Lucas Leiva believes Luis Suarez demonstrated his credentials as one of world football’s finest players on Saturday — and insists the Uruguayan can make the difference in the race for a top-four finish.
Suarez was in scintillating form as he struck a hat-trick to help Liverpool to a 4-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion — and his Brazilian teammate was left to wax lyrical about his ability.
“Luis is such a special talent,” Lucas told the Liverpool Echo. ”He was the best player in the Premier League last season. We know he loves what he does and he wants to help the team. His mind is focused on helping the team achieve great things.
“Every player here wants to play in the Champions League. No-one wants to spend Tuesday and Wednesday nights watching the matches on TV.
“Luis is one of the top five best players in the world and he wants to be there in the big games. That’s why he’s so committed to this team — he wants to put Liverpool back in the Champions League.
“That’s what we all want — the players, the staff and the fans. If we all stay together, especially during the difficult moments, I think we will get there.
“There is still a long way to go but we are showing every week we are becoming stronger and stronger. We have to keep calm, keep working hard and keep believing.”
Daniel Sturridge was also on the scoresheet as Liverpool racked up an emphatic victory, netting with a stunning 25-yard lob to put the seal on a fine afternoon’s work for Brendan Rodgers‘ side.
The England forward’s partnership with Suarez has yielded a goal every 60 minutes when they’ve been on the field at the same time, netting 21 times in 16 matches.
“The link up between Luis and Daniel is getting better and better,” Lucas added. ”Last season they didn’t really have much of a chance to play many games together but this season we can see they are scoring goals.
“When you have two strikers in such good form we just have to make sure we defend well because we know they will create chances and score.
“It was just about the perfect afternoon but we were disappointed we conceded a goal. I’ve seen it again and I don’t think it was a penalty. It was very harsh but at least I didn’t get a yellow card!
“After they got one back, Daniel killed the game off really well. For 75 minutes of that game we were very consistent, we were pressing and playing very good football. Overall it was a great performance.
“Now we will recover and prepare for the Arsenal game. It will be a big test as they have been in terrific form. But we have shown already that we’re capable of playing against anyone and we will go with a lot of confidence.”