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Jan 12, 2013

Gerrard defends Suarez handball

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard insists he will celebrate if he scores a last-minute winner against Manchester United on Sunday, even if he knows it should be ruled out for handball.

• Blog: Suarez v Van Persie
• Blog: Reds eye Utd chase

Gerrard's team-mate Luis Suarez has been heavily criticised - and passionately defended - after using his hand in scoring the decisive goal last Sunday in a 2-1 FA Cup victory at non-league Mansfield.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has declared that Suarez did nothing wrong, insisting that it was up to the referee and his assistants to spot a handball and decide whether it was intentional. And Gerrard agrees, saying that he would not have owned up if he was in Suarez's situation.

He told the Independent: "I'm not going to lie and say I would run to the linesman or referee and say that I've handballed it at Old Trafford. What would Wayne Rooney do?"

Gerrard argues that Manchester United have previous for not owning up in the face of generous refereeing decisions - pointing to a goalless Premier League match against Tottenham at Old Trafford in January 2005, when keeper Roy Carroll fumbled a Pedro Mendes long-range shot into his own goal, but got away with it because the officials had not seen it cross the line.

The Liverpool captain said: "What did Roy Carroll do all those years ago when the ball was four yards over the line? I never saw Alex Ferguson or Roy Carroll run to the referee or linesman and say it was over the line, did you?

"That's football. These things happen. You don't go out to intentionally handball and I don't think Luis did it intentionally.

"I'm not saying it's right but have Mansfield never had a bit of luck or had a decision that maybe wasn't right go their way? A goal was maybe offside or a handball?

"Put it this way: I don't think as big a deal would have been made of it if it had been Daniel Sturridge."

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