Bolton Wanderers boss Gary Megson felt that the red card shown to Sean Davis was the crucial moment in his side's 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
Midfielder Davis was sent off nine minutes into the second half at the Reebok Stadium, when the home side led 2-1 thanks to goals from Kevin Davies and Tamir Cohen.
Megson said after his had failed to hang on: "Being reduced to ten men at this level always has an impact, when it happens against a team of Liverpool's quality even more so.
"We were man-marking Steven Gerrard up until that point and he was under a measure of control.
"But when Davis was sent off we were unable to use Fabrice Muamba as a man-marker from then on, you can't do that when you only have ten men.
"Steven is clever, he dropped deeper and deeper and orchestrated the game from then on."
Of Davis ordering off, Megson added: "For the second yellow card, the Liverpool player (Lucas) was slowing up when being chased and just waiting for the contact before going over.
"Maybe we are not as cute as some of the big teams who are clever at doing things like that. They control the ball, slow down and wait for the hit."