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:


How can Man United qualify for last 16 of Champions League?

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC

Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]

So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:

  • A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
  • A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
  • A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B

[ MORE: Champions League schedule

There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.

VIDEO: Can Leicester stun the world? Man United title favorites?

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The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?

With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.

[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]

Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.

Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.

Men in Blazers podcast: The Leicester fairytale goes on

Men In Blazers - Sept. 22
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Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

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Pellegrini updates status of Joe Hart’s hamstring injury

Joe Hart, Manchester City FC
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.

Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).