‘I wouldn't swap Suarez for anyone’

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Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring against West Ham United at Anfield. Picture: Phil Noble

Liverpool – Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says that he will never put a price on Luis Suarez's head as he never wants to see the striker leave the club.

Suarez scored his 14th Premier League goal this season as Liverpool beat West Ham United 4-1 at Anfield on Saturday.

It was the fourth time in a row that the Reds had scored four goals at home and Suarez was again one of the shining lights.

“I don't think you can put a price on him and I wouldn't want to,” Rodgers said of a player who at one point seemed destined for pastures new during the close season.

“He has two and a half years here left on his contract and if you look at his consistency and how he is playing, at this moment in time, he is up there with the best players in the world.

“Most teams in the world would want Luis Suarez. I wouldn't swap Suarez for anyone. I get the chance to work with him every day and what he gives is a relentless desire.

“When you have that, you don't want to let him go. It has been a real privilege to work with him. It hasn't always been smooth sailing. He is a very humble man. Beneath it all, he is a real good guy who is a true professional.

“His will and desire oversteps the mark sometimes, but he is a brilliant player to have.”

Guy Demel turned into his own goal before half-time to give Liverpool the lead before France international Mamadou Sakho scored his first goal for the Reds just after the break.

Martin Skrtel then gifted West Ham a lifeline when he inadvertently sent the ball past team-mate Simon Mignolet and into the Liverpool goal as he tried to cut out a clearance.

But Suarez scored with nine minutes to go with a powerful header before dispatching a shot that Joey O'Brien deflected in for another own goal, thereby securing victory.

Liverpool had some tough moments in the game when West Ham clogged up the midfield, but they were deserving winners, with Philippe Coutinho's creative play and Suarez's threat complemented by Joe Allen's intelligence in midfield.

The win moved Liverpool up to second place in the Premier League, but there was concern after captain Steven Gerrard was forced off in the second half with a hamstring injury.

“I think we just need to assess Steven's injury,” Rodgers said. “Hopefully it is just a strain.”

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce bemoaned Kevin Nolan's late dismissal for a nasty challenge on Jordan Henderson, having earlier seen Stewart Downing forced off by injury at half-time.

“Kevin Nolan shouldn't have lost his cool, but he did, and Stewart Downing is in hospital having his Achilles and calf stitched up from a nasty challenge from (Jon) Flanagan,” he said.

The east London club are now only above the relegation zone on goal difference, but Allardyce does not believe they deserved should a heavy defeat.

“I think it was a harsh scoreline,” he said. “I think we showed in the first half that we didn't deserve to be 1-0 down.

“Suarez scores the third and it shows you how ruthless this league is when you miss opportunities. When you play Liverpool, your opportunities are going to be limited.” – Sapa-AFP

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