Brendan Rodgers defends Suarez

Luis Suarez - LiverpoolLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has leapt to the defence of Luis Suarez, following his side’s 2-1 FA Cup victory against Mansfield.

The Uruguayan netted the Reds’ second goal of the game after appearing to have handled the ball to round goalkeeper Alan Marriott.

Referee Andre Marriner allowed the strike, leading to protests from the home side.

After the game Rodgers defended his talismanic forward, claiming that the blame should be laid on the officials:

“It’s not deliberate, as it’s pushed up and hit his hand. It’s up to the officials to decide that.” He told Sky Sports.

“That’s why they get paid as officials and I thought Andre Marriner was brilliant today.

“Maybe when you lose the game you look back on it and think it was unfortunate.

“We missed many more chances to put the game to bed but we got a wee bit of luck there, so it’s something we’ll take and move on.”

The Northern Irishman went on to state that there was no intention from Suarez and that his team were a little lucky to get the decision:

“I’ve just seen it again and there’s no doubt it was handball, but the referee and the officials ruled it wasn’t deliberate,

“I spoke to the fourth official when it was given because I couldn’t see and he said it was (handball), so I can only assume they thought it wasn’t deliberate.

“Obviously it was unfortunate for Mansfield and lucky for us that we got the goal, but it was a really professional performance from us.”

New signing Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring early on before Suarez, who replaced the former Chelsea man, netted the second.

Mansfield’s Matt Green pulled one back late on, but the Stags were unable to complete a comeback.

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