Rodgers defends Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has backed Luis Suarez after the striker was accused of diving by Jose Mourinho.

Last Updated: 30/12/13 at 18:41 Post Comment

Luis Suarez: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has leapt to the defence of his s

Luis Suarez: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has leapt to the defence of his s

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers feels Reds striker Luis Suarez is an "easy target" for critics.

Following the Merseysiders' 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, Blues manager Jose Mourinho accused Suarez of performing "an acrobatic swimming pool jump'' during the Barclays Premier League contest in an unsuccessful attempt to win a penalty, referring to the moment when the Uruguay international went down in the hosts' box having been challenged by Samuel Eto'o.

Rodgers defended his player after the match and, asked on Monday about Mourinho's comments, he said: "It certainly wasn't that.

"I think anyone watching the game would see it wasn't that.

"Luis is an easy target."

Suarez - who was playing against Chelsea for the first time since his infamous bite on Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic in April, which earned him a 10-match ban - has been at the centre of various controversies during his career and accusations of diving have been levelled at the 26-year-old on several occasions.

Rodgers added: "I think we have had a spell over the last year or so where everyone was jumping on Luis' back, saying he was diving.

"He must be the only one who is doing it. But no, I don't think it was that at all.

"It was a valid claim for a penalty against a player who wasn't even making an effort for the football. I certainly wouldn't say it was an acrobatic dive."

Rodgers, who thought Eto'o should have been sent off for an earlier tackle on Jordan Henderson, had expressed his unhappiness about several decisions made by the match officials in Liverpool's previous outing, another 2-1 league loss, at Manchester City.

Following that game, he made comments about referee Lee Mason that prompted the Football Association to contact Rodgers, asking for an explanation.

And he was keen to stress on Monday that he wants to move on from the Chelsea defeat, after which his side - top of the Premier League on Christmas Day - have been left in fifth place in the table.

Asked if he felt decisions by the officials had cost his side more than anything else in last two games, Rodgers said: "I think everyone can see the decision-making.

"But I don't want to go into it too much - the games are gone.

"Everyone makes mistakes, the officials have made mistakes and unfortunately we have been punished. But they are gone now."

Rodgers, who was speaking at his pre-match press conference to preview the New Year's Day home league clash with Hull, added: "I haven't spoken to (referees' chief) Mike Riley about these games.

"The decisions were made, I didn't agree with them and I will always say, especially when they are as bad as I thought they were.

"But it's gone now, and we focus on the next game, which is Hull City."

Rodgers has indicated Reds captain Steven Gerrard could return to action in the Hull match.

Gerrard has not played in Liverpool's last four games after sustaining a hamstring problem in a 4-1 league win over West Ham at Anfield on December 7.

And asked on Monday if the England skipper might be fit to play in Wednesday's encounter, Rodgers said: ''We will assess that over the next 24 hours.

''Steven has rejoined training so we'll see how he is for Hull.''

Rodgers also revealed that Gerrard's fellow midfielder Joe Allen, who came off in the second half against Chelsea, is set to be sidelined for ''a few weeks'' with an abductor strain, and that he is awaiting news on how long defender Mamadou Sakho's hamstring strain is likely to keep him out for following his withdrawal towards the end of the Stamford Bridge contest.

Rodgers said: ''Joe will probably be a few weeks and with Sakho we are just awaiting confirmation.

''Glen Johnson came off but that was tactical, not injury-enforced, and there are one or two other niggles that we have to assess.

''Jordan Henderson (who took a knock against Chelsea) is fine. He was obviously on his first day of recovery today and is still sore, but he is a real soldier and should be fit.''

As well as Gerrard, Rodgers has lost the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Jose Enrique and Jon Flanagan to injury in recent weeks.


New Sky Bet customers: Free £30 matched bet


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

Footer 365

'Win some medals', blasts Merson

Paul Merson challenged Andros Townsend to "win some medals" before calling him out after the Tottenham winger poked fun at him for questioning his England credentials.

Raheem Sterling will not resume Liverpool contract talks until the summer

Raheem Sterling has confirmed that he will not resume talks over a new contract with Liverpool until the summer.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane wants to play for England U21s at European Championship says Roy Hodgson

Harry Kane wants to "finish the job" and go to the European U21 Championship this summer, according to Roy Hodgson.

Mail Box

Liverpool Can't Satisfy Sterling's Ambition

Sterling's ambition is understandable, according to one Liverpool fan. Also in the Mailbox: plenty more on great players becoming managers, and who needs Pogba when Fellaini's flying?

Is This The End Of Ex-Players As Managers?

Do massive wages and cushty TV numbers signal the end of the ex-high-profile player turned manager? Plus Liverpool fans don't actually say the 'next year' thing...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company