Premier League - Dalglish re-opens Suarez debate

Tue, 07 Feb 00:31:00 2012

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has again defended Luis Suarez after the striker made a return to action in the goalless draw against Tottenham at Anfield.

Miss a Match? We didn't

A yellow card on Suarez

Suarez made a long-awaited comeback for the Reds after completing his eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in October.

Suarez's introduction off the bench on 66 minutes failed to inspire Liverpool to victory over Spurs but his reappearance prompted Dalglish to reopen the debate over whether the Uruguayan should have been banned in the first place.

"We don't think he should ever have been away but we are delighted to get him back," said the Liverpool boss.

"He has not played since December, so it was a wee bit unfair to throw him straight in.

"He has had half an hour and that will have done him the world of good. It is better than anything we could have done at Melwood."

Suarez is in line to come face-to-face with Evra next weekend when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford in what promises to be an inflammatory Premier League clash.

The fire was stoked further by United striker Wayne Rooney, who tweeted during the match at Anfield about a challenge by Suarez on Scott Parker that resulted in a yellow card for the Liverpool man.

(The video of that incident should play automatically in the picture box - UK web users only)

"If the referee sees that kick from Suarez and books him for it, it should be red," Rooney wrote.

It was a view shared by television pundit Gary Neville, but not Dalglish.

"He just never saw him," the Liverpool boss said.

"Who said that? Why don't you tweet Wayne back and give him your answer.

"I don't have a view on what they have tweeted, especially when I have not seen it. If Neville or Wayne were standing there and asked me the question, I could answer them.

"I don't think you can speak for either Gary or Wayne so unless they want to ask me the question, I will just plead the fifth amendment."

On the match itself, Dalglish said: "I'm really pleased with the way the team played. We kept them under a lot of pressure. We just needed the bounce of the ball to go our way and if we'd have got one, I think we would have won it.

"We are disappointed to come away with just the one point.

"But you couldn't criticise the players for their effort or the quality in their performance.

"Like everything else, if you just get a kind bounce somewhere near the goalmouth, we might have walked away with the three points."

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, who hoped to fly to the match after the end of the day's court proceedings in his tax evasion trial, missed the game because of a technical fault that prevented his plane from taking off.

In his absence, assistant manager Kevin Bond said: "We had to work really hard and defend for our lives at the end.

"We didn't create many chances but we had the best chance of the match five minutes before the end, and it just was not meant to be. For Gareth Bale's chance, the goalkeeper stood up well and it was a big moment for us, but a point was a good result for us."

Eurosport / Reuters

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