Results and reports from both Domestic and European football.
Saturday, 27 April 2013
Suarez goes from Villain to Hero to Deny Chelsea
Liverpool played host to Chelsea on an afternoon that saw the first return of fans favourite Rafa Benitez and the pre-match hype certainly lived up in a frantic 90 minutes.
Both sides started well but it was former Chelsea man Johnson who had a toe-poke which strayed wide and former Anfield hero Torres had a chance in the 11th minute but luckily Enrique's diving interception quelled the danger.
Chelsea then took a surprising lead in the 26th minute as Oscar rose from a corner to head past Reina and stun the Anfield faithful but the lead could have doubled within minutes after a trip on Hazard by Henderson led to a booking and Luiz belting the resulting free-kick at Reina which was spilled but soon recovered before an advantage could be taken.
Torres recieved a booking for a harsh elbow on former team-mate Carragher and Suarez fired a powerful shot at Cech in what was the last action of the half.
Liverpool's lack of attack saw the introduction of Sturridge but with a surprise exit with Coutinho leaving the field rather than Henderson who had a really poor first 45, Sturridge made an instant impact as 30 seconds in he found Gerrard who hit a in-swinging shot which was only denied by a good save by Cech.
Seconds later, Sturridge unleashed a shot from 25 yards only to see it ping back off the post but his luck was soon to change as in the 52nd minute, Suarez swung in a pinpoint cross that Sturridge met at the back post and sent past Cech to level the score and send the Kop wild.
The tide swung again four minutes later as a cross from the right side was hand-balled by Suarez and from the resulting penalty Hazard sent Reina the wrong way to regain the lead for his side at 2-1.
Minutes later, Suarez seemed to show his frustration as when Liverpool attacked he scuffled with Ivanovic and looked to have grabbed his arm and bit into it leading to the Chelsea defender going down and complaining to the referee but no action was taken but the TV cameras got a good look and it seems Suarez will face a witch-hunt after the game.
The battle between Torres and Carragher saw the latter barely touch his former team-mate but the Spaniard's theatrics saw a booking for Carragher who didn't hold back with his opinion on the decision to referee Friend.
Liverpool had a great chance to equalise via Shelvey but he dragged his shot wide and shock ensued at the announcement of six minutes of added time and at the end of which the inevitable happened as the villain of the afternoon Suarez popped up with a glancing header which beat Cech after being provided with the chance by Sturridge and meant the game finished level at 2-2.
Sadly the headlines of the game were focused on Suarez who admitted his crime and apologised but will face serious action mainly due to having being banned for the same offence while playing for Ajax and was banned for seven games.
As Liverpool only have four games left this season, it is doubtful that we will see Suarez grace the field again and may have to wait longer if he is banned for the start of next season.