Suarez’s bags brace against the Black Cats…
Liverpool’s ultra-talented and ultra-controversial strike finally made his return to the first team in the Reds’ 3-1 victory over Sunderland on Sunday afternoon.
He bagged a brace, immediately winning back the hearts of the Liverpool fans after his summer of public discontent.
So here’s how it happened…
As expected, the striker played in a withdrawn role off Daniel Sturridge in the first half. He started in a wide left position that Coutinho had been occupying before his injury, and looked dangerous, if a little unfamiliar with the role. When in possession, Suarez was direct, and would run diagonally at the Sunderland right-back before laying the ball into midfield or winning a freekick. He seemed unable to take the defender down the line, and looked far more dangerous when he swapped roles with Sturridge in the second half and played more centrally. Suarez still dropped off to pick up possession, but was a real menace playing right alongside the Sunderland back line, and could have scored more if Jordan Henderson’s delivery wasn’t so poor.
Although the striker standardly tried the odd audacious wonderchip attempt, he was clinical when it counted. Suarez made sure he put himself in the right place when Sturridge had the ball at the byline, and he scored both of his easiest chances. He did miss the target with a volley that broke loose from a corner in the second half, and at his best, the 26-year-old would expect to score from the chance. After missing so many matches though, the striker can be forgiven for a little bit of rustiness.
Luis Suárez had TWO shots on target, not the three we were after for the FIFA giveaway. 2 of his shots were blocked. pic.twitter.com/AHWqT7T7fv
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 29, 2013
The striker loves playing against Sunderland, too. The Black Cats will be glad to see the back of him after his sixth goal in six matches against them.
6 – Suarez has now scored six goals in six Premier League appearances against Sunderland. Return.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 29, 2013
The partnership with Sturridge:
Rodgers on Sturridge-Suarez: “You see how they link up, how dangerous they are together. Luis is reaping the rewards for hard work” #SUNLIV
— Premier League (@premierleague) September 29, 2013
Most impressive of all about his return, was the fantastic partnership with Daniel Sturridge. The duo combined brilliantly all afternoon, and put to bed the uneducated claims that Liverpool are a more effective side when Sturridge plays on his own. Without the pair, Liverpool would probably have lost or drawn the game, as they were not at their fluent best, and it was the clinical attacking play of the duo that earned the Reds a vital three points.
Suarez’s movement for both of his goals was world-class, and Sturridge did really well to hold the ball up and play his partner in at the perfect time. Often this season Sturridge has been isolated up top, but with Suarez dovetailing with him, the Reds posed a much more consistent, varied attacking threat.
Surprisingly, and probably irritatingly for Suarez’s many detractors, his theatrical side rarely showed its ugly face this afternoon. When fouled or not played in by a teammate, he kept his head down and carried on working hard. The world-class forward rarely threw his hands into the air in indignation, although to be fair – he had little to be upset about it.
Brendan Rodgers has reminded the player of his on-field responsibilities, and it could be, for the while at least – that Suarez will try and keep a lid on his famous temper and concentrate solely on his football.
— Into The Six (@IntoTheSix) September 29, 2013