Monday 24 July 2017

Enrique dives in to defend under-fire Suarez

LIVERPOOL 1 NORWICH 1

Tim Rich

For the second successive weekend, Luis Suarez's manager and team-mates gathered round their striker to defend his reputation.

Against Manchester United it was Patrice Evra's accusations of racism that had stung; here was the suggestion that the Uruguayan, however talented, dives when it suits him.

When he was at Ajax, Suarez gained a reputation for conning referees.

However, in a game where he struck the woodwork twice during a contest in which Liverpool aimed 29 shots at John Ruddy's goal, it was Peter Walton's belief Suarez dived when seemingly brought down by Marc Tierney that lingered.

Kenny Dalglish remarked that those who questioned Suarez's integrity were those whose own integrity was not beyond question. They were words seemingly aimed at Old Trafford and backed up by Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique.

"The truth is that it should have been a red card for their centre-back because he kicked Luis -- I have seen the video of it," said Enrique, referring to the fact that Tierney had already been booked.

"Alex Ferguson defended his team because we played them last week and that is normal.

"Luis is a really dangerous player and a really nice guy. He doesn't dive. Some Manchester United players go into the swimming pool. We defend our players; they defend theirs. That is normal."

guts

Suarez played fabulously against a Norwich side that displayed guts and no little ability, although but for the brilliance of a goalkeeper who was once on Everton's books, they would surely have been swept away.

Instead, they went home with a draw courtesy of Grant Holt's equalsier which surely caused pepe Reina a sleepless night.

Norwich may have played better in defeat at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford, but it was not lost on anyone at Anfield that Chelsea and Manchester United had each collected three points.

There were similarities to the opening game of the season when Sunderland somehow clung on in a first half that should have seen them crushed and forced a draw.

"Against a team like Norwich we have to win if we want to be in the Champions League next season," said Enrique, who is part of a defence that is yet to keep a clean sheet at home so far this season.

"The best teams would win against teams like that -- even though we respect them.

"At home we have to win. I hope we will not look back and need those points."

(© Independent News Service)

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