Football - Suarez 'exaggerates' - Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger felt Howard Webb was right not to award Liverpool a penalty during the Londoners' 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium in the fifth round of the FA Cup

PA Sport Report

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Suarez was denied a "blatant penalty", but his side's sole focus is now on the Barclays Premier League as, a week after beating Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield, they lost as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski netted for the Gunners to set up a home quarter-final with Everton.

Steven Gerrard converted a penalty after Podolski tripped Suarez and a further trip on the Uruguayan, this time by Oxlade-Chamberlain, went unpunished - much to the bemusement of Rodgers, who does not feel his striker's reputation for going to ground easily should have impacted on referee Webb's decision-making.

But Wenger, who tried to sign Suarez in the summer, believes the striker is prone to exaggerating.

"I rate Suarez as a player," Wenger said. "If we had him in the team we'd have a few more free-kicks.

"But it's always difficult to know with him: was it really genuine contact?

"It was contact, I don't deny that, but he's very good to make more of it every time."

Arsenal's triumph vindicated Wenger's decision to make seven changes, the majority of which came about for "medical reasons".

Lukasz Fabianski was given an opportunity in goal, while Jack Wilshere (stiff back), Santi Cazorla (ill), Kieran Gibbs (muscular problem), Bacary Sagna (tired) and Olivier Giroud (tired) were either on the bench or not involved.

Wenger insisted Giroud was not dropped for personal reasons following an alleged affair.

"He has made a statement," the Gunners boss said. "We'll deal with it internally. I want to respect his privacy."

It was a welcome victory for Arsenal after a trying week following the mauling on Merseyside and ahead of Wednesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against European champions Bayern Munich.

"It was vital for us to respond to the disappointing performance we had against Liverpool last week," Wenger added.

"I'm very pleased with the intensity of our commitment, our response, our determination.

"You could feel there was a clinical desire in my team to take every opportunity to kill them.

"It was a great game between two great teams. It was a fantastic FA Cup tie.

"Many people questioned the FA Cup but today it delivered a great football performance."

Wenger might have been excused a feeling of deja vu early on as it appeared Liverpool would accelerate into an early lead.

Daniel Sturridge twice had opportunities in the opening five minutes to fire Liverpool into an early lead but saw his run of scoring in eight successive games end.

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