Suarez rebuilding reputation on the pitch

Striker Luis Suarez sparked life into Liverpool's stuttering Premier League campaign as they thumped Queens Park Rangers 3-0 on Sunday in a match that highlighted the brilliance of the unpredictable Uruguayan.

In the opening 16 minutes, the 25-year-old almost single-handedly secured Liverpool's victory as he sliced through some feeble defending to score a superb individual goal before adding a second six minutes later.

It was vintage Suarez, the reason Liverpool paid more than 22 million pounds to acquire his services, and Queens Park Rangers simply could not contain him.

Life has not, however, been all joy and success for Suarez since he arrived from Ajax Amsterdam in January 2011 and the south American's two-year stint on Merseyside has been controversial.

The Uruguayan was handed an eight-match ban and 40,000-pound fine for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra last year and subsequently refused to shake the Frenchman's hand before a game at Old Trafford to reignite the row.

There was another punishment for making an abusive hand gesture at Fulham before Suarez's reputation as a diver gained traction following a series of questionable incidents inside the penalty area.

Seven goals in 12 appearances since the start of November, however, serve as a reminder of how influential he can be for Liverpool as they seek a place at Europe's top table next season.

Club captain Steven Gerrard has long backed Suarez and after his two goals at Loftus Road, was fulsome in his praise.

"He's a magician," England captain Gerrard told Sky Sports.

"He's been brilliant since he's come to the club. These players [QPR] only have to play against him twice a year - we have to train with him every day. Week in, week out, he shows his value."

As a team, Liverpool may be battling for consistency but Suarez is not.

His ability to pop up at crucial moments is unquestionable and his recent goal-scoring record is proof he is at the top of his game.

"Luis Suarez is superb," Liverpool assistant manager Colin Pascoe said. "He's a maverick. He creates chances for himself, finishes them and is a great lad."


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