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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019

'Luis Suarez's bite on Ivanovic cost Liverpool the title,' says Carragher

Suarez was hit with a lengthy ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez scored 31 goals for Liverpool in 2013/14.
Suarez scored 31 goals for Liverpool in 2013/14.
Image: Laurence Griffiths

LUIS SUAREZ MAY have been named PFA Player of the Year in 2013-14, but Jamie Carragher says the Uruguayan striker cost Liverpool the Premier League title.

The Reds came agonisingly close to ending their wait for top-flight glory under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers.

A number of key men were at the peak of their powers, with Suarez claiming the Golden Boot with a 31-goal haul.

He was, however, forced to sit out the start of the season after being hit with a lengthy ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in the previous campaign.

In his absence, Liverpool stumbled out of the blocks and Carragher admits Suarez’s suspension cost the club dear, with Manchester City ultimately pipping them to the crown by two points.

Reflecting on the Ivanovic incident with Sky Sports, the former Reds defender said: “I think Suarez scored late on, I wasn’t aware of any of this but got back into the dressing room and then word comes in that Luis has bit Ivanovic. Someone asked him and he denied it. I think on that, that it cost Liverpool the league the next season.

soccer-pre-seaon-tour-melbourne-victory-v-liverpool-mcg The Uruguayan left for Barcelona in the summer of 2014. Source: MARK DADSWELL

“Suarez was banned for five or six games. Liverpool lost the league, I think, on goal difference. Suarez was the best player by a mile in the league, he scored almost every game. In the first four games he missed, Liverpool lost 1-0 to Southampton and drew at Swansea. They dropped five points.

“If Suarez is playing, they probably win both of them, but let’s be conservative, you beat Southampton at home – you don’t realise at the time, looking back now, and the season he had the next year, player of the year, football writers’ player of the year, I think if he’d been playing in those games it would’ve been different.”

Suarez left Liverpool for Barcelona a few months are carrying them close to the title, with the Reds seeing another proven frontman slip their net.

Fernando Torres had done likewise in January 2011, but Carragher claims Liverpool were less concerned about that sale as a World Cup-winning striker was a shadow of his former self by then and the Reds could not believe their luck when Chelsea tabled a £50 million bid.

He added: “We didn’t want to stop Torres signing for Chelsea. His time was done – £50m was more than enough, we couldn’t believe it. I was shocked by the money they paid.

“I knew he’d wanted to go from the summer, he hadn’t had a great 18 months, he went in the January, but his one good game that season was against Chelsea at Anfield when we beat them 2-0 and he scored both. We knew he wasn’t the Torres he was when he’d first arrived.”

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