Luis Suarez loved scoring goals against Norwich City. Never was this more evident than when he scored four goals against them in a league match.
When Luis Suarez finally left Liverpool to join Barcelona, pretty much every club in the top flight breathed a sigh of relief. But perhaps no club was more relieved to see the back of him than Norwich City.
That is because the Uruguay international seemingly took pleasure in inflicting maximum punishment upon the Canaries. Indeed, Suarez faced Norwich 6 times in the Premier League over three seasons. And he scored 12 goals against them!
That includes three hat-tricks, which made him the first Liverpool player to ever score three Premier League hat-tricks against the same side. To say he was a thorn in Norwich’s side would be an understatement.
The third of those hat-tricks, incidentally, came on this day in 2013. And it was arguably the most punishing of the three hat-tricks. Liverpool ran out 5-1 winners on the day, with Suarez 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
4 chances created
1 aerials won
Directly involved in five goals. ? pic.twitter.com/Z1dYUdDMty
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 4, 2019
What’s more, they weren’t typical striker’s goals either. As we will see, all of those goals were different and unique in their own way. But perhaps most importantly, they were all straight out of the top drawer.
With eight years having passed since, let us look back at a Luis Suarez masterclass for the ages.
Prior to this game, Suarez had scored two hat-tricks against Norwich already – and a total of 7 goals. Thus, it is safe to say that Norwich were already wary of his threat.
But while they might have been aware of his class, there was precious little they could do to stop him.
The first goal came in the 15th minute and was it ever a thing of beauty. The ball ping-pong’d around the halfway mark between players before it fell to Suarez.
He was some distance from goal but, with the ball bouncing in front of him, attempted an audacious half-volley. The ball looped through the air and into the back of the net, with goalkeeper John Ruddy powerless to do anything about it.
Norwich were in for a long night already. And the worst was yet to come.
Liverpool continued to grow into the game and, in the 29th minute, their lead was doubled. Philippe Coutinho put in a low cross from the corner that evaded the head of Steven Gerrard.
However, Suarez collected it on the half-volley from close range and powered it in for his second goal of the game. “He just won’t leave Norwich City alone,” screamed the commentator.
And he did not intend stopping there. Just six minutes later, he danced past one Norwich defender and, with the ball on the bounce, fizzed a low volley into the bottom-right corner.
This goal made him the first Liverpool player to score three hat-tricks against the same Premier League side. As the commentator rightly put it, “they will talk about him for decades to come!”
Liverpool went into the half 3-0 up, with the game all but over in name only. Amazingly, there was still more to come thereafter.
The second half was devoid of goals until the 74th minute but then the game saw three late goals scored. The first of those came courtesy of Suarez. Shocking, we know.
Liverpool won a free-kick in a dangerous position and it was the Uruguay striker who stepped up to take. His free-kick ability is an underrated aspect of Suarez’s game, but he showed it off with aplomb in this case.
Suarez whipped the free-kick perfectly, getting it over and under the wall and past the outstretched hands of Ruddy, who at this point was probably wishing the game’s end came sooner rather than later.
Amazingly for Norwich, they pulled one back less than 10 minutes later. Liverpool were very good going forward but they were not without their defensive frailties. And this was painfully exposed in one of Norwich’s few good attacks.
A cross from the left wing courtesy of Nathan Redmond was met by Bradley Johnson. His towering header gave Norwich a consolation goal, but little else.
And Liverpool regained their four-goal lead shortly after that. This time, Luis Suarez turned provider as he found itself on the left of the penalty area.
His low cross was met by Raheem Sterling, who scored Liverpool’s fifth and entirely killed off the game.
Suarez was eventually taken off late in the game, and he exited Anfield to a standing ovation. He was then given another warm round of applause after the game when he came to collect the match ball.
Few knew it at the time, but this would be Suarez’s last season at Merseyside. He would leave the club in a state of controversey, with the fall-out from his third biting offence – really – during the 2014 World Cup.
However, his final game against Norwich – which came in April 2014 – saw him score again, but only once this time.
Still, fans will always have fond memories of Suarez’s time at Anfield – not least the way he absolutely tormented Norwich City.