Sunday, 6 October 2013

Luis Suarez Shows Liverpool Not Kidding About Title Push

Luis Suarez found caning Crystal Palace child’s play as rampant Liverpool went back to the top of the table.

On his first game at Anfield since returning from his ban, bad boy Suarez bizarrely carried his nine-day-old boy Benjamin on to the pitch before the game – kitted out in full Liverpool strip.

And he soon had Liverpool fans going gaga over his storming performance as Palace were beaten inside 17 minutes in a 3-1 defeat.

Suarez opened the scoring before strike partner Daniel Sturridge added a quickfire second to make it 12 goals in the nine PremierLeague games in which both have started.

Steven Gerrard added a third before the break from the spot.

It was, of course, Suarez’s pass that brought the foul on Raheem Sterling from Dean Moxey to secure the penalty.

And by half-time the Uruguayan ace had created more chances than most players can boast of in a season.

He took life a little easier in a second half in which substitute Dwight Gayle netted a consolation effort.

Palace boss Ian Holloway was in charge of promoted Blackpool who stunned the Kop by winning here in October 2010.

From the opening moments yesterday, though, it was obvious that another shock was not on the cards. Palace old boy Victor Moses started the goal rush by crabbing his way across the pitch and finding Suarez who fed the overlapping Jose Enrique.

His cutback was well weighted for Suarez to head for goal and, despite slipping, he hooked the ball home from an almost horizontal position.

That threw down the gauntlet to Sturridge and he happily took up the challenge.

Enrique’s pass flicked off Adrian Mariappa and the England star turned Damien Delaney dizzy with his quick feet before slotting home from what looked an impossibly tight angle.

The game was won at that point and Liverpool switched off, allowing Palace to suddenly pour forward.

Cameron Jerome’s header sent Jimmy Kebe racing in on goal but the winger lacked conviction and his weak effort let Simon Mignolet get a hand to the ball before Kolo Toure hacked clear.

Jerome’s follow-up shot hit Kebe and brought a superb reflex save from the Belgium keeper.

Liverpool were having a rough patch so Moxey’s dumb decision to grab at Sterling’s arm and give away a penalty looked all the more clueless.

Gerrard sent Julian Speroni the wrong way from the spot.

Now Liverpool were in full flow again and only Moses will know how he failed to convert Suarez’s cross from six yards.

He let the ball hit his knee before bouncing up and coming back off the bar.

The half ended with Speroni once more denying Suarez but Liverpool took their foot further off the gas after the break and Gayle took advantage.

He escaped his marker from a Jose Campana free-kick to glance in a header at the near post.
There was still time for Suarez to set up another chance for Sturridge with a neat pass which the former Chelsea man hammered against the post.
Boss Brendan Rodgers said: “We were very good in the final third of the field.

“The two boys up front are as good as anything in the league and you know you have a chance with them.

“We took the goals well and created chances but the second half was nowhere near what we wanted to do.”

Holloway said: “Missing the chances we had on the break was important. We need to get some confidence.

“For a while Brendan was fidgety standing next to me but we are being punished for any mistakes we make.

“If you don’t take the chances, this level can be pretty unforgiving.

“I was upset to go in at three goals down as I didn’t think it was a penalty. I think the ref made a mistake.

“But the character in the second half was terrific.

“You have to bounce back and we can take some solace from the second half.

“A lot of teams would have capitulated but we didn’t.”

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