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Premier League

Kenny Dalglish and Mark Hughes praise in form Luis Suarez

Kenny Dalglish and Mark Hughes were united in their praise of Luis Suarez after another virtuoso performance from the Uruguayan inspired Liverpool to a crushing 5-2 victory at Fulham.

Maxi Rodriguez might have stolen the headlines with his second hat-trick in three matches, but Suarez was the driving force behind last night's win, which propelled the Reds up to fifth place in the Barclays Premier League.

The £22.8million fee Liverpool paid Ajax for Suarez is looking more of a bargain by the week, and manager Dalglish did not hold back with the plaudits.

"He was fantastic," said the Scot, who left Andy Carroll at home because of "a bruise".

"He was running as hard at the end as he was at the very beginning and he caused them all sorts of problems.

"I don't think in our wildest dreams he could've settled in as quickly as he has done and taken to English football the way that he has done.

"He's graced the pitch every time he's played on it."

Opposite number Hughes admitted his players never got to grips with their tormentor, adding: "It was a new experience for them and they'll learn from it because he's an accomplished player.

"When good players have time and space they can hurt you, which he certainly did."

Liverpool have now scored 13 goals in their last four matches and are in pole position for Europa League qualification.

There was even talk of a dramatic late push for fourth place, but that would involve a Manchester City meltdown and Dalglish was not prepared to speculate on the likelihood of that happening.

He was similarly reluctant to discuss what his side could achieve next season, amid suggestions they could mount a serious challenge for the title.

Dalglish, who looks sure to be confirmed as manager on a full-time basis, said: "We've always said we'll do the very best we possibly can, and if I'm here next year then it'll be exactly the same."

Hughes refused to pin the blame for Fulham's 16-minute defensive horror show last night solely at the door of goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, and questioned whether Liverpool's win reflected their true quality.

The former Manchester United striker said: "We maybe made them look a bit better than possibly they are.

"But they can certainly improve and they've got a talented guy (Suarez) at the top of their team that's going to work and harry and make positive movements in that final third and is going to create goals and chances for himself and his team.

"He was outstanding."