Dec 31, 2013

    Mourinho: Suarez can't change 'wild nature'


    CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho believes that Luis Suarez remains at the mercy of his "wild nature", despite the Liverpool striker's improved conduct in the Premier League season to date.

    The Uruguayan was involved in a contentious incident towards the end of Liverpool's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, when he went down under a challenge from Samuel Eto'o after losing the ball to Cesar Azpilicueta.

    Referee Howard Webb ignored his appeal for a penalty, enabling Chelsea to complete a victory that took them to within two points of league leaders Arsenal and left Liverpool six points off the pace in fifth.

    "Suarez lost the duel against Azpilicueta, Azpilicueta has the ball, Azpilicueta is leaving the box with the ball, and now he (Suarez) is doing an acrobatic swimming-pool jump to try to get a penalty," said Mourinho.

    "Because he's so clever that he also knows that he's in the area where he has the Liverpool supporters behind (him).

    "But Webb is only 10m away and I think the only mistake Webb did was not to give him a yellow card."

    Mourinho added: "There's no doubt that Suarez's changed. But when the situation is like this, and you are losing, comes the nature of the player, the wild nature of the player or the cultural nature of the player."

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers would not be drawn into a battle of words with Mourinho, but he felt that Eto'o should have been sent off for a knee-high early foul on Jordan Henderson, which yielded a free kick from which Martin Skrtel put Liverpool ahead.

    "Let's talk about the first Eto'o incident, when he should have been sent off," Rodgers said.

    "I know we scored from it, but that was a wild challenge where he's come right down his knee and down his shin, and didn't even get a yellow card."

    Skrtel's close-range finish gave Liverpool a third-minute lead, but Chelsea's response was swift and decisive.

    Man of the Match Eden Hazard curled home a fine goal to equalise in the 17th minute, before Eto'o got a toe to a low cross from Oscar that Simon Mignolet could only help into the net 11 minutes before half-time.

    It was a second successive defeat for Liverpool, after their 2-1 loss at Manchester City on Thursday.