Thursday 19 April 2018

Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool would have won the Premier League had Luis Suarez stayed

Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard
Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard

Luke Brown

The former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has claimed that the club would have won the Premier League title had Luis Suarez rejected a move to Barcelona and remained at Anfield.

Suarez had one of the finest seasons of his career in 2013/14, as he scored 31 goals in 33 Premier League games to spearhead Liverpool’s title challenge.

The Uruguayan claimed the Golden Boot – out-scoring nearest challenger and team-mate Daniel Sturridge by 10 goals – but Liverpool’s title challenge collapsed when they lost 2-0 at home to Chelsea and then drew 3-3 away to Crystal Palace, despite leading 3-0 deep into the second-half.

Suarez departed for Barcelona shortly after, helping the club to win the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa del Rey during his first season at the Camp Nou. 

"There's so many good teams in the Premier League but he would have given Liverpool a better chance," Gerrard said on BT Sport when quizzed about his old team-mate.

"You're guaranteed goals, assists, he just causes every opposition problems and creates a lot of space for the players around him.

"He's relentless -- that's the word to sum him up. He scores great goals, all type of goals, he creates out of nothing.

"He occupies the whole back four by himself. He was an absolute dream to play with. He was always on the move so that you could pick him out.

"[He is] just a phenomenal footballer. He's gone to another level since he moved to Barcelona with his goal and assist return."

Despite praising Suarez’s talent, Gerrard was damning when asked to surmise Barcelona’s performance in their shock 4-0 defeat to PSG in the Champions League, highlighting how the entire team was to blame for the result.

“There was no reaction all night from any of them. Lionel Messi wasn't alone, many more Barca players struggled all night and showed zero effort, especially when they lost the ball,” said Gerrard, who claimed only Neymar was able to hold his head high after the match.

He added: “There was only probably Neymar who put in any kind of Barcelona-like performance. We've known Barcelona to have quality on the ball over the years but we've also been so impressed with their reactions when they lose the ball - they all press, hunt in packs and win the ball back but there was none of that tonight.

“When they didn't have the ball they were just passive.”

Gerrard will have a chance to show Barcelona’s players how it’s done next month, when he returns to Anfield in a charity match between a Liverpool Legends XI and a Real Madrid Legends XI.

It will be the first time that Gerrard has played at Anfield since rejoining Liverpool as a coach with the Academy side.

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