The highly-discussed incident which happened just after the half-time interval has divided opinion amongst supporters, managers, observers and pundits alike. Did Luis Suarez dive? What even constitutes a dive nowadays?
There is no hiding the fact that the British public in general are against the idea of diving – most notably when Manchester United fans criticised the way in which Ashley Young regularly found himself falling over that standing foot. Yet in other parts of the world, especially in Luis Suarez’s South America, gaining an advantage by conning the referee is sometimes looked upon as a performing art.
The particular incident at Anfield has attracted far more attention than usual, as it involved controversial figure Luis Suarez. Just after the hour mark, Steven Gerrard played a fine diagonal ball to his Uruguayan team-mate and the prolific striker touched the ball away from goal, before being sent to the deck by Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Aston Villa were adamant that no contact had been made – especially as Guzan seemingly pulled his arms out of the challenge. However, a spot kick was given, a decision which Paul Lambert felt was incorrect as he expressed his thoughts in his post-match comments.
"Their goal gave them a lifeline going into half-time. I am not so sure about the penalty, I think Brad Guzan has pulled his arms away. I don't think it is a penalty. With the magnitude of the game you have to be 100% sure, Brad's arms have been pulled away".
Gerrard coolly dispatched the resulting penalty, and the game finished 2-2. Who knows how the game would have panned out had the penalty not been given, but the incident itself has made all the headlines - with former Reds striker Stan Collymore on Twitter immovable on his thoughts that Luis Suarez took a dive.
Some pundits are hiding behind the fact they dived themselves so would look silly calling it out now. @talkSPORT ON AIR "Diving is diving".— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) enero 18, 2014
Abd the fact some very well respected ex pros genuinely believe diving/cheating is justifiable says more about the game in 2014 than me.— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) enero 18, 2014
The stick is fine, white noise. Truth is if Young did what Suarez did at Kop end tonight, I'd say(and have) the same thing.— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) enero 19, 2014
People used to laugh at divers for what it was. Softness. Now it's the emperors new clothes of footie! No contact? Stonewaller! Cheating!— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) enero 19, 2014
Since when should the 70% of MOTD viewers who thought it was a dive not have their say! Are they all wrong too?— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) enero 19, 2014
Only in messed up footie rulebook of 2014 could someone with astraight face blame a GK for coming off his line and breathing on a striker.— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) enero 19, 2014