Writer: Gavin John Day
Date:Sunday March 3 2013
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for his side and in particular hat-trick hero Luis Suarez after Liverpool's victory over Wigan Athletic...
Liverpool bounced back from the disappointment of Europa League elimination by recording another high-scoring victory in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
A rare goal from Stewart Downing, heading a Philippe Coutinho cross home from close range, set the Reds on their way against Wigan Athletic within two minutes.
Then, not for the first time this season, top scorer Luis Suarez stepped up to steal the show with his third hat-trick in a Liverpool shirt.
His first came in the 18th minute via another quality assist from Coutinho allowing the Uruguayan to leave Ali Al-Habsi on his behind as he dummied to shoot before rolling the ball home.
A deflected free-kick gifted El Pistolero his second of the afternoon and then shortly after the break he completed the scoring following a fantastic burst forward by right-back Glen Johnson.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers could not hide his delight at both the showing of Suarez and his team in general.
"For me there is not [a better striker in the Premier League]. He is clearly the Player of the Year for myself, and I'm sure he is for many other people around the country," lauded the 40-year-old.
"He is absolutely incredible. Forget his quality - you talk about his hunger and desire. He trains every single day of his life. He never wants to opt out of training and have an easy day or a rest.
"And then every time he comes out onto the pitch he gives stunning performances and gives his maximum.
"A brilliant hat-trick for him and a great day for the team, because this is a difficult place to come. To play like that and get the goals and the clean sheet was terrific for us."
On the overall performance, Rodgers elaborated: "There was a real focus and concentration in our game today. We've got performance goals that we want to finish the season with and it will give us a real good base going forward.
"We've played well a lot of this season. What's set us behind has been individual errors and mistakes. The good thing about today is I could see the real work the players are putting in. The graft they're doing on the training field is being taken into the games.
"They're now very accustomed to how we ask them to play. To press as a team, high up the pitch, and then when to drop into a block.
"They controlled the game. All four goals were built from behind and we finished it off with great goals."
The result moves Liverpool up to 7th in the Premier League standings. The Merseysiders trail 4th placed Tottenham Hotspur by nine points and 5th place Arsenal by five with the two North London-based sides meeting later this weekend.
On the subject of where he was aiming to finish, Rodgers added: "All we're looking at at this moment of time is the next game. We spoke about that over the last couple of games. There were 11 games to go and we wanted to continue on building our focus and concentration and on improving."
Liverpool's next game is against Spurs next Sunday afternoon at Anfield.
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Date:Sunday March 3 2013
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