Liverpool have astoundingly come back from behind to earn a draw through Luis Suarez’s ninety-sixth minute goal, although the Uruguayan should have been sent off by that point for biting Branislav Ivanovic. Liverpool started the match brightly, and Brenden Rodgers’ side almost took the lead only five minutes into the half when Jordan Henderson played the ball to Luis Suarez, who turned and threaded a pass through the Chelsea defense to Glen Johnson. Johnson was one on one with Cech, but instead of rounding the keeper Johnson poked the ball wide. Chelsea felt their way into the match, and slowly started to dominate play. Eden Hazard laid the ball off to Ramires in the twentieth minute, and the Brazilian’s dipping shot from twenty-five yards out swerved right in front of Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina, forcing the Spaniard to punch the ball away awkwardly.
The Blues continued to pressure, and took the lead in the twenty-seventh minute off a corner. Juan Mata curled the ball to the near post, and Oscar peeled off of Daniel Agger, before heading past Reina inside the near post into the back of the net. Two minutes later Chelsea almost doubled their lead when Henderson brought down Ramires thirty-five yards from goal. Luiz stepped up to take the kick, and Renia dropped the Brazilian’s dipping effort, but managed to catch it just before it it crossed the line. Liverpool started to find their way back into the match, and Stewart Downing ran into the box from the right before slipping a ball to the run of Suarez, but Cech palmed the Uruguayan’s first time shot away.
Liverpool started the second half with much more purpose, and their introduction of Daniel Sturridge at halftime was a decisive move. Seconds into the half Liverpool almost went up when Sturridge beat John Obi Mikel down the right, cut onto his left foot, then played a clever pass onto Steven Gerrard’s run into the box. Gerrard looked sure to score, but Cech got a foot on the Englishman’s low shot. A minute later Sturridge almost put Liverpool in front after he beat Hazard, before slicing a powerful shot from twenty-five yards out past Cech onto the left post. Despite Reina having to awkwardly clear a Chelsea corner, Liverpool were on top, and Brenden Rodgers side grabbed an equalizer only five minutes into the second half. Jamie Carragher lofted a long ball forward down the right looking for Downing, and the former Aston Villa man beautifully flicked the ball back to Suarez, who hit a first time cross from the edge of the box to Sturridge at the far post, and Sturridge coolly volleyed it past a helpless Cech into the back of the net.
Yet Liverpool were only up for five minutes, as Chelsea scored through a penalty in the fifty-fifth minute. Mata swung a corner into the far post, and Suarez intentionally, and strangely stuck his arm up to clear the ball away. After a fair amount of arguing, Hazard stepped up to take the kick, coolly converted it into the bottom left corner. After a breathtaking opening to the second half, the tempo slowed, until Suarez appeared to bite Ivanovic when the two were tussling in the box. The Uruguayan’s season run in could be at risk due to the bite, and it is not the first time the twenty-six year old has bitten another player, doing so during his time in the Netherlands. But the bite did not seem to faze Liverpool, and they almost went up in the eighty-fourth when Sturridge found Henderson with a ridiculous back-flick. Henderson slipped the ball to Jonjo Shelvey, who curled an effort just wide of the near post from the left side of the box. Chelsea looked like they had sealed the win but thirty-seconds after the six minutes of added time were up, Suarez equalized. Sturridge swung in a last-ditch cross from the right, and Suarez got between Luiz and Ivanovic on the near post to head past a helpless Cech. Suarez’s header turned out to be the last touch of the match, with the Uruguayan coming back to “bite” Chelsea.
Man of the Match: Daniel Sturridge