Luiz Suarez salvaged a last-gasp point for Liverpool in an entertaining draw with Chelsea at Anfield three years ago today, but the Uruguayan was remembered for all the wrong reasons after a moment of madness.
Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea
Rafa Benitez had his return to Anfield spoiled by Suarez’s 90th minute header as Chelsea failed to get the win they needed to keep their title hopes alive.
The visitors took a 26th minute lead through Oscar, who punished the Redmen for slack marking as he headed home a Juan Mata corner that snuck inside Pepe Reina’s near post.
Liverpool drew level in the 52nd minute of the match, however, when Daniel Sturridge capped a flowing move, poking home at the far post. Suarez then gifted Chelsea the chance to retake the lead as he handled a corner, allowing Eden Hazard to step up and give the Blues the lead once again.
The afternoon became more controversial when Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovic, as described by the BBC match report of the game.
“The misdemeanour took place following his handball from a corner as his frustrations at conceding a spot-kick seemed to get the better of him. It is not the first time he has committed such an offence: he was banned for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal’s shoulder while Ajax captain in 2010.
“Referee Kevin Friend did not seem to see the incident but spoke to both players after they clashed, with Ivanovic trying to show the official a mark on his upper arm.”
That was not to be the end of the drama, though, as Liverpool’s number seven popped up again to nod home Sturridge’s cross in the seventh minute of six added at the end of the game.
The current Barcelona player had already been given a seven-match ban during his time at Ajax for a similar biting incident involving PSV Eindhoven player Otman Bakkal, and of course famously went on to nearly take a chunk out of Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Enrique, Gerrard, Lucas, Downing, Henderson, Coutinho, Suarez. Subs: Jones, Assaidi, Sturridge, Coates, Shelvey, Coady, Skrtel.
Goals: Sturridge 52′, Suarez 90+7
Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Bertrand, Ramires, Mikel, Mata, Oscar, Hazard, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Lampard, Moses, Ferreira, Terry, Ba, Benayoun.
Goals: Oscar 26, Hazard 57 (pen)
What they said
Luiz Suarez has since been asked about the incident many times, but he snapped when asked by the Guardian in 2014.
“They have asked me about the bite 38,000 times. Never again. This is the last one of them (interviews).
“Everyone has different ways of defending themselves. In my case, the pressure and tension came out in that way. Other players react by breaking someone’s leg, or smashing someone’s nose across their face. I understand why biting is seen so badly.”
Ivanovic did admit the month after the game that while the bite may have left a mark on his skin, it certainly hadn’t left a mark on him moving forward.
“When it happened I was really surprised and, of course, in shock,” Ivanovic told Vecernje Novosti. “But, when the match it ended, it all cooled down. I almost forgot about everything.
“The next day we talked on the phone and I accepted his apology. I didn’t attack him for what he had done, but I also didn’t defend him.
“But I forgive him. For me that can happen. But I really don’t care too much.”