- FIRST BLOOD: Liverpool’s Luiz Suarez (second left) celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Southampton. Liverpool won 3-0 to go second in the English Premier League. AFPpic
LIVERPOOL boss Brendan Rodgers insists the Anfield giants’ pursuit of the Premier League title is not all down to Luis Suarez despite another virtuoso performance by the livewire Uruguayan.
Suarez, on his 100th league appearance for the club, was named man-of-the-match in the 3-0 win at Southampton that lifted Liverpool into second place in the table.
He scored the opening goal before his cross was swept home by Raheem Sterling for the second before his turn in the area proved too much for Jose Fonte in the last minute and Steven Gerrard converted the penalty.
But Rodgers would not single out Suarez for special praise.
“It helps when you have a team and a squad. Luis was sensational. Although he has only scored four of our last 33 goals he is a huge influence,” said Rodgers.
“But today was all about the squad and the collective.”
The win at Southampton, although never quite as comfortable as the margin of victory suggests, took Liverpool into second place thanks to Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at Stoke.
A rare clean sheet and Suarez’s first goal in six games had fans who made the trip to St Mary’s singing about the title.
But Rodgers refused to get dragged into talk of the title, especially with Chelsea enjoying a four-point lead and with Manchester City having two games in hand.
“It’s good for the supporters to dream, but I’m not focused on the title,” said Rodgers.
“I’m focused on winning the next game. We’ve had an outstanding performance, a significant performance against a very good side with an excellent manager.
“The players were tactically brilliant, we had a clean sheet, scored three and could have had five or six. But we’ll stay calm. Ten games to go, we’re in a good position and we want to continue working at the level we’ve been at.”