Luis Suarez extended his hot scoring run with a double on Sunday at White Hart Lane as Liverpool overwhelmed Tottenham Spurs 5-0 to go within two points of the Premier League summit.
Suarez took his tally to eight goals in three games and helped to set up the other three goals for Jordan Henderson, Jon Flanagan and Raheem Sterling on the day he captained Liverpool for the first time.
Assuming the armband from the injured Steven Gerrard marked Suarez’s transition from troubled times, following his push for a transfer this summer, which antagonised fans, and his bans for racist abuse and biting.
Still, Suarez maintained that he was simply standing in as captain.
“Liverpool has only one captain and that is Stevie Gerrard. We played very well and this is more important than who the captain is,” Suarez told Sky Sports.
Suarez may well be relieved that Liverpool did not sanction a move to Arsenal, with the London club now only a place and two points ahead at the top of the table.
Suarez has 17 goals in a season that only began in late September after completing a 10-game biting ban.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said that his team had not hit form yet in the Premier League. He also complimented his rivals.
“Today was not to be because Liverpool had a great, great game. They deserve credit,” he conceded after the game.
As Tottenham struggled to cope with the speed and intensity of Liverpool’s attack, Suarez took just 17 minutes to open the scoring.
Henderson volleyed in another before halftime, following up after Suarez was denied by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Any hopes of a Tottenham comeback were thwarted by Paulinho being sent off in the 63rd for sinking his boots into Suarez’s ribs.
Suarez then setup Flanagan for Liverpool’s third, found the net again himself in the 84th, and fed the ball for Sterling to complete the rout five minutes later.
“It was difficult after the sending off. We said at half-time a goal would put us back in the game. The third goal was the killer and ruled our confidence out,” said Villas-Boas.
The collapse, having lost 6-0 at Manchester City last month, left Tottenham in seventh place, seven points from the fourth Champions League place.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)
Date created : 2013-12-15