Liverpool stars: refs pick on Suarez

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.

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Suarez: Referees make mistakes
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2012 Liverpool-Manchester United Luis Suarez

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."

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