This was actually one of Luis Suárez's quieter games and for that, José Mourinho and his Chelsea players could take encouragement. And yet the irrepressible Liverpool striker is never truly silenced and in this high-octane encounter he was involved in two penalty controversies, a running battle with Gary Cahill and blue murder with Mourinho.
At the end Suárez ripped open the V-neck of his jersey, David Banner-style to present a case study in bitter frustration. He has previous with Chelsea, after the infamous biting of Branislav Ivanovic last April that plunged him into a period of suspension and soul-searching. Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, said that Suárez could not have been lower and the player desperately wanted to triumph here to fire his club's top-four hopes and continue his remarkable comeback story.
The Premier League's top scorer fell the wrong side of the margins, after a performance that was heavy on latent menace but lacking in end-product and one that, ultimately, came to be coloured by his determination to find a way – any way – to force the result to his will.
It did not happen for him but he drove Mourinho to distraction on the touchline with the penalty appeals, particularly the second one on 83 minutes, when he was barged by Samuel Eto'o and fell to the turf. The fall was exaggerated but the contact from Eto'o was clear, never mind that César Azpilicueta appeared to have the situation under control for Chelsea.
Mourinho pointed and he ranted, with even more emotion than he had shown in the 64th minute when Suárez had crumpled to the ground under John Terry's muscular if slightly clumsy aerial challenge. There was contact. There were blurred lines. Suárez looked baffled.
In between times, he was blocked off-the-ball by Cahill and was so incensed that after confronting the Chelsea defender, he turned to the referee, Howard Webb, to demand that Cahill be shown a yellow card. Moments later, Cahill was booked, for a crunching tackle on Suárez. Mourinho raged; there was plenty of that and, a minute later, Suárez was continuing the discussion with Cahill.
Inevitably, the Uruguayan fired the post-match debate, with Mourinho essentially calling him a cheat or a player from a cultural background where simulation or the attempt to gain an advantage by any means was acceptable. Mourinho's language was typically colourful, never more so than when he described Suárez's tumble after Eto'o's centre-forward's brain-fade as an "acrobatic swimming pool jump". The word he was probably looking for was "dive".
But behind Mourinho's theatrics, the moments of press conference levity and a little sugar for Suárez was the clear message: here was a player, according to Chelsea's manager, who continues to walk on the dark side. According to Mourinho, when Suárez is losing, his "wild" or "cultural" nature comes out. When he called Suárez "clever" for being aware that Liverpool's travelling fans were behind the goal where he appealed for the penalties, he did not mean it in a good way.
Suárez had started positively when he was involved in the opening goal, together with Ivanovic. The pair had to be involved. Suárez had stolen a yard on his opponent, on the Philippe Coutinho free-kick that followed Eto'o's horrible yet unpunished tackle on Jordan Henderson only for Ivanovic to reel him in.
The pair grappled and wrestled and, for a split second, you were transported back to that day at Anfield when Suárez went dental but, this time, he simply managed to unsettle his rival. It was difficult to tell whether Suárez got anything on his attempted header and it was Ivanovic whose contact was decisive, slowing up Coutinho's delivery and allowing it to drop for Martin Skrtel, who swept home.
Suárez and Ivanovic had met moments earlier for the pre-match handshakes and, not for the first time at this stadium, there was plenty of attention on the ritual. They simply shook hands. Ivanovic is not the sort to feel pain or bear a grudge. He had been keen to move on pretty shortly after the incident.
It is one of English football's great pleasures to watch Suárez in the flesh because it is when you fully appreciate the work ethic that underpins the talent. As ever, he crackled to life whenever Liverpool got the ball; sprinting, making angles, pulling the opposition defence out of shape. The movement is relentless. Cahill and Terry dared not switch off.
Suárez flickered amid the boos for his every touch. There were a couple of perfect lay-offs; a burst and a cute through-ball, both of which were repelled by Terry. He got Raheem Sterling away with a wonderful flick and there was the second-half volley that thudded straight at Petr Cech.
For once this season, it would not be his day but he still commandeered the headlines.