Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Gerrard: Suarez thrives on criticism

Liverpool's Luis Suarez, left, celebrates scoring his side's second goal at Goodison with Martin Skrtel

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has warned Premier League rivals if they try to wind up Luis Suarez they should be prepared for a backlash from the Uruguayan.

The striker was at the centre of most things in Sunday's 2-2 draw in the 219th Merseyside derby, scoring once, seeing a cross-shot deflected in and having an added-time winner wrongly ruled out. Suarez also produced a humorous response to Everton manager David Moyes by diving at the Scot's feet after his assertion the forward goes to ground too easily.

"Luis Suarez was fantastic for us again," said Gerrard. "He doesn't need David Moyes to fire him up. But if people want to try to get in Luis' head and wind him up then it's the wrong thing to do. You saw from yesterday's evidence that it seems to inspire him rather than go against him."

The midfielder added: "I can't control what he does when he scores a goal, I was just happy to see it (Suarez's deflected strike for the opener) hit the back of the net."

Gerrard also criticised Phil Neville after the Everton captain was booked for diving in the first half.

In his post-match press conference Moyes said he had spoken to Neville about it and the player himself admitted his actions were wrong.

"With what he said about Luis Suarez before, David Moyes was trying to get in the referee's head, which is fine, that's all part of the game stuff like that," said Gerrard.

"But if that's the case you don't expect your captain to dive like that. I think Phil Neville badly let his manager down.

"His manager did every paper, every radio station and every TV channel talking about Luis Suarez and then his captain, who is meant to be setting an example, blatantly dives.

"If David Moyes is a real man and a real manager, which I think he is, then he will be speaking to Phil Neville about his dive."

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