Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has defended striker Luis Suarez after comments from Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho accused the Uruguayan of diving, describing his reaction to a challenge by Samuel Eto’o as an 'acrobatic swimming pool jump'.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s match with Hull City on New Years’ Day, Rodgers said: ‘Luis is an easy target isn’t he? I think we had a spell over the last year when everyone was jumping on Luis’ back, that he was diving.
‘But I don’t think it’s at all. I think it was a valid claim for a penalty against a player who wasn’t even making an effort for the football so I certainly wouldn’t think it’s an acrobatic dive.’
The Liverpool manager has said he is proud of his side’s performances over the Christmas period despite defeats away to Manchester City and Chelsea.
The topic of refereeing decisions costing the side cropped up, and when asked about the issue, Rodgers said: ‘I don’t want to go into it too much, the games are gone we don’t gain anything from them now other than the pride I’ve felt in the players and what they’ve produced in these last two games.
‘The Manchester City performance was outstanding. Everyone makes mistakes, the officials have made mistakes and unfortunately we’ve got punished for it.
‘We went into the game yesterday with a small squad against one of the biggest squads in Europe and we’ve had the game in the balance right until the very end and there were certainly decisions in that that could have went for us on another day. They’re gone now.’
Rodgers has said he expects Joe Allen to be out for a few with an adductor strain which he played with in yesterday’s defeat at Stamford Bridge, whilst he is waiting for confirmation on the severity of Mamadou Sakho’s hamstring injury.
Captain Steven Gerrard could return to the starting line-up for the game against Hull after being out of the side since early December with a hamstring strain, whilst Rodgers expects Jordan Henderson to be fit despite picking up a knock against Chelsea.
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