West Bromwich Albion midfielder Paul Scharner has labelled Liverpool's Luis Suarez as a diver, accusing him of being ‘‘very good at winning penalties’’.
The Albion man, who is due to undergo a scan to determine the severity of potential knee ligament damage, was furious with the Reds striker’s part in the incident which led to the ninth-minute penalty on Saturday.
Suarez tumbled as he tangled with Albion winger Jerome Thomas. Both Thomas and Roy Hodgson were unhappy with Lee Mason’s decision to award the spot-kick, not least as he seemed to be prompted by linesman Gary Beswick.
Scharner went further, accusing Suarez of fooling the officials.
“It was a nice dive for the penalty and that got Liverpool well started for the game,” said Scharner.
“He’s very good at winning penalties. He’s one of the best on the planet, in fact. I had a good view of it. If that’s a penalty, then you will find 1,500 penalties are given in every match.
“I know it was the assistant, maybe he had a very better view than the referee.
“There was a general feeling among all the players that it was a soft penalty.
“It left us a mountain to climb after that and the second goal before half-time didn’t help.”
Scharner will undergo a scan to determine how serious his knee injury is.
The Austrian fears a spell on the sidelines, although he revealed it was not the same knee that caused him problems during the recent international break.
“It is ligament damage,” he added. “After the game it looked terrible and hurt a lot.
“But hopefully today the results of the scan will not be as bad as I’m thinking at the moment.
“It is not the best. It is the other knee, not the one I had with Austria. It feels serious at the moment.
“I’ve got to look to get fit and hopefully it is not a bad injury.
“We have another tough game this week (Arsenal) and we have to forget Saturday’s game and look forward.”
Regarding Albion’s display, he continued: “There was such a difference in the performance level from last week.
“We kept the ball (against Villa) but we couldn’t this time.
“I have to look on the TV but it didn’t feel very good in the first 25 minutes. There were too many long balls.”
Speaking about Scharner’s injury, Hodgson admitted it was a worry.
“He took a blow so he had to come off,” said the Albion boss.
“But to be frank, I was thinking of getting (Graham) Dorrans and (James) Morrison on the field anyway early in the second half to try and give us a bit more composure on the ball and possibly find some goalscoring opportunities for us.
“I think they answered my request.”