Lay off Suarez, says Liverpool's Dalglish

by Mike McGrath
AFP Global Edition

Dec 05, 2011 22:35 EST

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish sprang to Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez's defence after it was claimed the fiery South American had made a gesture to Fulham fans.

The incident involving Suarez came after a frustrating night for both the player and his team who lost 1-0, thanks to a late Clint Dempsey goal, after they had been reduced to 10 men when Jay Spearing was sent off in the second-half.

Dalglish said that Suarez enjoyed his and the club's support and that others should follow their example rather than criticise him constantly.

Suarez, who was charged by the Football Association (FA) in November with racially abusing Patrice Evra, had a goal disallowed and also felt he should have had a penalty.

"We'll look after Luis as best we can, and I think it's about time he got a bit of protection from some people," said Dalglish, who admitted he hadn't seen the incident involving Suarez and the Fulham fans.

"His integrity is impeccable. He can look in the mirror and go to bed at night and sleep soundly. If other people can do that then fine. All we ask is to be fair, is to be honest."

Dalglish, whose side had won their previous six away matches, said that they would consider appealing against referee Kevin Friend's straight red card to Spearing 18 minutes from time.

The Liverpool midfielder received the card for a tackle on Mousa Dembele where he won the ball but caught his opponent when he followed through.

"Jay will be upset, obviously. But we will look at it and see if it's worth while appealing for," Dalglish said.

"You need to ask the referee what his interpretation is. What the level of acceptance is.

"Jay never had another thought in his mind but to win the ball, and he did win it.

"As long as they are consistent, it's not a problem. But I don't think we were going to get anything tonight, were we?"

Fulham manager Martin Jol felt the red card was justified.

"Maybe when I was playing in England it was a great tackle. But his ankle was there," said the Dutchman.

"You have to be honest about it, I saw it from three angles and it was a bad one. He could have broken his ankle. I think it was a sending off."

There was also a case for Fulham's Swiss defender Philippe Senderos to receive a second yellow card, with his first coming after bringing down Charlie Adam on the edge of the penalty area, which Liverpool also felt was a penalty.

"The goal that Luis scored, Charlie could have had a penalty. We played well enough to have won the game," said Dalglish.

"We've just got to brush ourselves down and get on with it and get ready for QPR on Saturday. I'm sure we've had the rub of the green in previous games. But not tonight. And we certainly deserved something."

Dempsey, whose goal was his fourth of the season, admitted the sending off changed the game.

"We had more space and time on the ball after the sending off," said the American.

"We opened them up a bit and we got a goal which is great because it?s been frustrating for us recently."

His goal came five minutes from full-time after Jose Reina spilled a shot from Danny Murphy, who later limped off with an ankle injury.

"It was much-needed, a good win," said Jol.

"If you win 1-0 and keep a clean sheet it?s always pleasing. The sending off us helped us with giving us more space and Clint then scored the goal.

"Defensively we were well organised and I think we have players to score goals."

Source: AFP Global Edition

 

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