Brendan Rodgers defended the Reds striker after a penalty box clash with Samuel Eto’o in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho accused “wild” Liverpool striker Luis Suarez of trying to con his way to a penalty with “an acrobatic swimming pool jump” during a fiery encounter at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues won 2-1 on Sunday thanks to goals from Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto’o after Martin Skrtel had given the Reds an early lead.
But Mourinho was furious when Suarez went down in the penalty area late on under a challenge from Eto’o – and the Portuguese claims referee Howard Webb should have booked the Liverpool man.
“[Cesar] Azpilicueta was leaving with the ball and then Suarez does an acrobatic swimming pool jump. Webb was only 10 metres away and the only mistake Webb did was not to give a yellow card.
“It looks like someone has shot him in the back and that is a clear yellow card.
“Brendan [Rodgers] is doing a fantastic job on Suarez because there’s no doubt he’s changed. But in a situation like this you see the wild nature of the player, the cultural nature of the player.
“I have lots of respect for his quality and his attitude and his ambition to win every game but he tries too much to provocate certain situations.”
Rodgers, who could face an FA charge after criticising referee Lee Mason in the Boxing Day defeat at Manchester City, disputed Mourinho’s interpretation of the incident but refused to attach blame to Webb.
“You’ve seen them given – Eto’o’s not even looking at the ball,” said Rodgers. “He was being streetwise and cute. If he’s intentionally blocking his man it’s a penalty is it not?
“I think Howard is a top referee, world class. I’ll stay calm today!”