Naughty boy

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard could be up in front of an FA disciplinary panel after he was snapped flicking the ‘V’s at a referee after being booked.

Gerrard was given a yellow card by Andrew Mariner for a bad tackle in the 81st minute of Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat at Wigan last night, and he was caught on a replay apparently giving him the V-sign and ‘mouthing an obscenity’. The replay, and handy snap that photographers took, could mean that Gerrard, who captained England during their 3-1 win over Egypt last week, will have to explain himself (before presumably getting a slap on the wrist and a small fine).

Reds boss Rafael Benitez obviously didn’t see the incident: ‘I don't know, I was too far away,’ he claimed, Wenger-like, but he did see an appalling Liverpool performance that might cost them a berth in the Champions League next season. The Reds are now sixth in the table, one point behind Tottenham in fourth and Manchester City in fifth, who have one and two games in hand on them respectively. They are only three points ahead of Aston Villa, who have three games in hand on them.

‘We didn't do anything in the first half,’ complained Benitez. ‘The attitude was much better in the second half but it wasn't enough. It is difficult to explain because we prepared for the game properly. We knew Wigan would play in this way but there were too many things from us that I cannot understand.

‘We have to keep going for fourth place, that is all we can do. You can have good and bad times but we had to do better tonight on what was a crucial moment.’

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