English Premiership

Gerrard facing suspension

2010-03-16 14:34
Steven Gerrard (File)
England - Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is in danger of a three-match ban after appearing to elbow Portsmouth's Michael Brown in an off-the-ball incident during his side's 4-1 victory on Monday.

The Football Association may yet take action after studying film of the clash which happened during the second half at Anfield - and it could bring a supension that would rule Gerrard out of their meeting with Manchester United next Sunday.

Gerrard was substituted shortly after Brown was flattened in an incident that was not punished by referee Stuart Attwell, who thought it was a "coming together" between the players.

"They were asking me about it, but I didn't see it. I prefer to enjoy the game," said Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez afterwards.

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant also claimed he missed the incident.

"I was told the referee was four metres away from it.

"I think he needs to see from four metres what I didn't see from 40 metres. "He missed a lot of things."

Gerrard had earlier played a part in Liverpool's comfortable win against relegation-threatened Portsmouth, with the goals coming from Fernando Torres (2), Ryan Babel and Alberto Aquilani.

It keeps alive Liverpool's hopes of finishing fourth in the table and qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Liverpool, who have to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit against Lille in the Europa League on Thursday, move one place up the table to fifth spot, one point behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

It was Aquilani's first goal for Liverpool since the Italian midfielder joined from Roma for £17million last August.

"I have waited a long time for the goal, so I am very happy," said Aquilani. "Now we need to win a lot of games to finish in the top four."

Goalkeeper Jose Reina said the victory was well earned.

"We knew it was a must-win game for us and we performed very well," said Reina.

"When we are playing well we can score every minute and we had an incredible spell in the first-half, but we have to make sure we do that again on Thursday.

"We accept criticism when things are not going the way we want, but this squad is almost the same as last season and we can play good football.

"The manager wanted us to be a bit more offensive and we were good going forward and creating chances. Things are getting better but we have to keep it going."

Grant said his side would fight to the end. The crisis-hit club, who have been crippled by financial problems this season, are rooted to the bottom of the table with nine games remaining.

"We did okay until the first goal. We lost our shape and conceded further goals," said Grant.

"We didn't played brilliantly in the second-half, but at least we did more. "What has happened this year at Portsmouth, you could write a book about it.

"I cannot speak about this any more because I just end up repeating myself. "We are fighting for this club and fighting for this city.

"But we need help.

"Never in my life will I give up and I won't start now."

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