Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan feels Luis Suarez was “clever” to earn Liverpool a penalty during Saturday’s 2-2 draw but stopped short of calling the striker a diver.
Steven Gerrard rescued a point for Liverpool from the penalty spot after Suarez had gone down in the area despite there appearing to be little contact when Guzan came out to challenge the Uruguayan.
Asked whether he felt Suarez had dived, Guzan told the ESPN FC television show: “I don’t know if it’s fair to say it’s a dive or it’s not a dive, but, you know, do I think it’s a soft decision? Yes.”
He added: “Obviously he’s a clever player and he’s taken it [the ball] away, but then the question becomes ‘Could he do more to stay up?’ -- you can start asking all sorts of different questions.
“That’s football. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, you know, that’s the game and you have to get on with it.”
After the match, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers had said he thought Guzan’s body had made contact with Suarez, but the American did not believe he had.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I mean obviously I’ve seen it back a few thousand times now. I don’t know. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of different angles. It’s a difficult one. I think you could probably go either way. If there is contact, it’s very, very minimal.”
Former England striker Alan Shearer, working as a pundit on BBC television programme Match of the Day, argued that Guzan was at fault for the penalty.
Shearer said: “If the keeper's going to be that stupid to come running out at that pace when he can't control himself, he's asking for trouble. Suarez can't be expected to jump over him just because he's come running out at his feet.”
When that criticism was put to Guzan, the goalkeeper said: “Obviously you get judged on your decisions and unfortunately for me I think I was half a step too late. He gets a clever little touch in before I get there which takes the ball out of the play and I think he’s half anticipating the contact from myself onto his leg or his ankle or whatever and he’s ready to go down.
“So, from a striker’s point of view, he’s probably going to go down more times than not and hope for the call.”