Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll: Beauty and the Beast, a Blossoming Partnership
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Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish was trying to play it down in the post match press conference, but there was no hiding his delight with his team's performance at the Hawthorns against West Bromwich Albion.
Suarez had played a blinder. He was brilliant. His movement, his pace, his first touch, his vision—all reminiscent of a young Michael Owen. And his technical skills—far superior to any English player in recent years. We just don't produce players like that in this country.
But we do produce robust, hearty all-action heroes like Andy Carroll. Dalglish was ready to admit that this was Carroll's best performance in a Liverpool shirt. He lacks the class of Suarez, but he is a big handful, and the Albion defence were unable to deal with him.
Carroll scored on the stroke of half-time and missed a couple of good chances in the second half. He won most of the aerial battles, took the pressure off Suarez and provided a target for long, diagonal balls from Adam and Lucas.
At times, his giant frame and clumsy touch contrasted strongly with the slick, quick skills of Suarez.
But together, their mix of brain and brawn, muscle and subtlety, slickness and thickness are a match-winning combination.
West Bromwich Albion fans will point to the least attractive feature of Suarez's game.
He went down far too easily from the challenge by Jerome Thomas. It won him a penalty that Adam scored. Thomas's challenge was ill-judged. A winger's tackle.
But Suarez made the most of it.
We have seen him do this before. What a shame it would be if this gifted genius of a player were to spoil his reputation by cheating. He has no need to do it. He has more skill than any other striker in the Premier League.
To be a genius, he must continue to play brilliantly.
To be a legend, he must play fairly.
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