sport

Rodgers defends Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has backed Luis Suarez after the striker was accused of diving by Jose Mourinho.

Suarez was accused of making an '' by the Chelsea manager, but Rodgers has stood by his star forward, while insisting he is an easy target.

Suarez was challenged by Samuel Eto'o during the second-half of the 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge, but referee Howard Webb was unmoved by his claims for a penalty.

"Anyone watching the game would say it was not a dive," Rodgers told Sky Sports News. "Luis is an easy target isn't he?

"We had a spell over the last year when everyone was jumping on his back, saying he was diving. So he must be the only one that is doing it?

"I think it was a valid claim for penalty against a player who wasn't making an attempt to play the ball.

"It certainly was not an acrobatic dive. Everyone can see the decision making and I don't want to go into it too much. The games are gone, we will not gain anything from them now."

Liverpool were top of the table at Christmas but have now slipped to fifth following the 2-1 defeats at Manchester City and Chelsea.

But Rodgers had nothing but praise for his players' efforts as he looks to strengthen in the January window.

"I am full of pride for the players and what they have produced in the last two games," he added.

"The Manchester City performance was outstanding. Everyone makes mistakes, the officials make mistakes and unfortunately we have got punished for it.

"We went into the Chelsea game with a small squad against one of the biggest squads in Europe.

"We've had the game in the balance right to the very end and there were certainly decisons that could have went for us on another day.

"Obviously the recruitment team are busy putting things together in terms of the profile of players we need here to improve the team and the squad.

"The owners have invested millions upon millions into the team; every window we arrive in looking to improve it where we can. This window will be no different."