Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen insists Gareth Bale is "no diver" after the Tottenham winger was once again booked for simulation during his side's 3-0 Europa League victory over Inter on Thursday night.
The 23-year-old has been in sensational form this year but his yellow card against the Italian side means he will miss the second leg of the tie in Turin - and he has now been cautioned by officials on four occasions for simulation.
However, Reds youngster Allen - whose side host Andre Villas-Boas' outfit on Sunday afternoon - believes his Wales team-mate's pace makes it difficult for referees to get decisions right, insisting Bale is no cheat.
"I wouldn't describe Gareth as a diver," he told Mirror Sport. "These are decisions a referee has to make because it's their job. But when Gareth is running at pace it's so difficult and it can be borderline. The referee makes his decision and it can go one way or the other."
Allen's Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez has earned a similar reputation for simulation as his compatriot Bale, but he feels both stars are unfortunate to be targeted - and is thankful to be able to play alongside both.
"These allegations are made sometimes in football and it's difficult to say if they are exaggerated," he continued. "Gareth has taken it to a new level this season. He is in the form of his life. I'm lucky to play with both. I play club football with Luis week in, week out, and he's incredible."