It’s hard to say what it is exactly that makes Norwich such easy prey for Luis Suarez who simply goes ballistic every time he sees them. His most recent stat line? Four goals, one assist, which puts him once again on the top of the scoring charts with 13, two more than Sergio Aguero, while Liverpool themselves find out once again that playing with the right kind of attacking lineup makes all the difference against inferior teams.
Sure, there’s also a difference between playing at Anfield and away from it, as their failure to get anything right except for a Steven Gerrard free kick in the loss to Hull cast a shadow over their match against Norwich. However, Brendan Rodgers learns from mistakes, and didn’t put on a side that struggles to support Suarez. There was the midfield trio of Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard, but the most important change was seeing Philippe Coutinho back in the lineup, making things that much easier for Suarez.
And Luis Suarez makes it so simple to review the match. There wasn’t any tactical brilliance that Norwich couldn’t cope with. Suarez scored a brilliant opening goal to put Liverpool on top, with a powerful strike, recognized Ruddy stepping to far from the goalline. His third goal, chipping it over Leroy Fer before sending it from outside the box into the next was another example of his dribbling skills. The fourth, a thunderous free kick, was just the way to cap off a masterpiece of a performance. Then came the assist to Raheem Sterling.
Luis Suarez might not stay with Liverpool forever. If the club fails to capture and harness the momentum generated by them this season in order to keep their best players and bring over new ones, which probably means making it to the Champions League, than Luis Suarez isn’t going to be part of this project for much longer. Not the end of the world, but a major setback in Rodgers’ plans, because there isn’t an available player like him for Liverpool to sign.
But for now, fans are cherishing every moment of watching him play for the Reds, a club that’s history matches his own individual brilliance, but their achievements over the last four years certainly suggest that he’s playing for someone a bit too small for his own stature. Matches like this against Norwich – the third time in his career with three goals or more against them (the first player with three hat tricks against the same club in the Premier League) make him want to stay. Awful, impotent performances and tactical decisions like in the loss to Hull City inch him closer towards that exit everyone fears.
Like Arsenal, Liverpool are headed towards a very rough stretch, without Daniel Sturridge to rely on. Maybe it does put on a lot of expectations on Luis Suarez’ shoulders, but he can handle them, as long as Brendan Rodgers doesn’t mess up his lineup selection, and resort once more to negative and defensive tactics when travelling to a top club’s stadium.