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Rodgers backs Suarez in diving row

18 January 2014 22:20

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has defended Luis Suarez against allegations of diving in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa at Anfield.

The Uruguay international tumbled under Brad Guzan's challenge seven minutes into the second half, with Steven Gerrard converting the resulting penalty.

That goal brought Liverpool back to 2-2, after they had fallen two goals behind in the first half.

Villa boss Paul Lambert expressed his belief after the game that the decision was incorrect.

And though Rodgers empathised with his opposite number, the Northern Irishman insisted referee Jon Moss made the right call.

"I thought it was a penalty," he said. "It was a great pass (from Gerrard), Luis gets the touch on it, I thought it was a penalty.

"Paul will feel it was harsh, but once Luis touched it round him his body makes contact and I think it's a clear penalty."

Villa took the lead through Andreas Weimann before Christian Benteke's header doubled their advantage.

Daniel Sturridge got the comeback started before half-time and Liverpool captain Gerrard grabbed the leveller.

The hosts were unable to grab a third - the draw leaving them nine points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal - but Rodgers was happy with his players' spirit.

"It was a good point," he said. "I don't think we were anywhere near our level in the first half and that's credit to Aston Villa.

"We weren't great, but we showed great character to come back.

"I just felt we couldn't get any flow in the game, but (with our) first chance to make some passes we scored a wonderful goal (from Sturridge), that gave us a lifeline.

"In the second half had better momentum, you can't win every game, we were 2-0 down against a good side and end up getting a point in the end."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 8 +15 22
2 8 +10 17
3 8 +14 16
4 8 +4 13
5 8 +1 13
6 8 +3 12
7 8 +2 11
8 8 +1 11
9 8 -1 11
10 8 -1 11
11 8 +0 10
12 8 -8 10
13 8 +0 9
14 8 -1 9
15 8 -2 9
16 8 -3 8
17 8 -7 8
18 8 -6 7
19 8 -9 4
20 8 -12 4

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