Sometimes Luis Suarez swats ‘em in, sometimes Luis Suarez swats ‘em out


There’s a lot of ground to cover with the latest Luis Suarez brouhaha, so let’s get started:

The Liverpool striker has kicked up a real “cheat storm” with a goal in Sunday’s FA Cup win over tiny Mansfield Town from English soccer’s fifth tier. Yes, that’s fifth tier.

So Suarez’s goal today is being greeted with special indignation, for it shattered the dreams of a semi-professional team and scuttled the possibility of a ginormous upset, the very kind of giant-killing that we get periodically in FA Cup play – the type that makes so many people love this annual tournament.

Mansfield Town was very much in the match with storied Liverpool when Suarez doubled his team’s lead (to 2-0) in the second half, clearly using his right hand to propel the ball into the home team’s goal.

Mansfield Town chief executive Carolyn Radford put the cherry on this messy parfait one quite nicely: “It feels a bit like the result was stolen from us. Whether it was deliberate or not, it should be sorted out. It is very unfortunate that the referees and officials can’t pick up these things.”

Adding accelerant to the latest Suarez handball fire were two penalty appeals denied to Mansfield Town. So, final count of officiating controversy broke down like this: three important handball decisions inside the penalty areas, three decisions that went the way of the (far, far) bigger club. You can see why that’s going to raise a stink.

Suarez didn’t help matters by kissing his right wrist following the goal. This is something Suarez does regularly … but he probably would have been wise to skip this part of his celebratory routine for this  one, eh?

Finally, there’s Suarez’s history of handball shenanigan.

During World Cup 2010 in South Africa, playing for Uruguay, Suarez intentionally used his hand to prevent a late Ghanaian goal during extra time of a quarterfinal. He was ejected, but it proved to be the “right” choice, for Ghana missed the ensuing penalty kick and was eliminated during a subsequent penalty kick tiebreaker.

Here’s the goal in question from Sunday:


Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

Mourinho “working like never before” to turn Chelsea around

Jose Mourinho, Chelsea FC
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Jose Mourinho got the dreaded much-needed vote of confidence from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich last weekend, seemingly giving the Portuguese manager a temporary stay of execution despite the Blues’ worst start to a season in 37 years.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Speaking this week, Mourinho has revealed that while he’s thankful to have been kept on at the club for which he regularly professes his love, he still thinks it was no-brainer for Abramovich. In other words, Mourinho’s not backing down from his incredible, seven-minute rant to one question following Saturday’s defeat to Southampton.

Mourinho, on what he’s doing to turn Chelsea around — quotes from the Guardian:

“It shows the confidence of Abramovich in the manager who has won three Premier League titles with this club. I thank him and I keep working.

“What’s going on? I do not know. The results with Chelsea at the moment have been really bad. I cannot hide that reality, and I don’t want to. And I struggle to find an explanation. But I assure you: I’m working like never before and we will come out of this. And there is also the Champions League that we will not neglect, for certain.”

What did you expect from Mourinho? Well, you know, I should probably be fired, but thanks to Mr. Abramovich for not realizing this and keeping me employed? It’s simultaneously interesting and the least surprising thing ever, though, that Mourinho claims to not know what’s wrong with Chelsea at the moment. Of course he has a theory (or five), and of course he’s “working like never before” to correct it.

[ MORE: Ozil, Coquelin say Arsenal can win the title this season ]

The most fascinating thing about Chelsea’s sluggish start to the season is to see, hear and read Mourinho speaking from a position of powerlessness. Always the clever one, the one dictating where the discussion goes, the one in charge of every press interaction, Saturday’s rant felt like watching a desperate Mourinho grasping for anything by which to pull himself back up.