• Premier League

Gerrard: Refs think Suarez is a diver

ESPN staff
September 25, 2012
Luis Suarez was refused a penalty after this challenge by Jonny Evans against Manchester United © Getty Images

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes Luis Suarez is being victimised by referees when the striker is seen going down in the penalty area.

Suarez, 25, has gained a reputation for simulation since joining Liverpool from Ajax for £23 million in January 2011, and Gerrard feels that stigma is now counting against his team-mate.

The Uruguay international saw appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Mark Halsey after he went down under a challenge from Jonny Evans in the Reds' 2-1 loss to Manchester United on Sunday.

Reflecting on that decision, Gerrard said in the Mirror: "I think even when Luis gets blatant penalties now, he's never going to get them. It's down to referees to not judge him. They have got to make their decisions based on what they see.

"If it's not a penalty, they don't give him one. But if it's clear, give him it. It's only fair. He was booked last week at Sunderland when he went down in the box. This one was a penalty."

Glen Johnson has echoed Gerrard's comments, expressing his belief that Suarez would not have been awarded a spot-kick had he been the man to be felled in the penalty area when Antonio Valencia won a spot-kick that decided last weekend's meeting at Anfield.

"I almost guarantee that if you flipped the situation, if Luis was in the position of Valencia, he wouldn't get a penalty," he said.

"We all know that. Reputations go in front of people at times and because Valencia is not someone who is known as a diver, he gets the decision."

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