Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was quite sure about several things Saturday following his team’s well-earned 2-2 draw at Liverpool.
He was sure his team had been outstanding in holding the Premier League contenders to a draw, doing so at fabled Anfield, no less. and was absolutely certain he had seen some big performances from his men that day.
But when it came to the question of Luis Suarez’s integrity – My, oh my, haven’t we all been here before? – Lambert wasn’t quite so fast to deliver the hardball opinion on Liverpool’s habitually notorious striker. Lambert worked his way around the edges rather than biting right into the gooey center when asked about Saturday’s controversial, highly impactful penalty kick.
Liverpool’s second-half equalizer (Villa had taken a surprise 2-0 lead) came when Suarez crumbled beneath a Brad Guzan challenge. Replays showed minimal contact between Guzan, the U.S. international, and the high-scoring Uruguayan.
Lambert, a politician in the making, apparently, said a lot without actually saying it. What Lambert said in the post-game news conference:
I think Guzan pulled his arms away, I don’t think he … listen, it’s hard for the referee to judge it. But I’ve just seen the tape, and Brad has pulled his arms away.
So, does that mean Lambert believes Suarez took a deceptive spill?
I’ll let you say that … but my view is that he’s pulled his arms away.