Brendan Rodgers Insists Luis Suarez and Liverpool Won't Cheat Their Way to Title

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2014

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool tangles with Martin Demichelis of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers insists Luis Suarez and the rest of his Liverpool teammates are aiming to win the Premier League title in a sporting manner.

The Northern Irish manager's comments come after Suarez was accused of diving during the recent 3-2 win over Manchester City, an incident the referee failed to punish with a caution.

Rodgers aims to ensure his team wins with dignity and by avoiding any form of cheating, as reported by David Maddock of the Mirror:

We will try to do it in the right way - I take great pride in winning in the most sporting way we can. If you look at us we are top of the Premier League and we are top of the Fair Play League. We don’t surround referees. We want to win, but it shows you a mark of our behaviour.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 13:  Vincent Kompany of Manchester City challenges Luis Suarez of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on April 13, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Lives
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

As noted by Rodgers, Liverpool's positioning at the top of the Fair Play table highlights a disciplined side. Jordan Henderson's red card during the City match was the club's first in 83 games, the last being Jonjo Shelvey's dismissal during last season's fixture with Manchester United, per Squawka.

Suarez's alleged misbehaviour versus City followed an unfortunate act against Liverpool the week before. The Reds were forced to battle for a 2-1 victory against West Ham after Andy Carroll's obvious foul on Simon Mignolet led to an equalising goal.

Rodgers suggests he isn't willing to let such incidents affect the mood and output of his team. He speaks of creating a "no excuses environment" in which his players take responsibility, even when refereeing decisions go against them.

"I believe you can't affect refereeing decisions. Absolutely," said Rodgers, per Maddock's report.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 06:  Andy Carroll of West Ham controls the ball as Jon Flanagan of Liverpool closes during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool at Boleyn Ground on April 6, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mik
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Liverpool currently sit two points clear of Chelsea atop the Premier League table. The two sides meet in a likely title decider on April 27, a Merseyside fixture that will send Anfield into raptures if another home victory is wrapped up.

The importance of this fixture is galvanised after City dropped points to bottom club Sunderland during their recent 2-2 draw. Although Manuel Pellegrini's side will be just three points behind Liverpool if it wins its game in hand, Rodgers' men have control of their own destiny, as noted by James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:

Liverpool's "no excuses" attitude has been evident throughout the season. This is a side that plays without fear of failure and the confidence that it can blitz anyone in the division. City barely knew what hit them before Raheem Sterling's terrific opener during the recent clash, a feeling of bemusement Rodgers will also be hoping to evoke against Chelsea.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 15:  Brendan Rodgers, manager of Liverpool FC, attends the memorial service marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield Stadium on April 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England. Thousands of fans, friends and rel
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The manager has done excellently to lure Suarez, often a figure of controversy in the past, away from antics that could cost Liverpool their chance at the title. We've not seen repeat dives like seasons gone by, or indeed, the Uruguayan bite his opponent in a moment of madness. As the spotlight increases, both Suarez and his teammates will need to be on their best behaviour.

Rodgers has led Liverpool to their most important run of fixtures in over two decades. His team stands on the brink of glory and won't want to dampen that with a moment of madness. The Reds have played the most entertaining, goal-ridden football this season, something Rodgers will want to continue promoting over any shady business on the pitch.