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In a week in which the football world opened its collective jaw at the sheer majesty of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (with French journalist Julien Laurens describing the Swede as the best player in the world currently), Luis Suarez took the opportunity to stake his claim to be considered as Europe's premier striker. As with Paris St Germain's win over Anderlecht, Liverpool's victory against West Brom was owed almost entirely to the performance of one player.
The return of Lucas in midfield had left me with intentions of writing about how, in many ways, he is now Liverpool's most important player. Brendan Rodgers' insistence on a 3-5-2 formation to best utilise his two strikers may have allowed his strikeforce to flourish, but it has also left the Reds prone to defensive unease. Only five clubs (Fulham, Cardiff, Hull, Norwich and Crystal Palace) have conceded more shots against this season, and the presence of Lucas as a genuinely combative midfielder (as oppose to Joe Allen's short passing or Steven Gerrard's energetic adventure) has been the principal factor in this total not being even more concerning. Against West Brom the Brazilian was fantastic, making double the amount of tackles of any other Liverpool player in the first ha...
...And then Suarez has one of those days (no, not those days, hopefully they're over) where everything he touches turns to goals, epitomising exactly his often breathtaking ability. And it suddenly makes the contribution of others mean less. If this is football's ultimate Jekyll and Hyde footballer, today was a Jekyll day.
The first goal demonstrated beauty, running at Jonas Olsson at speed before making him look rather foolish with a clever nutmeg and toe-poking the ball past Boaz Myhill. The second... well it was almost unfathomable, a powered header from 20 yards that screamed into the top corner. Ibrahimovic's third on Wednesday may have been registered at 70mph, but Suarez's header required no less skill or technique - it was utterly majestic. Liverpool had two shots on target in the entire first half. Both were from the Uruguayan. Both were goals.
Ten minutes into the second half, Liverpool's third shot on target came, and you know the drill by now. Suarez effort. Effort on target. Goal. In fairness it owed much to the fabulous cross from Steven Gerrard, but the flicked header from the Uruguayan to seal his hat trick was sublime, Myhill left rightly rooted.
There was still time for Daniel Sturridge to add a wonderfully chipped cherry atop the cake to seal victory, but the fitting end was the customary late substitution to standing ovation, an opportunity to laud a hero, the extolling of emphatic praise both warmly offered and received.
Now is perhaps a good time for Liverpool to assess their performance so far this season, as thanks to a lack of European football and early exit from the Capital One Cup, November will be a month containing just three fixtures. Sitting in second position in the table, Suarez is bullish over his team's prospects. "We know we have a good chance [of a top-four finish] because this season in the Premier League, you never know what will happen in the games." Liverpool players and staff would normally be castigated for making such statements given their previous inaccuracy, but if Suarez can maintain such form it's tough to not be ambitious.
The most impressive aspect of Liverpool's season has been how they coped in Suarez's early season absence, but his inclusion raises hope that the club's comparable winter of discontent could soon be over. This is a player good enough to make the unlikely possible. Keep it up and possible may become probable.
Of course it can go wrong. Both player and club have the propensity and reputation for recent implosion, and before Christmas Liverpool will face Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham, all away from Anfield. That will be the time at which credentials are truly tested, but until then, supporters will take great enjoyment in enjoying the ride. When watching Suarez in this form, it's difficult for us all not to do the same.
Daniel Storey - follow him on Twitter