Chelsea fall victim to Suarez's disgraceful villainy

Posted by Phil Lythell

Andrew Yates/Getty ImagesWhy referee Kevin Friend and Liverpool's Luis Suarez are smiling in ths photo taken shortly after Suarez appeared to bite Branislav Ivanovic is anyone's guess.

As Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Sunday showed in horrific style, football can be the cruelest of sports.

For the second time in a week, the Blues were denied their just desserts through another shocking display of refereeing. Last Sunday, it was Chris Foy who saw Sergio Aguero's two-footed stamp on David Luiz only to book the player before turning down one of the clearest penalties you are ever likely to see as Fernando Torres bore down on goal.

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Sunday, Kevin Friend outdid his colleague by failing to send off two Liverpool players who then combined to score the last-gasp equaliser 40 seconds after the frankly ludicrous six minutes of stoppage time had been completed.

In the league table of incompetent officials, Friend now sits ignominiously on top of the tree just ahead of the hapless Foy.

Being well-versed in the scripts that football invariably produces, it was almost inevitable that it would be Luis Suarez who had the last laugh. The despicable Uruguayan would have had the headlines anyway through his disgusting actions midway through the second half, though he made certain of it by netting his 30th goal of the season.



The football authorities in his native Uruguay have been staunch in their defence of their star striker, claiming that the powers that be in England are pursuing an agenda against him. Quite what excuse they will come up with in an attempt to exonerate Suarez after he sank his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic is anyone's guess.

What on earth possesses anybody, let alone a professional footballer, to bite another human being? When a player is infuriated, he might usually lash out with a kick or an elbow; at a stretch, a punch or a head butt.

Biting somebody is not a natural act of retaliation, though the rules of engagement that govern normal people clearly do not apply to Suarez. Don't forget, he already has form in this area having served a seven-game ban for the same reprehensible act while playing for Ajax. The FA must see to it that he doesn't play again this season and Liverpool must surely take internal action. But don't be surprised if his teammates rally around him by wearing 'Pray For Suarez' knickerbockers when they next do their pre-match warm-up.

Whatever the repercussions for the player, it won't affect Chelsea and will not benefit them whatsoever. The damage had already been done, not just by allowing Suarez to stay on the pitch to head home in the 97th minute, but also by not punishing Daniel Sturridge for an over-the-top challenge on Ryan Bertrand.

Even the former Chelsea man knew it was bad judging by the way he instantly tended to the left back. Sturridge is not a dirty player, but the challenge was reckless and should have earned him a red card. Had justice been correctly administered -- rather than Friend inexplicably opting to play on -- then he would not have been in the position to send that fateful cross toward Suarez.

Liverpool should have been down to nine men yet finished with 11. It is difficult enough to play at a red-hot Anfield at the best of times, even harder when acts of assault are ignored by officials.

In truth, Chelsea were poor in the second half but wrested a lead after conceding to Sturridge just after halftime. However, despite being on the back foot, it would only take someone fiercely partisan to claim that the Blues did not merit the three points.

Petr Cech made a couple of smart stops though the Chelsea defence was rarely carved open even if the midfield saw little of the ball after the break. Fernando Torres was subdued which made the job all the more difficult without a reliable outlet and the magical trio of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar were unable to play their cute triangles in the business area of the field.

Nevertheless, Chelsea had been the better team in the first half and a few smarter decisions could have seen the 1-0 lead at halftime extended. A slow start was soon dispelled as John Obi Mikel and Ramires broke the play up neatly with the ball being won in advanced areas to allow Chelsea to attack with purpose.

That balance shifted after the break with the introduction of Sturridge from the bench, though the Blues kept their shape admirably without offering too much of a threat on the Liverpool goal. Their stubbornness should have been rewarded with a win; instead Liverpool's answer to Count Dracula plunged his fangs into Chelsea's quest for Champions League football next season and shamed the sport in the process.

Follow Phil Lythell on Twitter @PhilLythell

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