Fall guy: Luis Suarez tumbles to the rescue as Liverpool snatch a point against Aston Villa

The Uruguayan, chasing Gerrard’s diagonal pass into the inside-left channel, went to ground in a 50-50 challenge for the ball with Guzan

Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was at the centre of yet another diving controversy last night after winning a penalty against Aston Villa in dubious circumstances.

The Uruguayan, chasing Steven Gerrard’s diagonal pass into the inside-left channel, went to ground in a 50-50 challenge for the ball with Brad Guzan, although replays showed that while the Villa goalkeeper missed the ball he also appeared to make no contact with the Liverpool forward.

Jon Moss, the referee, awarded the spot-kick despite protests by Guzan and other Villa players. Gerrard converted it, with the goal enabling Liverpool to save face with a 2-2 draw.

Paul Lambert, Villa’s manager, was certain Liverpool had won a soft penalty. “It is difficult for the referee, he has to make a split- second decision,” he said. “But I’ve seen it on the tape and Brad definitely pulls his arm away.” Asked if that meant Suarez had dived, he said: “I’ll let you decide on that. I won’t comment on what Suarez did. If you ask me what I think of him I think he is a world-class player.”

Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool’s manager, had some sympathy with Lambert. “I thought today we got one penalty and did not get another one,” he said. “There was one in the first half we didn’t get when [Leandro] Bacuna handled the ball. I can see where Paul would look at that [Suarez incident] and feel it was a little bit harsh but I actually thought it was a penalty.”

The draw meant Liverpool lost ground on Arsenal in the Premier League title race.

 

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