Liverpool and England veteran Steven Gerrard has hit out at the Turkish referee who sent him off at Wembley. The 32 year old club and national team captain was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Denys Garmash in England's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine. The match finished 1-1 after Frank Lampard scored, minutes before, Gerrard's ejection, from the penalty spot to cancel EvgeniKonoplyanka's first half strike.
The midfielder is now banned from England's next qualifier, against San Marino (also at Wembley) on 12 October. England are now second in their group, with four points from the opening two games and trailing leaders Montenegro on goal difference.
"I don't think there was a bad tackle in the game, was there? And I think the referee's (Cuneyt Cakir) given seven yellow cards. So, it's disappointing for me because it's a red card - my first one in 98 caps. But we play San Marino next. I'm sure the boys can do the job without me and then I'll be available for Poland. I'm gutted over the red, but happy with my performance," Gerrard told the Daily Mail.
The red card aside, Gerrard's performance in the game was praised and the England captain admitted there was a measure of disappointment the side failed to win the game for their supporters. However, he stressed that the team's recovery after conceding the goal showed "fantastic character and determination".
"I thought in general play, we controlled it. We looked the side who wanted to create all the openings and I think we'll probably have a better chance of beating them away because they'll have to come out and take more risks," he added. His sentiments were later mirrored by coach Roy Hodgson, who claimed he was satisfied with the 1-1 draw.
England's performance was also defended by Gerrard's fellow veteran, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.
"These qualifying games are not easy and getting a point is a good result considering we were 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go, You obviously want to win your home games, but when you consider we had a goal disallowed and we hit the post, the lads showed great character to get a point," the Blues' veteran explained.
More support for the draw arrived with Manchester United youngster Danny Welbeck claiming the team should be satisfied with the point they managed. The 21 year old made an appearance from the substitutes' bench to win the penalty for his country.