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Rodgers compares Suarez to duo

05 Dec 2013 06:47:02

Rodgers compares Suarez to duo

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers likened an 'incredible' performance from Luis Suarez to those from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and believes the striker will have a long-term future at the club.

The Uruguay international scored four times - including a 20-minute first-half hat-trick - and provided an assist as the Reds swept aside Norwich 5-1 at Anfield.

All of the goals from the 26-year-old, who became the first Premier League striker to score three hat-tricks against the same club, had a touch of brilliance to them.

And despite all the speculation over Suarez's future in the summer, and more which will no doubt come when the January transfer window opens, the Reds boss is confident the player can achieve his Champions League dreams at Anfield.

"Sheer brilliance that was. Technically we were very good but to witness that was a remarkable individual performance," he said.

"I always like to talk about the team but I think you have to hold up Luis as one of the best strikers in the world. Incredible performance.

"I think he is the happiest he has been here. He flies all around the world but I think this club suits him perfectly and I still think his best years are going to be here.

"The profile of the club, the connection with the supporters, you can see it is a hand-in-glove fit for him.

"The type of football we are trying to play allows him to operate in those spaces but you still have to be there to finish it off and that must have been a joy to watch for people.

"The modern-day world-class operators - the Ronaldos and Messis - it is all about the numbers and what they produce and it is not any more one and two, or two and three (goals).

"I think if you look at Messi and Ronaldo they have been out on their own for a couple of years.

"Luis is only 26 and I think he will make improvements to his game over the coming years."

Suarez's numbers are impressive. He has now scored 51 league goals in 84 appearances and against Norwich he has 11 in his last four appearances at an average of a goal every 33 minutes.

He is also the Premier League's leading scorer with 13 in just nine games.

His first was a brilliant 45-yard dipping effort, his second an instinctive hooked finish, the third saw him flick the ball over Leroy Fer before smashing home and he finished off with what is now becoming a trademark free-kick.

Suarez then provided the cross for Raheem Sterling to score after Bradley Johnson's late consolation.

"That repertoire tonight was incredible and I felt for the Norwich defenders," added Rodgers.

"When you come up against someone like that, a top world-class player, it is difficult to contain that.

"The first one was probably reminiscent of the one he had a couple of years ago (at Carrow Road).

"To actually hit it with that dip to get it over the keeper was outstanding.

"The second goal was great with a bit of improvisation to get in front of the defender and sweep it in but then I watched the third goal again and you look at that and think 'Goodness me, what a goal what was'.

"The free-kick doesn't surprise me because we practise that every week and you can see the quality and the power he hits it with.

"I think you could toss a coin between the first and the third."

Norwich boss Chris Hughton could not question Suarez's quality but felt his side should have handled him better.

"It has been a tough time for us with him in particular," he said.

"He is a world-class player and if you afford him that much space and time then he is one person that has the ability to do what he did today.

"I am more disappointed in the fact we afforded him too much space and time and gave him the opportunities he gratefully took.

"There aren't many players who can score that first goal but the second goal was the one which hurt us as it was a soft goal.

"My over-riding feeling is we could have done more to stop him having the day he has."


PA

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