• Premier League

Suarez near unplayable - Rodgers

ESPN staff
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Rodgers: Suarez was unplayable

Brendan Rodgers has hailed Luis Suarez as "near unplayable" after the striker took his tally for the season to 22 goals in 16 games in Liverpool's 5-3 win at Stoke.

It was Liverpool's first triumph in the league at the Potters since 1984 and came after their previous five trips had only produced two points.

A Ryan Shawcross own goal, along with a double from Suarez and strikes from Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge took Liverpool back into the top four.

And Rodgers believes opposing defenders face a tough task in stopping Suarez. He said: "He [Suarez] has shown in his time at Liverpool in the last year or so that he is near unplayable.

"He on his own can occupy a back four with his movement and his cleverness."

Sturridge, who has recovered from an ankle injury, came off the bench to make his first appearance since November, rekindling his deadly partnership with Suarez.

Rodgers added: "Both of them combined very well, they're both outstanding talents and you could see from their link-up and Luis' [second] goal, where he [Sturridge] slid it around the corner to him and Luis finished it really well. And then Dan's movement for Luis to play him in was exceptional. To get the fifth goal, away here, really shows that threat that we have."

And Rodgers believes his side made a statement by inflicting only Stoke's second home defeat of the season.

"It was a brilliant win, Liverpool had never won here in the Premier League and we all know why, it's a notoriously difficult place to play, but I want to give immense credit to the players," he said.

Rodgers sympathised with Stoke manager Mark Hughes, who described the awarding of the penalty Gerrard scored for Liverpool's third goal as "soft."

Raheem Sterling went to ground as Marc Wilson challenged, and Rodgers added: "I would call that a Spanish penalty, which means that if you get it you are happy. Raheem is obviously running at such a speed that that slight contact knocks him over. Probably he'll [Hughes] feel [it is] very harsh, we're happy to take it and get it."

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