When former Kop idol Fernando Torres completed a £50m move to Stamford Bridge in January, Liverpool fans felt angry, upset and cheated. But 24-year-old striker Suarez is quickly erasing the memory of the Spaniard. The former Ajax man did score a goal on his debut against Stoke last month, but it was this performance against the league leaders that truly showed his class. Some questioned whether Suarez would be able to cope with the pace and intensity of the Premier League, but this display suggests he has already adapted to English football.
The way in which the £23m man weaved through the United defence for the first goal will be remembered for a long time by Liverpool supporters. Suarez was lively throughout and looked dangerous every time he touched the ball. The Uruguayan is not afraid of using his quick feet to get past opponents and he will be encouraged to carry on delighting the Kop with his nifty footwork. Torres may have gone, but Liverpool certainly have a new star.
Suarez’s silky skills even seemed to have overshadowed the performance of the man who scored the goals – Dirk Kuyt. The Dutchman is often criticised for his lack of goals, but they all came at once yesterday. All three of Kuyt’s strikes may have been from very close range, but they were poacher’s goals and will no doubt do his confidence the world of good. And the view of many supporters is that Kuyt deserved his hat-trick simply because of his phenomenal work-rate time and time again for his side.
And to add to what has been a good weekend for Liverpool’s attacking players, former Newcastle hero Carroll made a cameo appearance which delighted the home crowd. Signed for £35m in January, Carroll was given a huge roar of support as he came on for his debut, and he showed glimpses of what he will offer to Liverpool. The Englishman made good use of his head a couple of times in the short time he was given to impress and his aerial presence will add an extra dimension to Dalglish’s side in the future.
Much has been said about the way Liverpool have improved defensively since Dalglish and Steve Clarke came in a couple of months ago, but this performance highlighted the sheer quality the Merseysiders have when going forward. Indeed, Dalglish will be delighted with Suarez’s ability to unlock a defence and Kuyt rediscovering his goalscoring touch, though with Carroll still to fully get his Anfield career going, one would sense there are many more goals to come as Liverpool look ahead to the future.