Liverpool FC striker Luis Suarez has received support from former Manchester United defender Gary Neville and former referee Dermot Gallagher amidst fresh allegations of diving.
There has been a lot of hue and cry over penalty awarded to Liverpool in their match against Aston Villa as Luis Suarez has once again grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons. Of course one has to ask whether there would have been such a furore over this incident had any other player would have been involved in it. Either way, that penalty did prove to be decisive as Steven Gerrard converted from the spot and it saved Liverpool from the blushes of a defeat at home against Aston Villa.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan rushed off his line as Suarez was set free inside the box, but the American missed the ball and Suarez went to the ground. Referee Jonathan Moss awarded a penalty to Liverpool amidst protest from the Aston Villa player, and provided the much needed equalizer for the home side. But Suarez has received a lot of criticism once again in the media for this incident and allegations of diving have been brought up once again. Suarez, who has been in sensational form this season and has already scored 22 goals in the league, has been awarded seven penalties this season (most by any player).
But Suarez has found support from former Manchester United defender and TV pundit Gary Neville, who insists that the incident cannot be levelled as a dive and that the Uruguyan international was simply being “clever”. In fact Neville went on the state that it was the goalkeeper who was at fault for the penalty.
“Every single weekend it becomes a point of national debate when a striker goes down in the box.
“For me, the goalkeeper makes a really poor decision and 100 times out of 100, if a ‘keeper comes flying out at a forward like that then you will end up with a penalty.
“I don’t know what Guzan was playing at and I think that when he was sat at home yesterday he’d be reflecting that he’d do something completely different next time.
“A lot of people are offended by the potential that Luis Suarez has dived. If I was in an Aston Villa shirt, I’d be disappointed in my goalkeeper and if I was a Liverpool player I’d actually be disappointed if my player didn’t go down in that position when a goalkeeper comes flying out. That’s a professional point of view.
“We’re asking the question: is it a penalty or is it a dive? The answer is yes, it is a penalty because the knee of Guzan has gone into Suarez’s ankle.
“Does he dive? If you watch Suarez’s left leg he throws himself to the ground, wins the penalty and plays for it. I’d call it clever as a professional.
“People at home are offended by the fact that players can win penalties, but I’d call that terrible goalkeeping. Luis Suarez has done what I’d want a team-mate of mine to do in that position.
“People may not like hearing that, but that’s a fact.” – Neville said in Monday Night Football.
Suarez has also received the back of former referee Dermot Gallagher, who is certain that it wasn’t a dive.
“I think if the goalkeeper goes to the ground like he did he has to get the ball but he does not – and instead collides with Suarez it is a penalty.
“It is not a dive, 100% not a dive.
“But he has gone to the ground to win the ball; there is no doubt about that.” – Gallagher said.