Super Suarez proves his worth to purring Dalglish

Liverpool 1 Queens Park Rangers 0: Liverpool's Uruguayan striker answers critics with match-winning display


You cannot keep a good man down – not even one with a bit of devil in him. Five days after creating a fresh controversy by earning an FA misconduct charge for an alleged hand gesture at Fulham fans, Luis Suarez stole the headlines for the right reasons yesterday with an outstanding display in this narrow, but richly deserved Liverpool victory.

Suarez scored the only goal after 47 minutes, heading a Charlie Adam cross past Radek Cerny, but would have been the game's dominant figure even without his decisive strike that secured Liverpool a first home success since September and lifted them into sixth place, above Newcastle on goal difference.

Kenny Dalglish had showed reporters on Thursday a DVD package designed to persuade them that the Uruguayan is less sinner than sinned against; here was evidence of a less disputed fact, namely Suarez's ability to illuminate a football field with his presence. A delighted Dalgish said afterwards: "It will be nice headlines tomorrow for him. He scored with a header which doesn't happen too often and played really well."

The Uruguayan, who had not scored in the Premier League since 1 October, was a menace to the QPR defence with not just his ability and inventiveness but also, during a first half of missed opportunities, for his sheer irrepressibility. Liverpool had surrendered an 11-match unbeaten run at Fulham on Monday and began intent on making amends, setting the tone for a display that produced 15 shots on target with three corners inside the first three minutes.

Suarez was at the heart of it and might have had a hat-trick inside the first 15 minutes. After nodding a Stewart Downing cross straight at Radek Cerny, Suarez played a cute one-two with Maxi Rodriguez, a lively accomplice, only to screw his shot wide. Suarez had begun the day as owner of an unwanted Premier League statistic for most shots off target (26) and he added another, flashing a shot from a tight angle that flew between Cerny and the near post but right across the goalline.

Suarez was not the only profligate one – on the half-hour Dirk Kuyt sent Maxi running clear but Cerny got a hand to his sidefooted finish – but before long he was at it again, failing with an attempted lob of the goalkeeper, then lashing the rebound wide.

Rangers have won more games away from Loftus Road than at home but Liverpool's passing and moving had them chasing shadows. "Some of the football we played in the first half was brilliant," purred Dalglish. Still, there remained the question whether they could press home their advantage. The home crowd, mindful of damaging draws here with the other promoted sides, Norwich and Swansea, remained subdued until Suarez – who else? – caused Anfield to explode into noise moments after the restart.

Adam was the instigator, stepping away from Shaun Wright-Phillips on the right flank and crossing into the six-yard box where Luke Young had left Suarez free to bury his header past Cerny.

QPR lost Anton Ferdinand with a hamstring injury and they might have lost more goals too but for the excellence of Cerny, the visitors' third-choice keeper.

The Czech stretched out a long arm to touch a Maxi shot on to the post. Maxi was foiled again by Cerny after breaking free after a pinball exchange with Suarez. "Radek Cerny was fantastic," said Neil Warnock, the visiting manager. "I am really pleased for him. He is a top professional and at 37 never thought he'd play another game in the Premier League."

The ghosts of Liverpool's five previous home draws ensured some late jitters with Danny Gabbidon spurning an opportunity to equalise after 72 minutes, when he turned over from the edge of the six-yard box. That was one of several anxious moments from high balls into the home box.

Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Henderson, Adam; Downing (Shelvey 86), Kuyt, Maxi (Bellamy 78); Suarez.

QPR (4-4-2): Cerny; Young, Ferdinand (Orr 50), Gabbidon, Traore; Wright-Phillips, Barton, Faurlin, Smith (Campbell 66); Mackie (Hill 78), Bothroyd.

Referee: Lee Mason

Man of the match: Suarez (Liverpool)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific