It wasn't a fairytale return for Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool were dumped out of the FA Cup after a 1-0 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford in the third round.
The game was not short of controversy, with referee Howard Webb awarding United a penalty in as early as the second minute after Daniel Agger brought down Dimitar Berbatov, which was converted by Ryan Giggs.
Later in the first half, Liverpool had their skipper Steven Gerrard sent off for a two footed tackle on Michael Carrick, making it an uphill task for Liverpool and Dalglish if they were to get anything out of the game.
Though they improved in the second half, Liverpool failed to create an outright chance on goal whereas United tested Reina on a number of occasions with Johnny Evans striking the post. However, there was no goal left in the game and when Webb blew the final whistle, there was little doubt that it was a deserved win for the home side.
The Liverpool manager, Kenny Dalglish, hit-out at Webb, claiming the the penalty is a joke. He said, I've seen the replay and unless the rules have changed it is no penalty. In the dressing room before the game someone said to me the game's not changed that much. I said 'I thought it was a non-contact sport'. Maybe I was right.
However, his counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson, thought both the ref's decision were spot on. He said, It was a penalty. Dimitar says he was definitely clipped. The replay shows he slightly touched him but the momentum is enough to bring the player down. There is no reason for him to go down anyway. He is not that kind of player.
He is on the byeline, he is in the penalty box. I think it was right. As for the sending off, there was no doubt. It was two-footed and he was off the ground. Steven Gerrard is not that type of player but it was a reckless challenge. I don't think he left the referee with any option.
Dalglish calmed down and praised his players effort in the second half, and also vowed to bring Fernando Torres back to top-form.
I think the players worked very hard to get a result in very difficult circumstances. Although we are not going to get too much success losing 1-0, we have to take the positives out of the game and for us that was the way the players went about their job, the work they did and their commitment to the game and the club.
Fernando absolutely worked his socks off and there's only so much a man's body can take. We had to take him off at the end to try to preserve him a bit. We've got great ingredients to build on [with him] and it's up to us to get him going. He wants to do it, you can see he does and we'll get him going sooner rather than later.
Liverpool will attempt to get their season back on track with a trip to Blackpool on Wednesday in the Premier League before awaiting the arrival of Everton for the crucial Merseyside derby at the weekend. Manchester United face a tough trip to Tottenham at the weekend, the result of which should prove crucial for their title hunt.