Luis Suarez’s was in the headlines for all the right reasons this weekend thanks to his winning goal against QPR. After being charged for allegedly making racist remarks to Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, the Uruguayan was making headlines again for a hand gesture directed at Fulham fans last Monday.
He had replaced Mario Balotelli as public enemy number one for his actions and having received another FA charge for that incident, ending Liverpool’s winless run at Anfield was the perfect way to respond to the negative press surrounding him. In one performance he was able to show why they had bought him and why he had been a revelation since arriving on Merseyside.
The strength and balance he showed to run at opposition defenders was frightening and he played in a number of good crosses, including a stunning low ball across the box between the defence and Radek Cerny, that were wasted by his team-mates.
He also put in a great shift doing the dirty work around the pitch. Suarez is well-known for his feisty temperament and he was able to channel it superbly, chasing down the opposition and battling for possession against defenders that have a far more imposing stature than him.
It was fitting that he was the man to break the deadlock, scoring a rare headed goal to show that he is an all round great player, receiving the praise of Kenny Dalglish and Neil Warnock as a result, who said “he looked amazing today… oh to manage him”.
Coming into the weekend opinions of the 24-year-old were hardly glowing. His tendency to go down easily after a challenge had meant that Craven Cottage turned into a cauldron of hate last Monday, with chants of “cheat” ringing out at every opportunity and understandably angering the striker, although sticking your middle finger up isn’t the best response.
A lack of goals had also caused the loss of support. After playing the star role in Liverpool’s rise up the league last season he started this campaign brightly but hadn’t scored a goal for the club since October 1, despite scoring five in two games for his country. It had coincided with the club’s winless home run and with all the negativity surrounding Suarez, he has been the easy target for blame.
Saturday’s performance was him back to his best. He was untouchable and the difference between the sides. Other than Robin van Persie, he is the best striker in the Premier League and is the vital component in his sides success due to the absence of Steven Gerrard.
He is aggressive, he gets about the opposition and his desire to win at all costs does not endear him to opposition fans but it does make him a dangerous player. He will continue to make headlines for negative things but so long as he keeps scoring goals, who will really care?
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