Chelsea came into the 2012/13 season on the back of a phenomenal night 11 months prior to this date, when they defeated Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final in their own backyard in Germany.
Despite the heroics of Didier Drogba’s winning penalty, the time since has declined on the pitch. After Roberto Di Matteo was sacked after a 0-3 Juventus defeat in the Champions League, ironically, Rafa Benitez took the helm at Stamford Bridge, which would later cause a huge media story between his new and his former club, Liverpool.
After a 1-1 draw back in November with the Merseyside club which saw Luis Suarez salvage a point in West London, Chelsea headed up north on this day seven years ago.
Despite the routine Premier League game, it was another headline that dominated the fixture at Anfield.
Another Anfield Blockbuster
After yet another draw between the two sides, the 35th in the history between the two clubs at the time, Suarez yet again salvaged a point in the 97th minute after Daniel Sturridge cancelled out Eden Hazard’s goal before Oscar opened the scoring at Anfield.
A 97th minute equaliser usually catches the eye of the following morning newspapers; a bigger issue dominated the media and it remains one of the most memorable moments in Premier League history. The score was 1-2 to Chelsea at the time, Suarez put his name into further disrepute after biting Branislav Ivanovic.
Despite the anti-social behaviour, Suarez was to remain off the pitch after the referee, Kevin Friend, missed the incident. Maybe this is a further example of why VAR was introduced into the Premier League, even though it currently divides opinion.
‘Shaming this proud club – Suarez is dragging Reds’ name through the mud.’ - Daily mail, by Ian Ladyman.
‘So, Liverpool earn a draw thanks to a player that shouldn’t have been on the pitch.’ - The Guardian, by Jacob Steinberg.
These were some of the headlines that reported the incident on this day seven years ago, what were the sanctions for Suarez after the abnormal actions of the Uruguayan striker?
Just three days after the incident, the Liverpool number seven was handed a 10-game ban by The F.A. Despite the lengthy ban and an apology to Ivanovic, the striker didn’t learn his lesson.
Another one bites the dust
On the 24th June 2014, the forward took actions with his teeth once again. A World Cup game between Uruguay and Italy caused familiar headlines from the previous year. This time Suarez indulged his death into Italian defender, Giorgio Chiellini.
This time, the Liverpool forward was handed a four month ban from all footballing activities. In the same summer, the reputation of Suarez wasn’t affected when Barcelona signed the forward for £75million.
Despite missing 11 games at the start season, serving his ban, the number nine netted 25 goals and 23 assists in 43 games. 48 combined assists and goals for Barcelona in 43 games was an absolute phenomenal record for Suarez. Being involved in an illustrious trio with teammates Neymar and Lionel Messi will remain rememberable for Suarez, helping the Spanish giants to winning the Champions League 2015 final, chipping in with a goal on the night in his first season.
Despite the goalscoring records, scoring 399 club goals in 599 for Groningen, Ajax, Liverpool and his current club Barcelona, the biting incidents may well be the most notable highlight of Suarez’ career.