Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers fears Luis Suarez's reputation will mean referees mistreat him

Norwich 2 Liverpool 5

The first league win of Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool tenure was delivered by Luis Suarez. For all of Rodgers' tactical teaching, Suarez remains the difference-maker for Liverpool, scoring three and making one in a 5-2 evisceration of Norwich City.

Everything that is compelling about Suarez was on show on Saturday. The imagination about how to score a goal, the technical excellence to execute, those narrow turns that only he can do, the capacity to make full-time professional defenders look like rushed-in pub team substitutes.

Suarez set up a goal for Nuri Sahin and could have had even more himself. Rodgers knows that whatever he does at Liverpool over the next few seasons, Suarez will be at the heart of it.

"Luis is a complete footballer," said Rodgers. "He's not just a No 9 who stands up there and waits for the ball, and is a box player. He has more tactical understanding of the game, he is clever in his technique, he moves well in and around defenders."

There is a thrill to Suarez, but there is also a cost. He now has a reputation for going down easily, which is difficult to shake. Referees are too aware of this. Leon Barnett, in one ugly move, elbowed and tripped Suarez from behind in the box. It was the most obvious penalty of the season, but Mike Jones, the referee, did not give it.

"He's a special player, a wonderful player with great enthusiasm for the game," said Rodgers of the striker he believes to be more sinned against than sinning. "He doesn't get the rub of the green from officials, there's absolutely no question. Everyone today would have seen that. But we don't complain, we keep working and keep playing like that, and we'll be all right."

Rodgers admitted that there is now a "fear" that Suarez's reputation means he will never get the penalties he deserves. Other strikers go down more easily and are still rewarded with penalties. "I could tell you about three or four strikers who go down in the box with very minimal contact, and all of them have had penalties this year," said Rodgers.

"I can't worry too much about it. It's something that hopefully the referees, when they analyse and assess their own performance, they have a look at it."

Suarez, like any natural footballer, revels in having similarly gifted players around him. Former Real Madrid midfielder Sahin played in the hole, directing Liverpool's moves, setting up one for Suarez and scoring one himself. Rodgers said that his settling in was only a matter of time.

"He was a player that I felt would fit into our style and our way of working once he got up to speed," Rodgers said. "He's got those natural leadership qualities. He's a good guy. He can tactically participate in the game, so he understands how we're trying to work and how we're trying to play. He's a real good guy who has settled in well and hopefully he continues in the form that he's in."

Match facts



Goals. Norwich: Morison 61, Holt 87. Liverpool: Suarez 2, 38, 57, Sahin 47, Gerrard 68. Substitutions: Nor Holt 6 (Jackson, 45), Hoolahan 6 (Surman, 56), Tettey (Morison, 79). Liv Assaidi 6 (Suso, 59), Henderson 6 (Sahin, 66), Carragher (G Johnson, 74). Booked: Nor Barnett. Man of the match Suarez. Match rating 8/10. Poss: Nor 33%, Liv 67%. Attempts on target: Nor 4, Liv 6. Referee M Jones (Yorkshire) Attendance 26,831.

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits