John Arne Riise moved to dampen the furore surrounding Luis Suarez’s actions after Fulham’s 1-0 win over Liverpool last night by insisting he has no problem with the Uruguayan striker.
Suarez was accused of cheating by the fans as he appeared to go down easily on several ocassions, although referee Kevin Friend decided not to book him for simulation. After the final whistle, Suarez was pictured aiming a crude, middle-finger salute at the Fulham fans as he left the pitch.
Riise, a former Liverpool player, insisted that he was not the person who should pass judgement on Suarez’s behaviour and was quite happy to get on with the game.
Players going down happens – that’s football. If he is diving or not diving that’s not up to us. We play on and if we feel it’s not a free-kick then we tell him. He’s a good player, we respect him for what he’s doing.
He’s a character and he has one type of football to play. He has proved he’s a great player and sometimes people get tough on him because that is the way they have to play against him. If you try to be nice to him he can kill the game off.
He’s lively. It’s hard to know where you have him because he can be on the right, in the middle or on the left. He keeps going back and forth. He’s always putting his body in. Our central defenders had him under control so all honour to them.
Riise, who had retained his belief in Fulham’s quality prior to Monday night’s victory, believes Martin Jol’s side can build on their battling victory.
We have played some good football in the last few weeks and we just have to keep going. To play against Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool is hard work. On paper they are better sides.
But if we do what we can we have a chance to come away with a point or even a win. To come away with three points against Liverpool, who have been in great form lately, is important and shows we can beat anyone – especially at home.