Suarez sparks 'cheat' goal row after handling in Liverpool's defeat to Wigan
22:00 GMT, 24 March 2012
Luis Suarez was at the centre of a cheating storm on Saturday night as Liverpool slumped to defeat by relegation-threatened Wigan at Anfield.
The controversial Uruguayan handled the ball over the line in the 53rd minute and celebrated as though he thought his effort was legitimate.
High hopes: Suarez rises to bundle the ball home
Referee Lee Mason booked him instead,
ruling out a score that would have put Liverpool 2-1 ahead, after an
earlier Suarez goal had cancelled out a spot-kick opener from Shaun
But Wigan were able to ease their relegation fears with a dramatic winner from captain Gary Caldwell.
Unaware: Suarez celebrates as Lee Mason blows his whistle
Baffled: Suarez pleads his innocence
There were boos from some parts of
the Anfield crowd towards their own team at the end and home boss Kenny
Dalglish said bitterly: ‘If that was hand-ball I must have been watching
a different telly.
shouldn’t have been chalked off. I think it hit his shoulder as he
tried to play it. And to be booked as well It wasn’t justified, he was
jumping for the ball.’
But Wigan manager Roberto Martinez disagreed. ‘I’ve seen the replay and it’s a clear hand-ball,’ said the Spaniard. ‘We all know Suarez is an artist at getting free-kicks and good situations for himself. Lee Mason was very strong… and he had to be.
‘I have had so many bad decisions this season I’ve always kept my mouth shut and today I will only concentrate and enjoy our victory.’
Dalglish suggested the defeat was ‘the price of success’ in the cups, an analysis which may not please his American bosses, who have said that the lucrative prize of Champions League qualification was their main goal this season.
In their worst run since January 2005, Liverpool have now won just one of their past seven Premier League games and only one of their past five at Anfield. Last month’s Carling Cup winners have picked up just eight points from their past 11 League games.
Humiliated: Liverpool lost at home again
Dalglish blamed burnout for the latest poor home performance. Indeed, Liverpool have won only twice at Anfield in the League this year.
‘If you play Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday it’s going to take its toll,’ claimed Dalglish.
‘Whether that’s the price you have to
pay for success or a demanding TV schedule, I don’t know. We’re
disappointed because a lot of the final balls in good positions we
didn’t deliver. Put that down to tiredness.’