His final appearance? Sub Suarez stars in 17 minute cameo in Liverpool win in Melbourne
Melbourne Victory 0 Liverpool 2
Luis Suarez made a 17 minute substitute appearance for Liverpool against Melbourne Victory as the Anfield club stepped up its efforts to resist Arsenal's attempt to lure him to the Emirates.
Having had a £40,000,001 bid for the Uruguayan rejected by Liverpool on Tuesday, Arsenal woke to a provocative tweet from Liverpool principal owner John W Henry asking, 'What do you think they are smoking over there at Emirates?'
With the ongoing saga between the two clubs threatening to boil over into an ugly row, Suarez pulled on a Liverpool shirt for the first time since admitting he wanted to leave last month by making a brief appearance in front of 95,446 at the MCG.
The unsettled forward was given a hero's reception by the largely-Liverpool supporting crowd before teeing up an injury-time goal from Iago Aspas.
His future will remain uncertain, however, with Liverpool flying to Bangkok on Thursday for the next leg of their summer tour.
With Philippe Coutinho resting a calf strain and summer signing from Manchester City, Kolo Toure, also omitted due to a knock, Rodgers chose to start with Suarez on the substitutes' bench due to the forward only beginning pre-season training on Monday.
Rodgers remained faithful to the majority of the team which defeated Indonesia 2-0 in Jakarta on Saturday, but the home side started strongly and could have taken the lead inside 20 minutes but for the efforts of Liverpool's Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones.
Having escaped his marker 30 yards from goal, Melbourne midfielder Andrew Nabbout turned goalwards and aimed a powerful left-foot strike before seeing Jones palm the effort away.
The near miss appeared to spark Liverpool into action and they went close themselves within 60 seconds through Gerrard.
With a similar effort to Nabbout, Gerrard forced goalkeeper Nathan Coe to punch his 20-yard strike away to safety.
Liverpool's control of the ball in midfield enabled them to take hold of the game, however, and Gerrard opened the scoring on 32 minutes following a move involving the England midfielder, Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson.
After receiving the ball following Henderson's dummy, Allen broke forward before teeing up Gerrard to score from 12 yards.
Other than the sight of Suarez back in a Liverpool shirt, a Gerrard goal was the moment most of the 95,000 red-shirted supporters inside the MCG had paid to see and, not for the first time in his Anfield career, Gerrard delivered.
Melbourne kept their shape and remained organised, however, and the A-League outfit carved out some good opportunities early in the second-half.
In response, Liverpool were limited to two Fabio Borini efforts - a volley which was saved and an overhead kick which bounced narrowly wide of the far post.
Suarez's introduction added more threat to Liverpool's attacking play and he showed the creativity Rodgers is determined to keep by setting Aspas's goal two minutes into stoppage time.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Jones (Mignolet 72); Johnson (Kelly 72), Skrtel (Coates 72), Wisdom (Agger 72), Enrique (Flanagan 72); Henderson (Spearing 72), Gerrard (Lucas 63), Allen (Downing 72); Sterling (Luis Alberto 72), Borini (Suarez 72), Ibe (Aspas 72). Subs: Assaidi, Robinson.