Cheers normally reserved for goals and penalty kicks went up every time the officials blew the whistle in favor of the Uruguayan. Conversely, any time he went to ground and did not get the call, the boos rang out.
The event was but the next chapter in the saga that is Luis Suarez. He is about as divisive as they come in the Premier League. His talent is undeniable, yet the ease with which he goes to ground continues to villainize him among opposing supporters.
Tony Pulis precipitated events this week when he told the BBC that the striker should see a ban for "diving" in a recent match.
Unfortunately for Saturday's match day officials, no one responds when backed into a corner quite like Merseyside.
For his part, Suarez did not disappoint. He went to ground a number of times, each call in turn resting its judgement on a hairline. Some of his tumbles appeared far more valid than others.
Yet, on this one, Anfield has it right.
Luis Suarez may be the new villain, but he is their villain. While unpopular to some, just about everyone agrees that he is a world-class player.
Like it or not, Liverpool is short on that kind of talent at the moment. They do not have the luxury of pushing quality out the door for want of a different playing style.
He is also increasingly loyal to the shirt. The Uruguayan chose to extend his contract in the midst of an offseason coaching change. That kind of loyalty does not go unnoticed in the Kop. Short of tattooing "YNWA" on his hands (a la Daniel Agger), Suarez has to be about tops on their list these days.
There is also the simple fact that even if they did not like him, Liverpool has no one else up front. Should Suarez feel the cold shoulder from his own supporters and subsequently run cold in front of net, it would be disastrous. The Reds are in the back half of the table as is.
Thus, for better or worse, Liverpool must back Suarez with all it has.
My apologies to all officials with Anfield on their upcoming schedule. I do not envy you.
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