As I sat down at my laptop on Wednesday night looking for a link to watch Liverpool v Norwich City, I did so with a slight sense of unease about the game.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect after the deep disappointment of losing to Hull City at the weekend, and a myriad of thoughts and questions went through my mind.
Was it the end of the fantastic start to the season that we’d unexpectedly had? Was it the turning point in our season that signalled the beginning of the slump? Had the seasonal hard times begun? Should I even bother watching?
Despite all of these negative thoughts, I persevered (as I always do) and I was absolutely stunned. Not because it was a six-goal thriller, but by a virtuoso performance from a footballer reviled by all except the Liverpool faithful.
That man you just can’t keep out of the headlines. That man everyone loves to hate. That man many football fans would sell their own grandmother to have in their starting line-up: just ask Piers Morgan. That man, Luis Suárez.
Suárez has now scored three hat-tricks against Norwich, a feat achieved by no other player in the EPL. In fact, eleven goals in three games – that’s more goals than Norwich have scored as a team all season.
Four goals in one game is an accomplishment in itself, but the sheer quality of his goals was something to savour. No simple tap-ins, scrappy goals or penalties in sight, but a show of utter brilliance in each and every one.
Magical touches, deft ball control and precision that a sniper would be proud of. A complete show of supreme skill and sheer audacity.
The blatant cheek of his first was reminiscent of his halfway line chip at Carrow Road two seasons ago. This one however surpassed even that one, with its vicious dip that gave goalkeeper John Ruddy no chance.
The second was a pure poacher’s goal that may have looked straightforward but was anything but. The mastery involved in keeping the ball on target with very little reaction time was incredible and would probably have ended up in orbit by anyone else.
Number three had to be the pick of the bunch, and a bunch it was! It must all have been a blur for the four Norwich players that surrounded him, when his ridiculous ball control left them wondering what had just happened.
Even he couldn’t believe what he had just done and his goal celebration saw him cover his face like an embarrassed child.
So there it was, three hat-tricks against the same team and the annihilation was complete. However, Luis Suárez wasn’t done yet.
A thunderous free kick and an assist later, Brendan Rodgers thought it best to substitute him and end the Canaries’ misery. Either that or we would all be having to think up new footballing vocabulary to explain his feats. Thanks Brendan.
Such was the magnificence of his exhibition, his teammates’ numerous missed chances haven’t even been discussed with Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen amongst the players just missing out.
But Wednesday night was all about one man and his pure, unadulterated footballing genius. Were Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to look over their proverbial shoulder they would see the Uruguayan’s beaming smile not too far behind.
At times Suarez has almost single-handedly carried Liverpool in the darkest of times and in return he has been rewarded with supreme loyalty and affection from Reds the world over.
This ability is definitely a footballing trait worthy of one of the best players in the world. Just imagine what he could achieve if he could keep his head together (and his mouth closed) for a whole season. The mind boggles.
Liverpool fans should savour Luis Suárez while he remains at the club, as the lure of a big club and potential trophies could prove to be too much of a temptation in the summer for him. I, for one, hope he never leaves.
Written by Umarah Naz