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Focus on Barcelona’s former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez

The Uruguayan returned to Anfield.

Barcelona’s Luis Suarez had a mixed reception back at Anfield (Peter Byrne/PA)
Barcelona’s Luis Suarez had a mixed reception back at Anfield (Peter Byrne/PA)

Barcelona forward Luis Suarez endured a torrid return to his old stomping ground as Liverpool reached the Champions League final.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at how the divisive Uruguayan got on in the 4-0 semi-final second leg loss.

Reception

“I think there will be more applause than whistles,” Suarez said on the eve of Tuesday’s clash. “There may be quite a few who are not happy but I think there will be more who are happy and grateful.”

It was easy to understand why the forward would have thought that given his 82 goals in 133 games for the club.

But the Anfield faithful did not forget his goal celebration in the first leg, nor his gamesmanship that night and this. Boos and whistles soon turned to chants of “cheat” and “f*** off Suarez”.

The fact there was a standing ovation when he was called offside spoke volumes.

Team play

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Barcelona’s Luis Suarez reacts on the floor after a coming together with James Milner (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool know all too well what an unsettling presence the 32-year-old can be. Playing on the edge of the rules and the Reds’ backline, Suarez was an unsettling presence given his hunger, work rate and willingness to drop deep.

Prepared to do just about anything for the betterment of his side’s chances, he was first to remonstrate with officials and made the most of contact such as a soft James Milner challenge in the 21st minute.

Attacking threat

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Suarez battled for the ball with Virgil Van Dijk (Peter Byrne/PA)

On the shoulder of the Liverpool defence, his smart movement did not bring the desired space to his other attackers.

Andy Robertson got back well to deny him when getting in behind for the first time midway through a first half that would see him catch the left-back, inadvertently or not, and bring about his enforced half-time substitution.

James Milner moved from midfield into the Scotland captain’s spot and the early stages of that switch provided him with his only shot on goal, but Alisson Becker got down well to deny him.

Overall

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Suarez had a mixed night on his Anfield return (Peter Byrne/PA)

Suarez was the pantomime villain on a remarkable evening at Anfield. The vitriol aimed at the Uruguay forward was a touch surprising but the intensity of the evening surely had something to do with that.

The experienced attacker did not enjoy his best night and will be left wondering if he could have done more.

PA

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