Luis Suarez initially denied he had bitten Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in the Liverpool dressing room after the notorious incident seven years ago, according to Jamie Carragher.
The Uruguayan was banned for 10 games after footage appeared to show him biting Ivanovic’s arm during a 2-2 draw between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in April 2013.
What happened between Suarez and Ivanovic? Five things to know…
- Ivanovic reacted in surprised pain after tangling with Suarez during the Anfield clash.
- Replays appeared to show Suarez had bitten the Serbian’s arm.
- Chelsea led 2-1 until the seventh minute of injury time when Suarez equalised.
- Jamie Carragher claims Suarez initially denied biting Ivanovic.
- The striker was found guilty of the bite and banned for 10 matches by the FA.
Suarez missed the beginning of the following campaign, in which he finished the season as Premier League top scorer with 31 goals with Liverpool narrowly missing out on the title to Manchester City.
The incident was one of three occasions in which Suarez sunk his teeth into an opponent during his career, but Carragher claims his former teammate tried to deny biting Ivanovic when the players returned to the dressing room after the game.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Carragher revealed Suarez did not own up to the bite at first, going on to speak about the impact his ban had on Liverpool the following year.
“When he came in the dressing room – I think we were starting to get things going on and things getting said to us about stuff that had gone on – Luis actually denied it at first!” Carragher said.
“Maybe he hoped the cameras hadn’t picked it up. But I actually think that it had a massive effect on Liverpool next season. I think Suarez then got a seven or eight game ban and I think he missed the first four or five games of the following season.
“That was the season Liverpool almost won the title, Suarez was the best player in the league. But there were two games Liverpool dropped points in, I think it was at home to Southampton they lost 1-0 and they drew away at Swansea, so there were five points dropped in the first few games and Luis Suarez didn’t play.
“And the form he was in that season, you’d have to say there was a good chance that you think he would have turned one of those games. So that act and the ban that he got actually affected Liverpool much more the next season. There wasn’t too much riding on [the previous] season.”
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Carragher: “Suarez was win-at-all-costs”
Suarez received some flack when playing against Liverpool for Barcelona in the Champions League last season, with Carragher suggesting he tried engineer a red card for Andrew Robertson.
But Carragher went on to defend Suarez’s conduct, praising the striker for his desire to win.
Carragher added: “Even coming up against a former club in Liverpool last season in the Champions League, he wasn’t too worried about the Kop giving him stick and maybe trying to get Andy Robertson sent off and antagonising Liverpool players even though it was his former club.
“Even though I was wound up watching it, in some ways I admired it as well because that’s what made him such a special player. He was a win-at-all-costs man.”