Suarez snub 'unwise'
Gary Neville says Liverpool's Luis Suarez was unwise not to shake the hand of Man Utd's Patrice Evra.
Last Updated: 11/02/12 9:00pm
Liverpool's Luis Suarez did not help himself or his club when he avoided shaking the hand of Manchester United's Patrice Evra ahead of the Premier League clash at Old Trafford, according to Gary Neville.
Suarez - making his first start for the Reds since he was banned for racially abusing Evra - got on the scoresheet but could not prevent Liverpool suffering a 2-1 loss to United, after Wayne Rooney struck twice early on in the second half for the hosts.
However it was Suarez's actions before kick-off that stirred up fresh controversy as he snubbed United defender Evra as the teams shook hands before kick-off.
Evra reacted angrily, grabbing Suarez's arm, while further down the line Rio Ferdinand refused to take Suarez's hand. Neville admitted that he was "surprised" by Suarez's actions.
"Obviously it's quite clear that Luis Suarez has completely blanked Patrice Evra," he told Sky Sports.
"I'm not sure it's the wisest thing for him to do. I'm not sure that he has helped his football club. I think that Kenny Dalglish is now put in a position after the game where he has to defend him again."
Ferdinand was injured just 21 seconds into the game when he collided with Evra, who was attempting to tackle Suarez. Passions again boiled over in the tunnel at the break after Suarez felt Ferdinand should have been punished for tackle in the final minutes of half-time.
According to former United defender Neville, that desire and emotion is exactly what makes English football so exciting.
"They don't like each other. I don't have a problem with that. I don't have a problem with what goes on in the tunnel.
"The Arsenal-Man Utd incidents, the Liverpool-Man Utd incidents - it's what makes it the best league in the world. We want this sort of confrontation and aggression in a football match and passion.
"The racism issue we don't want but in terms of the fire and the passion and the tackling and people not liking each other - I don't have a problem with all that. It's more important that you win the game."
Studio guest and United midfielder Darren Fletcher, who is out of the game while he recovers from an inflammatory bowel condition, said Evra had "come out and been the bigger man" by trying to shake Suarez's hand.
However Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp questioned whether the situation should have been allowed to develop in the first place.
"I don't know why they have the handshake; this was always going to happen today," he said. "They should have just taken the handshake out of the equation.
"I could tell before the game - more people were talking about will they, won't they? They should have just taken it out of the equation and get on with the football match because everybody is now going to be talking about this. He [Suarez] obviously didn't want to shake his hand.
"Patrice also had an opportunity at the end to keep the high moral ground, if you like, but he decided to incite Luis Suarez at the end and I don't think that was very helpful to the whole thing.
"Obviously he was very excited but he didn't need to do that; I don't think that was the sharpest thing he has ever done in his life either."