Riise defends Mascherano
John Arne Riise has defended Javier Mascherano following his controversial sending off at Man Utd.
By Eivind Haugen
Last Updated: 24/03/08 4:43pm
Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has defended team-mate Javier Mascherano following his controversial sending off in the defeat to Manchester United.
Mascherano was handed a second yellow card for dissent by referee Steve Bennett after questioning the official's decision to caution team-mate Fernando Torres.
The decision infuriated Mascherano, who had to be held back from confronting Bennett, and had to be escorted off the pitch.
The Argentine claims he is still in the dark as to why he was sent off and Riise believes Mascherano let his emotions get the better of him.
Riise, who came on as a late substitute at Old Trafford, has backed Mascherano to learn from the experience, but feels Bennett should have enlisted the help of Reds skipper Steven Gerrard when dealing with the South American.
"I don't know what was said (between Mascherano and Bennett) but I feel that the referee should have called Steven Gerrard to him before this," Riise told Dagbladet.no.
Boiled over"He (Mascherano) boiled over, but he will learn from this.
"Mascherano is an intense player who loves the club and loves to win, therefore he probably got a little too hot in that situation."
Riise conceded United deserved to win the game even though he admits he hates losing to their bitter rivals.
"I hate losing to Manchester United, but they deserved their victory, but I felt that we had something going in the second period when we were only one behind," concluded Riise.