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Sunderland boss Steve Bruce fumes over penalty decision

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Sunderland boss Steve Bruce led renewed calls for video technology after a controversial penalty decision led to his team’s downfall at home to Liverpool.

The Reds took full advantage just before half-time when Dirk Kuyt scored from a penalty after John Mensah had hauled Jay Spearing back.

The referee initially awarded a free-kick before his linesman decided that the foul committed outside the box by Mensah was inside the penalty area.

Television replays backed Bruce’s claims that the penalty should never have been awarded.

“Unfortunately for us, the linesman has made a blatant error,” said Bruce after his team lost 2-0.

“I knew and the fourth official Martin Atkinson knew within five seconds that it was outside the box with the technology we have got.

“Surely it has got to be time for those sort of things to be brought into play with all the technology we have got today.”

Luis Suarez grabbed the second Liverpool goal before Mensah was red carded for a professional foul on the Uruguay striker.

Bruce said: “I have asked the referee to look to see if he was denying a goalscoring opportunity because I don’t think Suarez had control of the ball.

“Would he have got to the ball first? It’s debatable. It certainly was a free-kick and certainly could have been a yellow card, but I don’t think it is a straight red.”

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish admitted there was an element of luck about the Kuyt penalty but was more interested in the new partnership of Suarez and record signing Andy Carroll.

Dalglish said: “It was encouraging. It was the first time they had played together really, although they have trained together, and they linked up very well at times.

“Suarez looks a good player and he has scored some fantastic goals for us. We will have a lot of enjoyable viewing to come.”

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