When Luis Suarez finally left Liverpool to join Barcelona, every club in the top flight breathed a sigh of relief. But perhaps no club was more relieved to see his back than Norwich City.
That’s because the Uruguay international took pleasure in inflicting maximum punishment on the Canaries. In fact, Suarez has faced Norwich 6 times in the Premier League over three seasons. And he scored 12 goals against them!
This included three hat-tricks, which made him the first Liverpool player to score three Premier League hat-tricks against the same side. To say that he was a thorn in Norwich’s side would be an understatement.
Incidentally, the third of those hat-tricks came on this day in 2013. Liverpool won 5–1 that day, with Suárez scoring 4 times – and assisting the final goal.
On this day: In 2013, Luis Suárez scored four goals and assisted another in Liverpool’s 5–1 win against Norwich.
6 shots on target
4 take-ons completed
created 4 chances
1 aerial won
Directly involved in five goals. , pic.twitter.com/Z1dYUdDMty
– Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 4, 2019
What’s more, they weren’t even the typical striker’s goals. As we will see, all those goals were different and unique in their own way. But perhaps most importantly, they were all straight out of the top drawer.
Eight years on, let’s look back at a Luis Suarez masterclass for the ages.
warning shot fired early
Prior to this game, Suárez had already scored two hat-tricks against Norwich – for a total of 7 goals. Thus, it is safe to say that Norwich were already wary of his threat.
But when they knew of his orbit, there was little they could do to stop him.
The first goal came in the 15th minute and was it ever a good thing. The ball was ping-ponged between players around the halfway mark before falling to Suárez.
He was some distance from the target but, with the ball bouncing in front of him, attempted an audacious half-volley. The ball went through the air and into the loop in the back of the net with goalkeeper John Ruddy unable to do anything about it.
Norwich were already in for a long night. And the worst was yet to come.
Liverpool continued to grow into the game and doubled their lead in the 29th minute. Philippe Coutinho lofted a low cross from the corner which just went wide of Steven Gerrard’s head.
However, Suárez collected it on the half-volley from close range and powered it in for his second goal of the game. “He won’t leave Norwich City alone,” shouted the commentator.
And he had no intention of stopping there. Only six minutes later, he danced past a Norwich defender and, with the ball on the rise, fired a low volley into the bottom-right corner.
This goal made him the first Liverpool player to score three hat-tricks against the same team in the Premier League. As one commenter rightly put it, “They’ll be talking about him for decades to come!”
Liverpool went into the half 3–0 up, with the game over in name only. Amazingly, there was much more to come after that.
Luis Suarez inspired defeat
The second half went goalless until the 74th minute but three goals were scored late in the game. The first of those came courtesy of Suarez. Shocking, we know.
Liverpool won a free-kick in a dangerous position and it was the Uruguayan striker who stepped up to take the lead. His free-kick ability is a small aspect of Suarez’s game, but he showed it with confidence.
Suarez struck the free-kick perfectly, parried it over the wall and under the wall and past the outstretched arms of Rudi, who at this point was probably wishing the game was over as soon as possible.
Amazingly for Norwich, they pulled one back in less than 10 minutes. Liverpool were very good going forward but they were not without their defensive weaknesses. And it was painfully exposed in one of Norwich’s few good attacks.
A cross on the left, courtesy of Nathan Redmond, was met by Bradley Johnson. His lofted header gave Norwich a consolation goal, but little else.
And soon after, Liverpool regained their four-goal lead. This time, Luis Suárez became the provider as he found himself on the left side of the penalty area.
His low cross was met by Raheem Sterling, who scored Liverpool’s fifth and completely killed the game.
Suárez was eventually substituted late in the game, and he exited Anfield to a standing ovation. After the game he was again given thunderous applause when he came to collect the match ball.
Little did they know it at the time, but this would be Suárez’ last season on Merseyside. He would leave the club in a state of controversy, with the fall of third The cutting offense – indeed – during the 2014 World Cup.
However, his final game against Norwich – which came in April 2014 – saw him score again, but this time only once.
Nevertheless, fans will always have fond memories of Suarez’s time at Anfield – not least of the way he completely tormented Norwich City.