Gary Neville: linesman "bottled it" when denied Luis Suarez and Liverpool winner
Gary Neville says linesman "bottled it" when he denied Luis Suarez a late winner in the Merseyside derby.
Last Updated: 29/10/12 10:43am
The striker looked to have snatched a late winner for Liverpool when he poked the ball past Tim Howard after a flick on from Sebastian Coates in the dying moments of the game at Goodison Park. But the linesman wrongly raised his flag as Suarez wheeled away to celebrate.
The disallowed goal meant the derby finished 2-2 after Leon Osman and Steven Naismith wiped out Liverpool's early advantage through a Leighton Baines own goal and a Suarez strike.
And Neville, who dismissed suggestions that the flag was for a foul by Coates on Phil Jagielka, insisted Suarez's late strike had been wrongly ruled out.
"I think he panics and bottles it the linesman," he told Sky Sports' Super Sunday. "The linesman still didn't have his flag up when Suarez has turned away to start celebrating.
"You can see that Suarez is definitely not offside , the linesman is in line and in a great position. He just puts his hand up after Distin and Osman argue. I think he has bottled it. I think he panicked and bottled it."
Fellow pundit Graeme Souness agreed with Neville that Liverpool had been wrongly denied a victory at the home of their local rivals.
Souness said: "For me it is a goal. Suarez is not offside. Unless he gives a foul for Coates climbing all over Phil Jagielka, which he does not because the linesman's flag does not go up until very late."
Despite Everton enjoying much of the play at Goodison Park, Neville insisted Liverpool, who led 2-0 after 20 minutes, would be the more frustrated with the result.
"Liverpool will be the most disappointed at the end because of that (Suarez's disallowed goal) and they have given a 2-0 lead away," he said.
"They will be the most disappointed and Everton will be happy. 2-0 down against Liverpool and then having that in the last minute, they will think we will move on with the draw."