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Five Aside

Ayre: Reds not embarrassed by Suarez

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has branded a claim that he was embarrassed by Luis Suarez's controversial goal during Sunday's FA Cup victory at Mansfield as "nonsense".

• Blog: Suarez unfairly plays villain

Suarez was heavily criticised by Mansfield chairman John Radford after the striker handled the ball before scoring what turned out to be the decisive goal in a 2-1 win.

Radford accused the Uruguayan of gloating after the goal and claimed that Liverpool's directors felt embarrassed but Ayre has dismissed those claims and launched a defence of Suarez.

"It's nonsense to say that I was embarrassed," he told the Liverpool Echo. "I spoke to their chairman after the game and we shook hands. I thanked him for their hospitality and wished them all the best of luck for the rest of the season.

"He said that our second goal was a clear handball. I said the referee didn't think it was deliberate and had given the goal and we move on.

"I certainly didn't give him any indication that I was embarrassed. I was the only director there, so I don't know who he is referring to.

"I was surprised when I read his comments because Mansfield's manager and players showed a lot of dignity after the game. They spoke sense when they said these things happen in football all the time.

"It was a great game and a great occasion. Mansfield conducted themselves fantastically well both on and off the pitch.

"It's just disappointing that the chairman has made these comments. He's hurting at being knocked out - you can't blame him for that - but it's wrong to say that Luis kissing his wrist was in some way gloating over the handball. Luis does the same thing after every goal."

• Pick your Premier League fantasy squad for the second half of the season now and challenge your friends.


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