Gerrard in dock over Brown clash
Published 00:57 16/03/10 By David Anderson
Steven Gerrard hopes to escape an FA ban for the second week running after a night when Liverpool boosted their Champions League hopes.
The Liverpool skipper struck Portsmouth's Michael Brown on the side of the face with his right forearm in an off-the-ball incident.
Although referee Stuart Attwell blew for a foul, he says he did not see the incident fully, which could open the door for the FA to hit Gerrard with a three-game ban.
Seven days earlier the England star got away with a foul-mouthed outburst and V-sign during Liverpool's defeat at Wigan.
Reds boss Rafa Benitez would not be drawn on Gerrard's clash with Brown, claiming he did not see it.
"They were asking me about it, but I've not seen it," he said. "I prefer to enjoy the game."
Portsmouth boss Avram Grant also pleaded ignorance, saying: "I didn't see this incident. I can't say anything about it. The referee needs to see better than me. He was four metres away from the incident.
"Personally, I like Gerrard. He is a good player and a fair player. I need to see it again. I've not spoken to Michael Brown, but I will speak to him and I will know."
Benitez was determined not to let anything detract from Liverpool's biggest win since September and they have climbed to fifth.
Alberto Aquilani scored his first goal for Liverpool, while Fernando Torres weighed in with two and Ryan Babel one to the delight of Benitez.
"We tried to play well for the fans and score goals," he said. "It was an important win in an important week.
"I think it's really good for Alberto to score. He will have more confidence. He showed he has quality and he played well."
Prospective buyer Rob Lloyd watched from the directors box and Grant hopes the uncertainty over the club's future will soon be resolved.
"I hope somebody buys the club soon," he said. "We can't live from hour to hour like this. I hope it happens and this is a great club.
"In the meantime we are trying to put it out of our minds and play football. We started OK and did well in the second half, but we were not awake for their goals."