Luis Suarez
Manchester United's Evra reacts after Liverpool's Suarez ignored his handshake before their English Premier League match in Manchester. REUTERS

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has reignited the Suarez-Evra race row after he accused the Manchester United captain of instigating the handshake controversy between the two players at Old Trafford last month.

Luis Suarez refused to shake Patrice Evra's hand before a Premier League match between the two sides at Old Trafford in February.

The Liverpool striker served an eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra in the corresponding fixture at Anfield earlier in the season.

Suarez later apologied for his handshake snub but Johnson has subsequently accused the Manchester United defender of manufacturing the incident between the pair.

''Evra was clever at Old Trafford. Luis didn't shake his hand because Evra's hand was down there," the Liverpool defender told the Daily Mail. "What else is Luis supposed to do? Would you go to shake someone's hand if their hand is way down there by their side? Course not.

''But then, because Luis didn't do it, Evra has pulled him back by his arm as he walked on, as if to say to everybody: 'Look, I wanted to shake his hand and he didn't...'

''Evra probably stayed up all night thinking about how to do that. The whole thing was ridiculous.''

Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel insists the club have not abandoned hope of securing Champions League qualification this season.

The Reds fell further behind in the race for fourth place following a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at the weekend.

Kenny Dalglish's side are now 10 points off fourth with just 12 games remaining but Skrtel remains adamant that the task is not insurmountable.

"Now there is a gap between us and fourth place, but the season is not finished yet," the Liverpool defender is quoted in the Daily Post.

"We still have a chance and we'll fight until the end.

"We start on Saturday against Sunderland, which is a very important game for us. We'll just go from game to game and try to get as many points as we can, and I hope we can reach our target."