Neville defends 'clever' Suarez

Gary Neville has defended Luis Suarez over accusations he dived to win a penalty against Aston Villa, insisting it was "clever" play.

Last Updated: 21/01/14 at 10:00 Post Comment

Luis Suarez: Was 'clever' to go down, says Neville

Luis Suarez: Was 'clever' to go down, says Neville

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Uruguayan went down under a challenge from Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan in Liverpool's 2-2 draw at Anfield on Saturday to earn the spot kick that led to the home side's equalising goal.

TV replays suggested there was minimal contact between the two players, but Neville said Guzan touched Suarez and criticised the American for a rash piece of goalkeeping.

And he said Suarez simply did what every professional footballer is expected to do in that situation.

"Every single weekend it becomes a point of national debate when a striker goes down in the box," he told Monday Night Football.

"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 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."

Former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore took to Twitter to accuse Suarez of diving, describing the decision as "embarrassing" and suggesting that physical football has been "killed by cheats and divers".

However, Neville believes all professional players have tried to earn an advantage by foul means during their careers.

"I can understand the public want a clean game and they don't like it," he added.

"But I can't believe ex professionals come out and suggest that they are offended by this. Every professional football player has tried to win an advantage or win a foul or go to ground easily during their career at some point.

"I guarantee you, absolutely."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

o credit to Brendan for playing an innovative 'False No.1' for the first half of the season?

balls-to-monty
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

I

ve been really impressed by Adrian when I've seen West Ham matches. Really good keeper and has earnt the 'Ammers many a point this season. Wouldn't swap Lloris for anyone either, he's currently far too good for us.

dryice
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

H

ow is Mignolet, most PL clean sheets this season, not a part of this list? Ridiculous!

mahzaib aziz
Football365's Top Ten PL Goalkeepers

Footer 365

PSG chief: Edinson Cavani not for sale

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi says he would not even look at a £35m offer from Manchester United for Edinson Cavani.

Everton and West Ham target Claudio Beauvue to leave Guingamp

Guingamp striker Claudio Beauvue has announced he will leave the club this summer, with Everton and West Ham reportedly interested.

Jose Mourinho defends Chelsea record

Jose Mourinho has questioned those who value style over substance after Chelsea were branded "boring".

Mail Box

Mourinho A 'Motivator Of Idiots'

The Mailbox asks whether Jose Mourinho is really that special or is he just 'a motivator of idiots?' And strikers don't come through at top clubs...apparently.

Mail From Fan Who Craves Relegation...

In this case it's a Sunderland fan who just wants to see a clear-out. We also have mails about Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton. It's long and it's sexy...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company