Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea – Suarez Displays Genius with Flashes of Madness

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

Sunday started out with the focus on the passing of Hillsborough Justice campaigner Anne Williams and former Liverpool and current Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez returning to Anfield. Little did the football world know that the focus would change dramatically and once again involve Luis Suarez.

The first half could be easily forgotten. Most notable was the first goal of the game from Chelsea’s Oscar. A fine header from a header at the Kop end. Liverpool failed to track the tiny Brazilian and also failed to keep a man on the near post. Schoolboy defending from set pieces for most of the season has seen Liverpool become suspect from dead ball situations.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

The second half of Sundays game was anything but dull. Daniel Sturridge replaced a bright Philippe Coutinho. It was Sturridge who lit the fuse to a storming start to the second half. The former blue instantaneously played in Steven Gerrard who was denied by Petr Cech. Sturridge then smashed an effort from 20 yards out off Cechs left hand post at the Kop end. Liverpool’s equalizer came seven minutes into the second half and it was an exquisite move involving Stewart Downing, Luis Suarez and finished off by Sturridge. Suarez’s deft chip to find Sturridge in behind Stanislav Ivanovic was world class.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Suarez was once again in the thick of the action, this time at the wrong end. The Uruguayan handled a Chelsea corner as Fernando Torres threatened and referee Kevin Friend pointed to the spot. Eden Hazard converted the penalty and put Chelsea back in the ascendency.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Sturridge continued to pose a threat up front. Luis Suarez was later dispossessed by Ivanovic in the box, the Liverpool striker then appeared to bite the Chelsea defender. Kevin Friend spoke to both players and decided against any action.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

With the six minutes of injury time fizzling out, Sturridge collected Suarez’s flick and then found his fellow strike partner with an inch perfect cross. Suarez’s header gave Cech no chance and the Kop erupted. It was only fitting in the scheme of things that Suarez scored. Thoroughly involved all day for both the wrong and the right reasons.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Liverpool FC moved fast Sunday evening to issue statements condemning Suarez’s actions and the player himself apologized to Ivanovic and also issued a statement. The media frenzy will now ensue starting on Monday and the Football Association will decide whether the player faces a prolonged time on the sidelines. It is likely that given his track record, Luis Suarez will once again face the wrath of the FA.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Biting is an act that falls into the same category as spitting and is inexcusable. Liverpool have a world class player on their books. Luis Suarez would walk onto the starting eleven of any of the top four teams in any country in Europe. Easily. That’s how good the Uruguayan is. He is a football genius. With genius you sometimes have to take the good with the bad. As the Oscar Levant quote goes, “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity”. While Suarez is far from insane, he is liable to take his frustrations out in a fashion that is unacceptable. I thoroughly reject the claims to sell the charismatic striker and see this as an over reaction. Suarez needs to curb the actions that force him to miss lengthy periods of playing time. Liverpool FC, John Henry and Brendan Rodgers must also recognize that with a world class talent, you must sometimes put up with the odd act of madness.

Match Statistics

Liverpool                                     Chelsea

Possession                         50%                                              50%

Shots                                   23                                                  9

Shots on Target                   12                                                  6

Corners                                8                                                   5

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina – 6
  • 02 Johnson – 6
  • 03 Jose Enrique – 6
  • 05 Agger – 6
  • 23 Carragher – 7 (Booked)
  • 08 Gerrard – 7
  • 10 Phillippe Coutinho – 7 (Sturridge – 46′ ) – 9
  • 14 Henderson – 4 (Booked)
  • 19 Downing – 6 (Shelvey – 80′ Booked )
  • 21 Lucas Booked
  • 07 Suarez Booked

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 16 Coates
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 35 Coady
  • 11 Assaidi
  • 15 Sturridge

Chelsea

  • 01 Cech – 6
  • 02 Ivanovic – 7
  • 04 David Luiz – 6
  • 28 Azpilicueta – 5 (Booked)
  • 34 Bertrand – 5
  • 07 Ramires – 6
  • 10 Mata – 8 (Lampard – 90′ )
  • 11 Oscar – 7 (Moses – 83′ )
  • 12 Mikel – 6
  • 17 Hazard – 7 (Benayoun – 78′ )
  • 09 Torres  – 4 Booked

Substitutes

  • 22 Turnbull
  • 19 Ferreira
  • 26 Terry
  • 08 Lampard
  • 13 Moses
  • 30 Benayoun
  • 29 Ba
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One thought on “Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea – Suarez Displays Genius with Flashes of Madness

  1. Yes a very enjoyable and frustrating game. Liverpool deserved to win, of that there is no doubt. The game was frustrating in that we again saw the dark side of Luis Suarez. I agree entirely with Jonathan that there is no way Liverpool should consider selling him. How long would the queue be to buy him.

    I was talking to a Spurs pal of mine who said that Suarez was a liability, he was a disgrace etc. I asked him, judging him on his ability only and not on the possibility, and I stress possibility, not a liklihood that he might have another Hannibal Lectar moment, would you like it if Spurs signed him this summer. He said he would be happy if Spurs signed him. Fans of other clubs only “hate” or “despise” him as they say because he worries them. He is a threat to all other clubs in the Premiership. It is so much easier for rival fans to take out their anger towards him when he crosses the line because deep down they fear him.

    I asked the same Spurs fan if he would have the same venom towards say Joe Allen or Jordan Henderson for instance. He said probably not. It is so clear why rival fans are saying “sell him” because they want him at their clubs and not for Liverpool to have him.

    An Everton pal of mine was turning on the Suarez-hate tap as well and said that Liverpool would be daft to keep him. When I said that I think he will stay and that the punishment was very harsh (Defoe only a yellow for biting Mascherano – oh yea, Defoe plays for a London club and England doesn’t he!!), he disagreed but ending the discussion that he was only glad that he won’t be playing against Everton in the Derby. To me one question we should be asking is would we rather have a fully committed, passionate Suarez, warts and all, or someone like Torres, who doesn’t seem to try a leg anymore. He clearly doesn’t want to be at Chelsea does he. (Jonathan, how did you give Torres as a high a mark as 4?)

    Here’s more of what I think of the Suarez ban http://www.fieldsofanfieldroad.com/blog/luis-suarez-10-game-ban-fair-or-not

    On the game itself, Sturridge was brilliant when he came on. He caused all sorts of problems for Chelsea and it is so evident that he and Suarez have such a good understanding with each other. Another reason not to sell Suarez. Would Sturridge manage to strike a better, or as good as, understanding with another striker so quickly.

    Henderson looked out of it though in the first half as he kept giving the ball away. The whole back four looked so vulnerable again at every set piece. Every Chelsea corner was nearly as good as a penalty.

    It’s been said so many times before we need a commanding centre-half and a commanding keeper. We also need a strong ball-winner in midfield. Diame at West Ham has been mentioned but I also like the look of Victor Wanyama of Celtic. He’s 21, 6ft, 2inches tall and an absolute powerhouse. A bit of a young Michael Essien really. He ticks the boxes for the owners in terms of age and probably in terms of value as he would probably would not cost as much as Diame.

    Although we will not see Suarez again this season I fully expect to see him at Anfield still next season. The remaining 4 games are sort of acedemic in a way as Europe (Europa Cup) seems a distant possibility even. We have a good record without Suarez playing so we shouldn’t feel that we can’t play without him. We should aim to finish the season with a bang and maybe think about playing some of the youngsters a bit more in the last few games. Happy Birthday to Martin Kelly by the way.

    Like

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