Luis Suarez has been criticised after appearing to use his hand to control the ball before scoring what proved to be the decisive goal in Liverpool’s 2-1 FA Cup victory over non-league Mansfield Town, the
Mansfield’s chief executive, Carolyn Radford, claimed that Liverpool had “stolen” the victory while the team’s manager, Paul Cox, spoke with the match officials to enquire why the goal was allowed to stand and was told the use of the hand was not felt to be deliberate.
Cox however added: “What he did today was instinctive. I don’t want to be too critical. If the boot had been on the other foot, I would have accepted it.”
Alan Marriot, the Mansfield goalkeeper, said: “Suarez is laughing as he kicks the ball across the line. He knows what happened. Even Stewart Downing said to us he couldn’t believe professional officials missed that. When it turns out to be the decisive goal, it’s a sickener for everybody.”
Liverpool took a first-half lead through new signing Daniel Sturridge, who beat Marriot after being played in by midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. Suarez’s controversial goal came shortly before the hour mark to double Liverpool’s advantage, but 20 minutes later Matt Green pulled a goal back. Liverpool next meet League One side Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park after the Latics eliminated Championship outfit Nottingham Forest.
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