The win was more than welcome and the two strikes that earned it stunning, but one of the best moments of the match for Liverpool fans came when the ball wasn't in play, as Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez celebrated the opening goal. Following the match, Gerrard revealed that behind the joking celebration was the fact that Saurez has now fully taken on the role of the club's top free kick taker.
"I don't usually get a go at them," admitted the captain following Wednesday's nervy 2-1 victory over Sunderland that pulled Liverpool to within a point of Chelsea and keeps their title dreams alive. "Suarez has been magnificent on set-pieces but sometimes you need people to step in and I got that one. Suarez let me take that one. He wouldn't let me take one at Cardiff, but it doesn't matter who gets the goals."
Suarez has increasingly become Liverpool's go-to man on free kicks this season, but there hasn't been much public insight into the pecking order—if it was Suarez taking the lead or Gerrard had to give him the nod each time. It appears now that indeed it is Suarez who gets first crack at free kicks now, with the Uruguayan striker largely free to decide if he's in the mood to defer to one of his teammates.
On Wednesday, after missing one of his own earlier in the first half, Suarez deferred. Though judging by the laughter that resulted following the goal when Gerrard appeared to mouth something along the lines of "No more free kicks for you" in Suarez' direction, it may well have been a grudging deferral. It also got Liverpool on their way to another victory. One more cup tie down; seven still to go.