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

Norwich: RUDDY 5/10; MARTIN 4; TURNER 4; BARNETT 3; GARRIDO 4; SNODGRASS 5; HOWSON 5; B JOHNSON 5; SURMAN 4; JACKSON 6; MORISON 6

Liverpool: REINA 5; G JOHNSON 7; AGGER 7; SKRTEL 6; WISDOM 6; ALLEN 7; GERRARD 7; SUSO 7; SAHIN 8; STERLING 7; SUAREZ 9

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum