The extraordinary assault which shows Luis Suarez at his snarling worst

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In Uruguay they call him 'El Pistolero' or - 'The Gunfighter' - but the way Luis Suarez plays football 'Street-fighter' would almost certainly be a far more appropriate moniker.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez (right) and Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic
Liverpool's Luis Suarez (right) and Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic Credit: Press Association

And he was at his snarling worst again yesterday, sinking his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic's arm during an unremarkable, everyday tussle in the Chelsea penalty area.

Suarez's extraordinary assault appeared to be unprovoked which makes it even more troubling.

But for just a moment put aside his charge sheet and consider the context.

It was the week of the 24th anniversary of Hillsborough, and it was a game where players wore black arm bands in memory of Anne Williams who campaigned so tirelessly for the victims of that tragedy.

Liverpool is a proud club with a proud history and its fans, who pack Anfield every week, do not deserve the stain Suarez smears on their reputation.

What's more he wears the prestigious number 7 shirt. So did Dalglish and so did Keegan, remember?

Liverpool's Luis Suarez seen shortly after he bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic
Liverpool's Luis Suarez seen shortly after he bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic Credit: Press Association

So now to Suarez's previous and it makes quite disturbing and undistinguished reading.

You don't need to study it too closely to come to the conclusion that not only is Suarez a flawed personality when wearing a football shirt but he is also a man who does not learn from his mistakes.

He was banned for seven games less than three years ago while at Ajax for biting an opponent. He drew blood and attracted Cannibal headlines in the Dutch media.

And of course he was banned for racially abusing Patrice Evra while playing for Liverpool. Both crimes are frankly repulsive and all but unforgivable.

In contrast though - it seems Liverpool have learnt their lesson. They badly misjudged matters when Suarez was found guilty of the Evra insults; they obfuscated, they delayed and appeared at times to be defending the indefensible. Even loyalty has its limits.

How different this time round. The club's managing director Ian Ayre and manager Brendan Rogers have been very quick to publicly castigate Suarez and said very clearly it's not the type of behaviour they expect from a Liverpool player.

They will get credit for getting it right this time simply because they were so misguided during the last Suarez scandal. Actually any decent thinking club would do the same. They have even made Suarez apologise.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring his team's second goal of the game
Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring his team's second goal of the game Credit: Press Association

The cynics will point out the FA has yet to act so an apology is a shrewd, pre-emptive move by Liverpool; others will say the only correct sanction would have been to put the Uruguayan on the market and ship him out.

But Liverpool without Suarez is half the team and football is not run by the most morally-minded. It is big business first and everything else comes a fairly inconsequential second.

Having said that, if Liverpool announced that Suarez had finally pushed them too far and he'd played his last game, the club would earn widespread respect across the football world. Just not in the red half of Liverpool of course and there's the problem. Don't hang the club for that; I can't think of another who would behave any differently.

Brilliant though Suarez is and even knowing he may soon become the most controversial ever 'Player of the Year', this South American 'Street-fighter' must now have used up all but one of his last chances?

Surely even football eventually runs out of patience?