Kenny Dalglish says Luis Suarez should never have been banned

By Phil McNultyChief football writer, BBC Sport at Anfield
Luis Suarez consoles Scott Parker after kicking him
Luis Suarez consoles Scott Parker after earning a booking for kicking him

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish welcomed Luis Suarez back from a lengthy absence in the draw with Tottenham but again said he should never have served a ban.

Uruguayan Suarez returned as a substitute in the 0-0 stalemate after an eight-game ban for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

"It's fantastic to have him back. He should never have been out in the first place," said Dalglish.

"Luis Suarez doesn't have anything to prove to anyone at Liverpool FC."

Suarez, who came on in the 66th minute, was booked within minutes for kicking Scott Parker in the midriff.

But Dalglish added: "Every time he gets the ball you think he's going to do something. We don't think he should ever have been away but we are delighted to have him back."

Dalglish's comments revisited the FA's verdict on Suarez just four days before he is scheduled to face Evra and United at Old Trafford for the first time since their clash in the Premier League clash at Anfield in October.

The 25-year-old striker's cameo appearance, and his foul on Parker, even drew comment from Manchester United's England striker Wayne Rooney, who said via his Twitter feed:external-link "If ref sees that kick from Suarez and books him for it, it should be red."

Dalglish's verdict was that Suarez "never saw" Parker.

Then, when the Scot was informed of what had been said by Rooney, he replied: "Who said that? Why don't you tweet Wayne back and give him your answer.

"I don't have a view on what has been tweeted, especially when I have not seen it."

Dalglish said he was delighted with Liverpool's display against Spurs, despite recording their eighth home draw in the Premier League at Anfield this season.

He said: "The performance was excellent. We were disappointed to come away with only a draw but we cannot criticise the players.

"We created chances and Pepe Reina made a good one-on-one save from Gareth Bale so everyone made an important contribution for us."

After making his first appearance since Boxing Day, Suarez tweeted:external-link "[A] special night after I could play again with my team-mates. A pity we couldn't get the 3 points. Now it's time to add minutes little by little!"

Tottenham assistant manager Kevin Bond praised a solid performance by his players after they earned a point at Anfield.

Bond took charge of Spurs in the absence of boss Harry Redknapp, who missed the game after technical problems scuppered his chances of catching a plance from London following another day at Southwark Crown Court for his trial into charges of cheating the public revenue, which he denies.

"It was a resilient performance," said Bond. "We are noted this season for the manner in which we play - our free-flowing football - which is lovely.

"We weren't able to do that as well as we would have liked. It was a different type of display from us.

"Over previous times when we have been here we might not have got anything from the game but we got a point in a different way. We had to defend well and battle."