Luis Suarez received a rapturous reception as he made his first return to Anfield since joining Barcelona, playing the second half of a charity game between sides captained by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, ESPN reports. The match ended 2 -2. Suarez was cheered on and off the pitch and formed a strike partnership with fellow ex-Liverpool player Fernando Torres in a match that raised at least £1 million for the Liverpool FC Foundation.
Suarez scored 82 goals in 133 games for Liverpool before he was sold to Barca last summer for £75 million, but he did not find the back of the net on his Anfield comeback. Torres, who had been jeered on previous visits to Anfield after his controversial decision to join Chelsea in 2011, also had his name sung by the Kop as he and Suarez led the line for Gerrard’s team. Other former Liverpool players to feature included Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina, Luis Garcia, Alvaro Arbeloa, John Arne Riise, Craig Bellamy and Harry Kewell. Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba and John Terry also featured, with the Chelsea teammates facing off against each other on opposing sides. Gerrard, who has a maximum of two competitive games left to play at Anfield before leaving for LA Galaxy in the summer, Reina and Alonso were all substituted to standing ovations. Carragher’s XI took the lead with a 25-yard shot by Mario Balotelli and doubled their advantage when the Italy international set up Drogba. Gerrard then brought his side level with two penalties, with the second awarded for a nudge by Carragher on Suarez . Defender Jon Flanagan, who is yet to feature for Liverpool this season because of a knee injury, played the first 30 minutes as he continues his return to fitness. Lucas Leiva moved nearer to a first-team comeback with a 26-minute cameo, while Alberto Moreno, Glen Johnson, Brad Jones and Fabio Borini were other members of Brendan Rodgers’ squad who featured.