Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish couldn’t hide his delight at the performance of striker Luis Suarez against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Not that displays of such skill and class are unusual for the Uruguayan, but after spending much of the week nervously awaiting a FA disciplinary verdict, to play as he did is commendable.
The former Ajax man really should have found himself on the score sheet, but could only hit the bar twice – something Liverpool player have grown used to this season. Despite his lack of fortune in front of goal he remains an outside tip for those who bet on the premiership top scorer.
But such was the dominance of Liverpool his misses hardly mattered, Villa put in a limp display front start to finish – a lack of fight that must be worrying for the Villa faithful, who were deathly quiet throughout the match and many had made their exit by the time the final whistle eventually arrived.
For the Reds it was as comfortable an afternoon they will have all season. Their quickfire double in the first half from Craig Bellamy and Martin Skirtel good enough for a fifth away win of the season.
I wouldn’t bet on the Premier League coming to Anfield in May but they certainly look like building a sustained challenge for a top four place and a lucrative spot back in the Champions League that could give them the finances for a brighter future.
Speaking of Suarez, who is expected to hear the result of his disciplinary hearing regarding the Patrice Evra incident on Tuesday, Dalglish said after the game: “He’s had a bad week. He’s been three days sat in a hotel (at the FA hearing) so that’s why we had to take him off (after 70 minutes).
“He only trained on Tuesday and Saturday and for him to put in a performance like that was unbelievable.
“It speaks volumes for the man.”