STEVEN GERRARD reckons Luis Suarez is being victimised by referees due to his reputation.

Refs think Luis Suarez is a diver


Suarez was at the centre of another diving storm at Anfield on Sunday after tumbling in the box under a Jonny Evans challenge.

That came after he was booked at Sunderland last week for simulation.

TV replays of the incident against Manchester United were inconclusive — yet Reds skipper Gerrard believes the Uruguayan striker will struggle to get decisions even when they are obvious.

He said: “Even when Luis gets blatant penalties now he is never going to get them. It is down to referees to not judge him. They have got to make their decisions based on what they see.

“If it is not a penalty, they don’t give him one, but if it is clear, give him it. It’s only fair.

“He was booked last week at Sunderland, but Sunday’s was a penalty. In these big games, you need things to go your way and you certainly don’t need big refereeing decisions that are wrong going against you. That is what happened.”

Liverpool had further salt rubbed in the wounds when referee Mark Halsey awarded United a spot-kick winner, as Antonio Valencia crashed under Glen Johnson’s desperate cover tackle.

Johnson is adamant he never touched Valencia — and is certain the decision would not have gone Liverpool’s way had Suarez been the man who had gone to ground.

He claimed: “I almost guarantee that if you flipped the situation, if Luis was in the position of Valencia, he wouldn’t get a penalty.

“Reputations go in front of people at times and because Valencia is not someone who is known as a diver, he gets the decision.

“Referees have to forget who they are looking at. They just have to make the decisions.

“They have to call the shots at the time, regardless of who it is.”