United go top after Suarez handshake snub

Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1

The simmering feud between Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra exploded at Old Trafford as Manchester United went top of the Premier League.

On his first start since serving an eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra at Anfield in October, Suarez refused to offer his hand during the traditional pre-match handshake.

Evra reacted angrily and after apparently trying to confront Suarez in the tunnel at the end of the first half celebrated victory in close proximity to a disconsolate Suarez.

The Uruguayan continued to walk down the tunnel as some of Liverpool's players took umbrage at Evra's celebrations, remonstrating with the defender as tempers threatened to boil over.

Rio Ferdinand had earlier refused to shake Suarez's hand either, emphasising the depth of his feeling at recent events.

Amid the rancour, United emerged with three precious points as Wayne Rooney's second-half double sent them top of the Premier League.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men had to survive a nervy 10 minutes at the end though after Suarez's close-range finished had halved the deficit.

Reaction to Suarez was swift and damning and Evra was so obviously not amused.

Ferdinand might not have thought so, but it was probably just as well he bore the brunt of Evra's intended challenge on Suarez inside the first minute, otherwise the United skipper would have been in trouble.

Nothing much happened for a long time after that, with the game getting stuck in a midfield scrap.

Glen Johnson had the clearest opportunity, only to curl his shot wide after skipping inside Evra.

Rafael responded with a similar opportunity, which was saved by Pepe Reina.

It was not long before United opened their visitors up though.

Paul Scholes continued his run after finding Ryan Giggs with a quite brilliant pass to the left touchline.

When Giggs delivered the cross, Scholes was all on his own on the edge of the six-yard box.

It should have been the opener. Instead, the veteran midfielder's header went straight at Reina, who batted it away.

After the flurry of activity, the contest reverted back to the mundane.

That was until the final minute of the half, when Ferdinand sent Suarez to the deck with a tackle TV replays showed was perfectly legal.

Suarez felt differently and when referee Phil Dowd refused to award the free-kick that would surely have brought Ferdinand's dismissal, he reacted furiously.

Booting the ball at towards the dug-out as the half-time whistle blew, Suarez had to be escorted down the tunnel by team-mates.

Once inside though, the whole thing exploded once more, with Evra apparently intent on confronting the Uruguayan, with players from both sides involved in a melee that required police intervention.

The Football Association will be wanting to know more about that but the spark suited United better judging by the way they began the second half.

When Jordan Henderson could only get the faintest of touches to Giggs' curling corner, it sent the ball straight to Rooney.

On his own at the far post, the England striker swept home a first-time shot.

The home fans barely had time to catch their breath before Rooney struck again.

This time, Liverpool only had themselves to blame as Jay Spearing surrendered possession to Valencia in a dangerous area.

Unselfishly, Valencia found Rooney immediately and the United man finished off his 17th Premier League goal of the season.

The whole complexion of the afternoon had changed.

After Michael Carrick had sent Suarez flying, Rooney was denied a hat-trick when he brilliant effort was ruled out for an earlier foul by Jonny Evans.

More good work from Valencia presented Rooney with another opportunity, which he spurned.

It triggered a double substitution from Kenny Dalglish, who introduced Andy Carroll and Craig Bellamy.

Then, after Danny Welbeck had scuffed a shot straight to Reina, Charlie Adam came on.

Suarez remained throughout, so was on hand to finish off after United's defence had got themselves in a tangle as they tried to clear Adam's free-kick and the ball bounced kindly off Ferdinand.

Welbeck would have eased a few nerves if he had not wasted a good chance on United's next attack.

However, after an excellent save from David de Gea to deny Johnson in stoppage time and Suarez missing from close range when he was offside anyway, the hosts held on to claim a valuable win, even if the hope of both clubs that the match should remembered for the football was sadly not met.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone