Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson say Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez should not be pre-judged over diving
Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson have sprung to the defence of Luis Suarez and urged referees not to judge the striker on the reputation he has gained for diving.
The Uruguay international, who was booked the previous week at Sunderland for such an offence, could have had a penalty in Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United after a tackle by Jonny Evans.
However, his appeals were turned down by referee Mark Halsey and both Gerrard and Johnson believe the 25-year-old is suffering from the label given to him during a difficult period last season.
"I think even when Luis does get blatant penalties now he doesn't get them," Gerrard said.
"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."
Johnson echoed the sentiments of his captain by adding: "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 found himself on the receiving end when he conceded the match-winning spot-kick at Anfield after Antonio Valencia went down in the area.
The England right-back was fuming as he claimed he did not touch the Ecuadorian, whom he accused of cheating.
"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)," the England international 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."
Latest in Sport
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
David Moyes delighted after Rio Ferdinand agrees to stay at Manchester United with new one-year contract
Sergio Garcia / Tiger Woods 'fried chicken' racism row takes fresh twist after 'coloured athletes' comment
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
New Manchester City manager must deliver five trophies in five years
Manchester United slash interest bill by £10m a year
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.