Football

Published: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 5:57:01 AM
Updated: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 5:57:10 AM

Liverpool boss Rodgers salutes man of the moment Suarez

Liverpool's Luis Suarez reactsduring their English Premier League soccer match against West Ham United at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England December 7, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Liverpool's Luis Suarez reactsduring their English Premier League soccer match against West Ham United at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England December 7, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Red-hot striker Luis Suarez followed a swashbuckling four-goal midweek show with another outstanding display to inspire Liverpool to a 4-1 drubbing of lowly West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday.

An own goal by the visitors' Guy Demel before the break and an effort from Mamadou Sakho just after gave the hosts a 2-0 advantage before Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel put through his own net to give West Ham a glimmer of hope at Anfield.

Suarez then grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, powering home a pinpoint cross from Glen Johnson 10 minutes from time before the Uruguay international's 84th-minute shot was deflected into his own goal by defender Joey O'Brien.

"I wouldn't swap Suarez for anyone," said manager Brendan Rodgers after his Liverpool side climbed to second in the standings, four points behind leaders Arsenal who play their game in hand at home to Everton on Sunday.

"At this moment in time he's up there with the best players in the world. I get the chance to work with him every day and what he gives to training and what he gives to the team is just a relentless desire.

"When you have that in a player, then you don't want to let it go. We've got a strong relationship and it's a joy for people to watch him, in particular myself as a coach," Rodgers told the club website (www.liverpoolfc.com).

Suarez almost single-handedly sunk Norwich City on Wednesday, his four goals leading the Merseysiders to a 5-1 rout at Anfield.

"I don't think you can put a price on him at this moment and I wouldn't want to," said Rodgers.

"If you look at the consistency now in his game and the way he's playing, he's really, really enjoying playing at Liverpool and being here."

Suarez asked to leave the club in the close season, when he was in the middle of a 10-game suspension imposed for biting the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in April.

The Uruguayan has played fewer games than most of his rival strikers but is still the top scorer in the league with 14 goals, two ahead of Manchester City's Sergio Aguero.

(Writing by Tony Jimenez in London; editing by Ken Ferris)

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