an Everton appeal would follow and also confirmed he hadn´t spoken to the referee before facing the media.

Rodwell appeared distraught after his red card and his manager was left frustrated by the whole affair.

“I think football people need to make the decisions,” he continued. “It´s easy for me to say it but in truth it needs people who watch the game, play the game, understand it and write about it to say it.

“The team did everything and at the end of the day it wasn´t the referee that lost us the game, it was because we made a couple of defensive lapses.

“It would have been hard playing Liverpool 11 v 11 it was a hard game for us today so in the end it became tougher. The players stuck at their task today.”

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