Liverpool: Suarez's Genius Demolition Of Norwich May Be His Defining Moment
With just over half an hour passed on a chilly Anfield evening there were only two questions of any import;
'What's the most goals one player has scored in a top flight game?'
'How long's left on Suarez' contract?'
The only downside that one could envisage with the immaculate midweek response to Sunday's embarrassment is that Real Madrid's interest can have only increased tenfold with Luis Suarez' latest masterclass.
Ladies and Gentlemen we are currently in the presence of sheer genius. Luis may have provided some incredible displays since his arrival at Liverpool (along with a couple of transgressions which we are currently finding it very easy to forget) but his performance against Norwich may well be his defining moment.
Sunday's pitiful team showing against Hull demanded a response. This was it. Luis Suarez had a poor game at the weekend; nobody blames him for this, there aren't many of them and you would hope that his teammates would step up to assist when he has one. At the weekend they didn't, consequently Suarez spent the majority of the match dropping too deep, looking for the ball, trying to win the game in his own as both provider and finisher. It didn't work.
Tonight though? Tonight everything that he tried worked perfectly to the point that his celebration of his third goal highlighted that he too realised that what he had just achieved was ridiculous in the extreme.
Clearly Luis Suarez didn't enjoy his afternoon on the banks of the Humber. Clearly he doesn't like losing. Clearly he had every intention of making amends for the sins of the team as a whole.
Norwich must have been petrified, must have known what to expect. If there was one team in the league that could provide perfect opposition for a response it was always going to be the men from Norfolk. Suarez loves scoring against the Canaries (point of order here - since when did yellow clash with red? What's with the change strip tonight lads?) with two hat tricks against them before the start of the night.
You can make that three hat tricks now; four goals and an assist in what we can only possibly refer to as a 5-1 drubbing of Chris Hughton's side and each of the goals held a form of genius;
A clearance headed back into space, a turn, a watch of the bounce, a dipping, curving shot from nigh on 40 yards to add to his goal from the half way line at Carrow Road; possibly the only player in the Premiership that would have considered trying this. Most players score one like this in a career, it wasn't even his best goal of the first half.
A corner dropping slightly behind his body (a corner won through Philippe Coutinho's speed, control and presence of mind) plucked from the air by his left foot and blasted across the angle of his body into the roof of the net.
And then came the moment;
Sterling fires a pass back into Suarez' path with just a touch too much power on it. The Uruguayan controls it on his chest in mid air, drops the ball to his knee, moves it to his right foot, flicks it over a Norwich defender, watches the bounce become unfavourable, adjusts his body and rifles home from the edge of the area. Replay this moment forever, watch Luis Suarez' face; even he doesn't believe what he's just done and he's loving the moment as much as the fans.
The night is over. There are still 10 minutes left of the first half.
Obviously there were other players involved;
Joe Allen responded to his reintroduction to the starting line up with a busy, effective performance almost topped by an excellent goal of his own - only an excellent Ruddy save to deny 'the Welsh Xavi'.
Raheem Sterling grew into the night and started on the path back to his potential, ending the night with a goal of his own provide by... Oh yes, of course, Luis again.
Gerrard almost added to his own tally with a wonderful piece of invention hitting the post after a delicate ball from....well, Coutinho actually; a player whose invention and work rate would have seen him comfortably man of the match most evenings.
Not tonight though. Tonight was, more than ever before, the Luis Suarez show, topped off with a world class free kick that is almost an afterthought compared to what went before.
And if Real are looking enviously in the direction of Anfield?
Here's a hint: how much did Gareth Bale cost you? £80m? Luis Suarez? You can't afford him.
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