2011 Crunch Time: Luis Suarez vs Fernando Torres: Liverpool's Blood Test

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2011 Crunch Time: Luis Suarez vs Fernando Torres: Liverpool's Blood Test
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El Pistolero: Is he better than Torres?

It's been a long wait for Fernando Torres' first goal in a Chelsea shirt, and now it's finally come, it's time, in my opinion, to compare fresh Liverpool blood with the old. The concept is simple, the verdict awaits you so get reading!

 

First Touch

All strikers need a good first touch, fact. Whether the striker intends to hit the ball first time, beat an oncoming defender or hold the ball up for a teammate, the first milliseconds with the ball coming is key.

Fernando Torres has shown again and again that he has the ability to take the ball in quickly, swivel and shoot. This makes the task of marking him very difficult, as he can go either way in a split second when the ball comes his way.

El Nino has demonstrated on many an occasions that his first touch is excellent, and when Andy Gray said, "it almost seems like the ball is glued to his feet, until it's in the back of the net," he's not far off.

Rating: 9/10

Luis Suarez has demonstrated his skill in an Ajax shirt and now in Liverpool Red. Whether the ball be in the penalty area or 25 yards from goal, the little man has shown that he and the ball are inseparable.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Fernando Torres Dribbles (with a football, that is)

Ask Manchester United (when Suarez dribbled past two defenders and beat the goalkeeper in the space of around three metres), or West Ham (when he did the same) what he's like to mark, and the response would be along the lines of impossible.

Also, though not a necessity for strikers, Luis has shown that his first touch passing ability is among the best in the Premier League, with his deft touches very easy on the eye.

Rating: 9/10

 

Dribbling Ability

You might argue that a striker doesn't need to be a good dribbler to be successful, but I would disagree with you. Ronaldo (Brazilian) showed that dribbling was an important factor for creating goalscoring opportunities, as does Lionel Messi and other  greats.

Torres, when on form, was a menace with the football. His dribbling skills coupled with his pace brought him away from defenders, around goalkeepers and usually heading toward goal. However, it has seemed of late that this element to his game may have been left in a suitcase in Liverpool, so only glimpses have been seen in a Chelsea shirt. However, it is there, somewhere.

Rating: 7/10

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Luis Suarez after a great finish against Sunderland

Saurez has shown time and time again that his feet are quicker than most. He constantly takes players on, usually beating them, and this gives Liverpool a huge edge in the attack, as others can benefit from his trickery or just watch and observe a master at work.

Rating: 10

 

Finishing

The strikers main attribute, the cherry on the cake, the art of goalscoring. Or simply, just the ability to shove the ball in the back of the net.

Torres has it, no doubt about it. Time and time again we have witnessed El Nino make beating goalkeepers easy. He can ship keepers, round them or blast the ball underneath them, he's just brilliant.

His best finish? I cant really find one, they're all really quite good.

Rating: 10

Luis Suarez has scored two goals for Liverpool. One great finish against Sunderland, the other a great debut goal against Stoke. However, these goals could have been prevented easily, had the defence of the opposition been a little better.

However, one need only look at his Ajax days to see that when he gets the chance, he takes it.

Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Fernando Torres celebrates with team mates

Rating: 9/10

 

Team Work Ability

Like it or not, you can't run a team with one striker. You need service. Great teams like Barca show quality with build ups and then a great finish—on occasion.

Torres showed great partnership with Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard, though unfortunately, not with anyone else. Therefore, when Gerrard was injured, Torres was out of the game, and it was like watching two strikers.

The one with Gerrard was brilliant, the other without Gerrard (like now, at Chelsea) was woeful. This part of his game, in England at least, needs improvement.

Rating: 6/10

Suarez has shown ability to link up with others in a red shirt. It is this that makes him so deadly, the fact that he always wants the ball and can usually get it. I feel that if Suarez can work on his partnership with Andy Carroll even more, he will be terrorising defences for years to come.

Rating: 8/10

 

Dealing with Big Games and Pressure

This is incredibly important. Big names perform on the big stage, and it is usually the strikers who determine the big headline the next day,

Torres has appeared in every competition he could. The UEFA Champions League, the European Championships and the World Cup Final, to name a few. This has given him confidence going into the bigger games, and he has reaped the rewards, scoring in big games time and time again.

Rating: 9/10

Suarez, though young, has appeared in many competitions, too. His experience gained will help him through big games in a red shirt and help lead Liverpool to successes. Being so young, Suarez has around five years at his peak to gain confidence and appear in many more big games for club and country.

Rating: 8/10

In conclusion, the two are very close, but we must remind ourselves that Suarez is younger than Torres, and therefore has time to improve. The scores are close, though the young South American pipped the Spaniard to the post.

Final Ratings 

Torres: 8.2 

Suarez: 8.8

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