NORWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: (L-R) Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's third goal and completing his hat trick during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Liverpool at Carrow Road on April 28, 2012 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
He may not have scored, but Luis Suarez put in Liverpool's man of the match performance on Thursday night against FC Gomel in a game that saw the Uruguayan striker at his lively best. Throughout the night he looked to beat Gomel's overmatched defenders with pace, power, and trickery, and in doing so he has rarely looked better for Liverpool.
Suarez popped up everywhere in the final third throughout the night, but he was never more dangerous than when driving to the byline and jinking past defenders, something he did on a number of occasions to gasps from the Anfield crowd. And aside from his individual brilliance, it was great fun for fans to watch him linking up repeatedly with Steven Gerrard, while there were also promising signs of the potential for partnership in attack with Fabio Borini.
He may have been deployed as lone striker and false nine, but the threat to the opponent's goal provided by both Borini and Gerrard meant that he was never alone in attack. Making sure such quality supporting play continues against stronger opposition will be key to Liverpool's success in the coming season, but even if on Thursday night it was done against a side most expected them to beat easily, it was perhaps the single most encouraging sign fans could have been given ahead of the kickoff of the new Premier League season next week.