Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has jumped to the defence of striker Luis Suarez and urged referees not to pre-judge the Uruguayan striker over diving.

The 25-year-old, who was harshly booked for ‘simulation’ in the penalty area at Sunderland last weekend, was denied a spot-kick by Mark Halsey following a challenge from Jonny Evans in the box on Sunday.

For Gerrard, it was decision based on a label that Suarez has become connected with following a tough period in the Premier League top flight last season, and the skipper believes it’s simply undeserved.

“I think even when Luis does get blatant penalties now he doesn't get them,” said Gerrard.

“It is down to referees to not judge him and give what they see - if it's not a penalty don't give him one but if it's clear give it. He was booked at Sunderland but against United it was a penalty.”

Reds full-back Glen Johnson joined captain Gerrard in his assessment of Suarez’s treatment from officials, believing the former Ajax star is paying the penalty for past crimes which shouldn’t affect decisions.

“Everyone has to do their job: they have to forget about who they are looking at and make their decisions and not let anything from the past affect their decision,” added the England international.

“They have to call the shots at the time, regardless of who it is.”

Liverpool currently sit in the relegation places after five games of the season, but will be looking to bounce back from the defeat against Manchester United with victory against Norwich City at the weekend.

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Glen Johnson
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Steven Gerrard
Luis Suarez
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