Step back briefly from the implausible images of Luis Suárez gripping Branislav Ivanovic's arm with both his hands and biting down on the Serb's biceps and, instead, reflect on events back in the Netherlands in November 2010. The Eredivisie had had a week to digest the moment the Uruguayan snapped, enraged as he was by a series of stamps on his foot by PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal before, in his frustration, he clamped down spitefully on his opponent's shoulder. A shocked local press had dubbed him "the Cannibal of Ajax", the authorities banning him for seven games. Then came the apology.
"I know I took a decision that was wrong," he offered at the time. "In those moments, your heartbeat is very high and sometimes you don't think about what you are doing. I am very sorry about that. I am very critical of myself. I am not like that. From this point on, I need to work harder."
Events here suggest he has plenty still to address. Back then Suárez had apparently been operating outside himself, whipped up by the frenzy of battle. Two and a half years on, via the notoriety of the Patrice Evra affair and all those regular allegations of diving which now feel so petty, he is still clearly incapable of controlling those same emotions: the anger wells up, all sense lost as things go against him, and he lashes out in his exasperation. As brilliant as he can be, his temper makes him a liability.
It is staggering that it has come to this again. The aftermath at Anfield should have focused on that sublime first-time clip across goal that set up Daniel Sturridge for Liverpool's first equaliser, or the near-post header deposited beyond Petr Cech almost seven minutes into stoppage time at the end that has so threatened Chelsea's aspirations of returning to the Champions League.
It might also have lingered on the arm raised almost comically to make contact with Juan Mata's corner, an offence punished with a penalty to offer the visitors their hope of victory. Memories might have drifted back to the World Cup quarter-final of 2010 and Ghana's sense of injustice when Suárez blocked Dominic Adiyiah's goal-bound effort on the line and was sent off after making what he claimed was "the save of the tournament". He had celebrated Asamoah Gyan's subsequent miss from the spot-kick on the sidelines.
Instead, there was only the bite to hold the attention. As Ivanovic pulled up the sleeve of his shirt, pointed at the markings and complained, almost in disbelief, to the referee, Kevin Friend, Suárez had actually been picking himself up gingerly from the clash as if to imply he had been the victim of the real injustice. The official spoke with him in the goalmouth but the body language was dismissive, his expression one of wide-eyed innocence. Perhaps by then he had already realised he had let himself down yet again.
In truth, he had been on the edge from the moment he handled in the other box, his mood darkened by the award. Replays of the incident were already being broadcast as Liverpool prepared to take the resultant corner and even he must have realised there would be nowhere to hide.
It was his inability to retain any semblance of self-control that beggared belief, and it is that which leaves him a player as capable of inflicting as much damage upon Liverpool's reputation as any opponents' backline. This was, as the club's former midfielder Jamie Redknapp pointed out post-match, utterly indefensible. It was also brutish and, quite frankly, ridiculous.
"Embarrassing," said Graeme Souness. "He looked to take a chunk out of him. That's scary … it's what children do in a pram. He is making it very difficult for himself to stay at Liverpool. This puts him in the last chance saloon. This club is a world renowned football club. It is up there with any Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United. But this is going to show Liverpool in a very bad light‚ especially in this week of all weeks."
The timing hurts. This was an occasion when this arena had remembered the courage of Anne Williams, a mother who had lost her son at Hillsborough and campaigned tirelessly for justice until her death only days after attending the 24th anniversary memorial service on the Kop. It was also a day when Liverpool and Chelsea supporters remembered those who had lost their lives in Boston – a city with such close ties to Fenway Sports Group – at last Monday's marathon bombing.
That made it feel even more inexcusable to have sullied the club's reputation. The vast majority of callers to BBC Radio Merseyside's football phone-in on Sunday night were calling for Suárez's sale, their own disgust very evident. They, of course, might all have been mischievous Evertonians but one would hope common sense has kicked in. This was utterly depressing.
It seems inconceivable now but the 26-year-old had actually been rebuilding his reputation in this country after last season's eight-game ban for racially abusing Evra. Only on Friday he had been one of the six nominations for the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year, a reflection of his mesmeric abilities with a football at his feet, but all that seems forgotten now.
Even with another apology to digest, Suárez's very future at this club must surely have been jeopardised. This was shameful. How can there be any recovery from this?