While we certainly love a spot of tactics and intelligent football around here, when it comes to the sheer visceral thrill of frenetic, uncertain attack, each moment an uncollapsed quantum wavefront of possibility promising the chance of wonder and joy to the observer. Well, when it comes to something like that it can be damn hard to top Luis Suarez when he's on his game. And, as we're all quickly finding out, it turns out that he's usually on his game. It's more a question of just how much on it he is, which brings us around to his scintillating performance against Fulham, a match perhaps second only to Manchester United when it comes to examples of the feisty Uruguayan's ability to wreak havoc on the opponent. To wit:
As compiled by the always exemplary MilanKakaBaros, Suarez once again showed just how special a player he is against Fulham, putting on a show that managed to overcome a Maxi hattrick, Dirk Kuyt scoring in his fifth game in a row, and Lucas having one of his best passing displays in a Liverpool shirt to walk away as unarguably the man of the match.
Of course there are cameos to be had, from Lucas' telling pass that leads to the first goal, to Lee Mason's "Don't ask me, I'm just the referee" approach to officiating, to Fulham's Hangeland under the mistaken impression he's a matador who's forgotten to bring his sword to the bullring. More seriously, though, the focus on Suarez highlights an interesting approach against a side whose defenders were never fully able to cope with the long ball. Combined with the eager forward runs made in support from Kuyt, Maxi, and Meireles in midfield, it lead to the first example--and a very effective first example--of Luis Suarez being used as a false number-nine center forward under Dalglish. Though in past games he might have at times ended up as the furthest man up the pitch, that was always done while playing off of either Dirk Kuyt or Andy Carroll, with the taller men being the ones tasked with filling a more traditional center forward role. Against Fulham, though, with Kuyt firmly stuck on the right, Suarez was almost entirely left to himself to lead the line as a solo striker, something that would have previously seemed nearly unimaginable for a player of his stature and style given the static play of the squad only a handful of months ago under Roy Hodgson.
Certainly the shaky Fulham defense, one that allowed Liverpool to at times fall back on the long-ball without suffering for it, leant a hand, but that doesn't make the slick passing interplay and ghosting movement of a false-nine system that was seen from Liverpool for much of the match any less revelatory.
And then there's that finish, which is pretty much the quantum wavefront collapsing on the side of ridiculously awesome.