Free-scoring Luis Suarez to escape punishment

 

Luis Suarez will be free to continue to spearhead Liverpool's push for the top four despite his ugly clash with the Wigan midfielder David Jones. The FA does not expect to act retrospectively against the Uruguayan despite strong protests from Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, that he had stamped on Jones.

The referee, Kevin Friend, did not punish Suarez for the incident at the time and would have had to miss the incident and – after reviewing a video of the game – make it clear he subsequently considered it worthy of a sending-off in his report to the governing body for it to act.

That will be a relief to the Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, as Suarez has kept his side in the running almost single-handedly at times this season. The veteran defender Jamie Carragher, underlined how important the forward is to Liverpool when he argued a top-four finish is in their sights. "He is definitely right up there," Carragher said. "I can only talk about the players I've played with: (Robbie) Fowler, (Michael) Owen, (Fernando) Torres, and I think he comes pretty close to that list. It's not a great Liverpool side at the moment. The other players I've played with have played in sides that have won trophies and been near the top of the league.

"For him to do what he is doing in a side that is still building under the new manager I wouldn't swap him for anyone in the Premier League.

"I think what he does in our team and what he gives us no other player really could."

Liverpool are eight points behind West Bromwich Albion, who occupy fourth place, and the final Champions League place this season is being contested by more clubs than usual.

"Teams are dropping points all over the place," said Carragher. "We haven't had a great start but we're not too far off the top four. We want to push on and it is still up for grabs."

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