[Player Ratings] Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea: Suarez Provides The ‘Bite’ In Dramatic Encounter
Liverpool staged a remarkable late comeback to draw 2-2 with Chelsea with Luis Suarez unsurprisingly centre of attention. Here are player ratings from the game.
Liverpool staged a remarkable late comeback to draw 2-2 with Champions League hopefuls Chelsea, with Luis Suarez unsurprisingly the centre of attention.
Chelsea took the lead in the first half when Oscar pulled away from his marker to head past Pepe Reina from a corner. The visitors had been in control but ex-Blue Daniel Sturridge was introduced at half-time and led the Reds’ rally, equalising with a cool finish on 52 minutes. Chelsea restored their lead in a pulsating game when Suarez was penalised for handling the ball in his own box, allowing Eden Hazard to score from the spot. With the game ticking away past the allocated injury time of six minutes, Suarez popped up to head the equaliser with the last touch of the game.
Chelsea will no doubt argue that the Uruguayan should not have been on the pitch to net the equaliser, following an extraordinary off the ball incident in which Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovich. It remains to be seen whether retrospective action will be taken by the FA against the Liverpool player. Here are player ratings from the game:
Reina – 6 – The busier of the two ‘keepers, including a couple of awkward moments.
Johnson – 6 – Got forward well as usual; contained majority of attacks down his side
Carragher – 6 – Dealt with most attacks, although was beaten for pace on more than one occasion
Agger – 7 – Solid in the air and on the ground, Liverpool’s best defender
Enrique – 6 – Did nothing out of the ordinary, but dealt with danger when necessary
Gerrard – 7 – If Gerrard isn’t ticking, then neither usually are Liverpool. Improved in second half and drove his side forward
Lucas – 6 – Struggled to influence the game but kept things tidy
Downing – 5 – A number of poor touches let the winger down
Henderson – 6 – Passed the ball well but his team needed more from him in attack
Coutinho – 5 – Impressive of late, but the Brazilian seemed somewhat out of his depth here. Replaced at half-time
Suarez – 5 – His last minute exploits should have earned him a much higher score, however the Uruguayan conceded a penalty with a needless handball and left him and his club disgraced with the bite on Ivanovich.
Shelvey – 5 – Plenty of enthusiasm from the youngster but a few rash challenges could have ended badly
Sturridge – 8 – Very positive when introduced. Changed game for Liverpool and scored their first.
Cech – 6 – Did not have an awful lot to do but was generally comfortable. May have done better for Suarez’s goal
Azpilicueta – 7 – Was extremely busy in attack and gave Chelsea another dimension going forward
Ivanovich – 6 – Had a solid game at centre half and snuffed out the threat of Suarez all but till the 97th minute. Disbelief at being bitten by the Uruguayan.
David Luiz – 7 – Formed a good partnership with Ivanovich and limited the hosts to minimal attempts on goal. Had a fierce shot on goal
Bertrand – 7 – Was effective in attack and fairly solid in his defensive duties.
Mikel – 6 – Let the game pass him by somewhat but passed the ball well and kept play flowing
Ramires – 7 – As expected, the Brazilian worked hard for the cause and was often found driving his team forward with boundless energy.
Oscar – 7 – Opened the scoring with a deft header at the near post. Linked up well in attack
Hazard – 7 – Showed exemplary skill at times and always looked a threat. Coolly dispatched penalty
Mata – 8 – Chelsea’s Mr Consistent: showing great skill and vision throughout. Made things happen and never gave the ball away.
Torres – 5 – Not the return the ex Liverpool striker would have wanted. Looked out of his depth and ineffective.
Lampard, Moses, Benayoun – all late changes, had little effect on the game.
It was a compelling game at Anfield; a first half dominated by the visitors who were desperate for all three points in their push for Champions League qualification. Liverpool rallied and improved in the second half but Chelsea perhaps just edged it and were second away from victory before Suarez’s last-gasp effort.
Unfortunately the game will be remembered not for the football, but for an act of barbaric madness. Suarez will count himself lucky that he remained on the pitch to score the equaliser, but the Uruguayan may not be so lucky should the FA decide to take retrospective action. Liverpool stay 7th in the league while Chelsea move back up to 4th, just a point off Arsenal with a game in hand.
If you missed the game or want to relive the action you can watch highlights here.
What were your player ratings? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
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