LONDON (AP) — Luis Suarez was involved in a new hand ball controversy Sunday when he scored the decisive goal for Liverpool in a 2-1 victory that ousted non-league club Mansfield from the third round of the FA Cup.
Daniel Sturridge, making his Liverpool debut following his transfer from Chelsea, put the visitors ahead in the seventh minute and Suarez extended the lead in the 59th by bringing the ball down with a hand before kicking it into the net.
Despite Suarez looking uncomfortable after scoring, appearing to expect the goal to be ruled out by referee Andre Marriner, the goal stood. Matt Green scored for Mansfield in the 79th,
"There's no doubt it was hand ball, but the referee and the officials ruled it wasn't deliberate," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. "I spoke to the fourth official when it was given because I couldn't see and he said it was (a hand ball), so I can only assume they thought it wasn't deliberate."
Rodgers said it wasn't up to Suarez to ask the referee to rule his goal out.
"It's up to the officials to decide that," Rodgers said. "That's why they get paid as officials."
The goal revived memories of the incident at the 2010 World Cup, when Suarez deliberately handled on the goal line to block Ghana from scoring and was ejected. Ghana missed the penalty kick, sparking celebrations by Suarez on the sideline, and Uruguay advanced to the semifinals.
While the Ghanaians were furious with Suarez, Mansfield was more accepting.
"I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt and say it's a reaction," manager Paul Cox said, adding: "If it had gone in the other end and one of our players had done it I think we'd have accepted it."
In Sunday's other FA Cup game, Arsenal wasted a lead in a 2-2 tie against Premier League rival Swansea.
Michu put the hosts ahead in the 58th, one minute after entering the match. Goals by Lukas Podolski in the 81st and Kieran Gibbs in the 83rd built a 2-1 lead for the Gunners, but Danny Graham scored in the 87th to force a replay in London.
In the fourth round, Swansea or Arsenal will play at Brighton, the second-tier team that upset Newcastle on Saturday. Liverpool is at third-tier Oldham.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova returned to the sideline after missing just one game following surgery Dec. 20 to remove a tumor from a saliva gland, and his team routed crosstown rival Espanyol 4-0 in the Spanish league.
Lionel Messi, expected to win a record fourth straight FIFA Player of the Year award on Monday, converted a penalty kick in the 29th minute to give Barcelona a four-goal lead, his 27th league goal of the season and 36th overall. Messi has scored in eight straight league games.
Xavi Hernandez put the hosts ahead in the 10th minute and Pedro Rodriguez added goals in the 15th and 27th.
Barcelona (17-0-1) opened an 11-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid (13-3-2), which allowed Kevin Garcia's tying goal in the 87th minute in a 1-1 tie at Mallorca.