Villarreal manager Marcelino Garcia accused referee Viktor Kassai of favouring Liverpool after his side were eliminated from the Europa League following their 3-0 loss in the semi-final at Anfield on Thursday.
Taking a 1-0 first-leg lead to Anfield, Villarreal’s hopes of reaching the final were dented by an early own goal from Bruno Soriano, before second-half strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana sealed the deal for the Reds.
The Spanish outfit should have had a penalty when Alberto Moreno pushed Denis Suarez over inside the area with the score at 2-0, while defender Victor Ruiz was sent off midway through the second half after picking up a second yellow card.
“In the context of this game the referee was letting a lot go so to then see a sending-off you make your own conclusions,” he told reporters. “I don’t think the refereeing was quite equal for both sides.”
On the game itself he added: “Things didn’t work out how we had planned them. It hit us hard conceding that early goal, it was a hammer blow.
“It was tough against an opponent who played with a huge amount of intensity, maybe on the margins of the rules at times but it was allowed.
“Liverpool played better than us but for all their superiority they didn’t create too many chances. When we got to the sending off it was pretty much game over by then.”