Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard: Luis Suárez is a victim of his reputation
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes Luis Suárez is being denied "blatant penalties" because of his reputation
Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool striker Luis Suárez is being prejudged by officials and is being treated unfairly by referees.
The Uruguay international was not awarded a spot-kick in the Reds’ 2-1 defeat by Manchester United on Sunday, despite Jonny Evans appearing to foul the forward.
A week earlier, Suárez appeared to be denied another penalty when he was caught by Sunderland defender John O’Shea, with referee Martin Atkinson booking the former Ajax captain for simulation.
“I think even when Luis does get blatant penalties now he doesn’t get them,” Gerrard told reporters.
“It is down to referees to not judge him and give what they see – if it’s not a penalty don’t give him one but if it’s clear give it.
“He was booked at Sunderland but against United it was a penalty.”
Liverpool defender Glen Johnson added: “Everyone has to do their job: they have to forget about who they are looking at and make their decisions and not let anything from the past affect their decision.
“They have to call the shots at the time, regardless of who it is.”
Johnson also criticised United winger Antonio Valencia for “cheating” in the Red Devils’ win at Old Trafford after the Ecuador international was awarded a penalty by referee Mark Halsey.
“I’ve watched it 50 times – not that I needed to – because it wasn’t a penalty, I didn’t touch him, I have collided with Pepe [Reina],” he said.
“Reputations go in front of people at times and because Valencia is not a known diver that is why he got the decision.
“I almost guarantee if it was exactly the same situation and it was Luis and not Valencia then it wouldn’t be a penalty.
“It is cheating at the end of the day, that’s what people call it.
“You can’t describe [the feeling] but you don’t expect people to do that – they are better than that.
“This is one the best leagues in the world and you’ve got someone doing that.
“I know it is difficult for the referee when we are sprinting as fast as we can but in the big games they are the differences and we expect the referees to make the right decisions.
“We are working as hard as we can to win the game and to have that taken away like that… I can’t explain it.
“The referee said to me he had to give it so he obviously thought I had touched him. It is frustrating because I’ve not touched him.”