Manchester United defeated Liverpool 2-1 on the pitch Saturday, but the pregame handshake line proved to be nearly as interesting a subtext, as Luis Suarez refused to shake the hand of United captain Patrice Evra and a brief shoving match ensued.
Suarez, a 25-year-old striker for Liverpool, who had been suspended recently by the FA for eight games on charges of "racially abusing" Evra, refused to shake hands with Evra during the pregame routine, ignoring and bypassing the 30-year-old Frenchman and focusing instead on the next player in line, goalkeeper David De Gea.
Evra was noticeably upset and responded by gesturing in a frustrated fashion. His teammates, De Gea and Rio Ferdinand, offered the Uruguayan a small grab and shove as he passed by.
On the field, the match was a heated one. Several players scuffled briefly in the tunnel during halftime, and Evra overtly celebrated in front of Suarez after the Red Devils’ victory.
But during the postgame interviews, United manager Alex Ferguson expressed his disdain for the behavior of Suarez.
"I could not believe it,” he told the Daily Mirror. “I just could not believe it.
"He's a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club, that certain player should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again.
"The history that club's got and he does that and in a situation like today could have caused a riot.
"I was really disappointed in that guy, it was terrible what he did."
Check out video of Ferguson’s interview here, courtesy of the BBC.
Saturday’s fireworks come almost four months after the original Liverpool-Manchester United clash in October, during which Suarez reportedly used a racially insensitive and insulting term to refer to Evra.