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Sep 30, 2012

Suarez 'a victim of reputation'

Brendan Rodgers fears Luis Suarez has become the victim of a reputation for diving after seeing the striker refused what he claimed was a clear penalty at Norwich on Saturday.

• Blog: Suarez comes good

Suarez scored a hat-trick as Rodgers' side beat the Canaries 5-2 on their own patch - but when he seemed to have been barged over by home defender Leon Barnett, referee Mike Jones waved away the penalty appeals.

Liverpool manager Rodgers thinks Suarez's failure to be awarded a penalty on Saturday, against Manchester United at Anfield and at Sunderland - where he was booked for diving - could show that his reputation is costing him.

"There is that fear," Rodgers said. "I could tell you about three or four strikers who go down in the box with very minimal contact, and all of them have had penalties this year. Everyone in the ground saw it was a penalty, apart from the referee."

Last week, he contacted referees' chief Mike Riley to complain that his team were not getting enough decisions, but added: "I can't worry too much about it.

"It's something that hopefully the referees, when they analyse and assess their own performance, will have a look at. We just have to concentrate on building our game, and hopefully these penalties that we don't get won't come back to haunt us."

Rodgers hailed Uruguay international Suarez as "a complete footballer" and said: "He's not just a number nine box player who stands up there and waits for the ball.

"He has more tactical understanding of the game. He is clever in his technique... he moves well in and around defenders."

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