Steven Gerrard blames bizarre reason for Al Ettifaq's struggles after third consecutive draw
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Steven Gerrard has blamed Al Ettifaq's poor form in the Saudi Pro League on the lack of penalties they've received this season.
Despite a promising start to the campaign, Al Ettifaq currently sit seventh after a 1-1 draw with Al Ittihad on Friday evening.
The club are winless in four games and are already 15 points off top spot.
In the summer, Al Ettifaq spent big money to secure Gerrard's top transfer targets.
Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jack Hendry and Moussa Dembele arrived from Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Club Brugge and Lyon to try and bring some experience to the squad.
Gerrard is reportedly keen to dip into the transfer market again in January and David de Gea, who has been without a club since leaving Manchester United, is high on his priorities.
The England legend will face pressure if he fails to turn results around. He's decided to shift the blame towards officials out in the Middle East.
Al Ettifaq are the only Saudi Pro League not to earn a penalty this term, with a trip on Mohammed Abdulrahman Yousef going unpunished.
He told reporters: "We are the only team to not have a penalty, but I think we deserved it in more than one match.
"It is true and this has been noted by myself and the club. I am not the one who decides the penalty kicks for our team, but we have deserved one in more than one match not just today (the draw with Al-Ittihad)."
Wijnaldum opened the scoring in front of 12,000 fans inside the Abdullah Al Dabil Stadium. It's a much higher total than games earlier this year, with some failing to break the 700 barrier.
Abderrazak Hamsallah levelled things up in the second half to ensure the points were shared.
Gerrard continued: "The dressing room was full of sadness on my players' faces because of the draw.
"We are disappointed with the result. We were closer to getting the three points.
"No player deserves to be changed, to be honest. That's why we did not use the bench for this match."
Al Ettifaq return to action against Al Okhdood on Saturday afternoon.