Southampton was an act instinct and not cheating.

The Uruguayan was penalised for attempting to divert the ball goalwards with his hand, resulting in a yellow card.

This has led to fresh accusations of cheating being aimed toward the striker, but Rodgers believes that his player was just guilty a natural reaction:

“If he’s handled the ball, then it’s probably just natural instinct.” He is quoted by The Mirror.

“I didn’t see it clearly, but I’m sure it was instinctive and not cheating as someone suggested.

“With instinctive stuff like that, of course it’s needless, but sometimes they happen.

“He’s done so well to arrive at this stage without that extra booking, but there we go.”

The yellow card was his fifth of the season so far, which will see him watch the Reds’ Premier League clash with West Ham from the sidelines.

Rodgers is frustrated by the punishment, but believes his team can cope without their star man:

“I do still have people capable of getting goals.

“I’m not going to lose sleep because he’s not available.

“At least it means he will more than likely start now against Udinese. We’ll be strong there.”