Addressing a myth: Luis Suarez DOES perform in the big games

Luis Suarez Free Kick V Zenit

Some criticise the Liverpool striker for not delivering in the biggest games, so how does he do on those occasions?

If there has been a criticism of Luis Suarez and his performances, it has been that he has failed to deliver in the big games; someone who can score plenty against the smaller teams but struggle against those who are more prolific, and in the bigger games.

People will change their definition of a ‘big game’ to suit their argument in football. Whether it is vital for the side to win against the opposition at that moment in time to put pressure on rivals in the league table, whether it is scoring in a derby game against the fiercest of rivals or whether or not they can score against sides that are competing for honours.

Saturday's clash with Southampton was a big game for Liverpool. Chelsea had won to put the pressure on the rest of the sides in contention to lift the Premier League title at the end of the season, Arsenal had lost which meant there was an opportunity for the Reds to slip into second place.

It was against a bogey-side who have recently had success against Liverpool, a difficult place for many sides to go this season, yet Suarez’s involvement in all three goals led to a big win for his side.

In the Merseyside derby, he has scored in five of his six appearances against Everton, one of those was a FA Cup semi-final – and the one time he did not score against the Toffees he provided two assists.

He gave Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal a torrid time at Anfield, provided an assist that day, and nearly broke the post of the goal down at the Anfield Road end of the ground in a game where Liverpool won 5-1. In the FA Cup tie against the same opponent he won a penalty and should have been awarded another.

Since his arrival at Liverpool he has scored against Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham, as well as many other sides.

He may not have been as prolific against the bigger or better sides but that is because they are better equipped at dealing with the Uruguayan – and not necessarily down to a drop in Suarez’s performance level.

The same criticism was levelled at Cristiano Ronaldo, even when he had scored the opening goal in the Champions League final for Manchester United in 2008. It seems that some are out there to belittle the performances of even the best talents in the game.

image: © LovelyLeftFoot

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