“He scores a goal & the Kop go wild”, well Luis Suarez had the Kop floating, dreaming of being back in the Champions League next season. He was at his magical best & inspired his team mates to their best display of the season so far, this is what the manager has been striving for all season & what Liverpool will need for the remaining matches if they are to get back in amongst Europe’s elite.
Whether Liverpool are there or not next year – Luis Suarez will be because if he keeps this form up all of Europe’s top clubs will be in for him. Real Madrid are desperate for a centre forward & I can’t believe they didn’t make more of a effort to get him in the summer. He has the lot but the difference between him & good players is his desire – he work’s harder than any other player on the pitch & we are so lucky to have him as our talisman.
Suarez apart, this was the team performance we have been waiting for. The tempo was quick from the first whistle to last, with & without the ball. The midfield 3 looked as good as it has all season with Jordan Henderson’s energy complimenting Lucas’ defensive work & the skippers passing something they have been missing in there in recent matches. The managers next dilemma is how to fit Coutinho in if he persists with his 3 at the back because we definitely need Henderson’s engine especially at the Emirates next week. Arsenal are only going to play with Giroud up top so do Liverpool really need 3 centre backs? I think not.
I’d drop Skrtel & go with a midfield diamond to gain control of the midfield with Lucas sitting Gerrard & Henderson in front of him & Coutinho’s creativity at the top of the diamond. Is this harsh on Skrtel? Maybe, but he’s always prone to a mistake & was lucky not to give away a penalty right on half time. It still surprises me how after looking so far out of the picture & seemingly on his way out the club he’s back in the team in front of the newly appointed vice captain Daniel Agger. Agger’s form this season hasn’t been great however & maybe not being guaranteed a starting place will up his performance’s when he gets back in.
So onto the action Suarez’s 1st goal was an action replay nearly of his 1st goal against QPR at the end of last year as he was allowed time to turn he then nut megged Jonas Ollson & fired past Myhill with a terrific finish. His 2nd was as good a header as you will see from the edge of the 18 yard box right into the top corner but the fact that it came from a 18 pass build up from 1 side of the pitch to the other & back again made it all the better. “Liverpool” were on fire moving the ball quick creating chance after chance.
Suarez, Sturridge, Henderson & Skrtel all had good chances to make it 3 especially Skrtel who somehow managed to miss his kick after a perfectly worked training ground free kick worked by Suarez & Gerrard. The same player then had 2 lucky escapes just before the interval when first he was caught under a 40 yard long ball to leave Anelka 1 on 1 with Mingolet but redeemed himself with getting back to clear of the line. Then from the resulting corner he was all over Gareth McAuley & was lucky not to concede a penalty.
The 2nd half started the same as the 1st with “Liverpool” dominant & Sturridge desperate to on the scoresheet. He came close with a free kick curling just wide before Suarez grabbed his hat trick with his & “Liverpool’s” 3rd from another great header this time from a Gerrard free kick . The skipper might not be the box to box saviour he once was but his quality especially from dead balls is invaluable to the side. There isn’t a better passer in the league than our “captain fantastic”. Sturridge then hit the bar with a wonderful side-foot effort from just inside the penalty box – he was determined to get his name on the scoresheet.
West Brom were then give a lifeline when the linesman adjudged Lucas to have fouled Billy Jones inside the area when the referee hadn’t. Morrison then stepped up to smash home the resulting penalty to make it 3-1. Thankfully the penalty was at 3-0 & not 0-0 or the huge mistake by the linesman could have been more costly. Then Sturridge got the goal his play & effort deserved with a unbelievable chip from 25 yards, a goal only a player oozing with confidence would try and attempt never mind execute. Suarez then nearly made it 5 with a overhead kick which Myhill tipped onto the bar before he left the field to a standing ovation which was undoubtably deserved, he was replaced by Luis Alberto.
For all those who knock FSG, me included, for not splashing the cash like those above us we can only thank them for standing firm in the summer & not getting bullied into letting Suarez leave.
Roll on Arsenal, a win & we would go top, it will be tough but if we play like we did here then we have every chance.
By Ross Jeffrey