Luis Suarez and his performances against the Premier League's top teams
Luis Suarez had a sensational season in the English Premier League. He was the leading scorer in the Premier League as he scored 31 goals in 33 games. The goals did not include a single penalty. He also missed the first five games of the season due to his suspension. This makes his achievement even better. However a common criticism has been that Suarez has been quite ordinary against top opposition in the League.
Let us look at his performances against the top teams in the league this season and also compare them to some of the other top players’ performances.
Suarez’s performances against the top four
In the six games against the top four teams, Suarez did not manage to score a single goal and contributed two assists. However these stats do not tell the complete story. He has been quite poor in terms of the number of goals scored but his overall contribution was not as bad as the stats suggest.
Suarez had a particularly poor game against Chelsea at Anfield where he was frustrated and did not manage to create enough chances. He contributed assists in the home games against Manchester City and Arsenal. Against Arsenal at Anfield he was sensational. He could have scored what could have been a goal of the season contender had it not been for the woodwork. He also created a great opportunity for Sturridge which was not finished properly.
He played a major role in terrorizing Arsenal’s defence. He also provided a great assist for Sterling in the game against Manchester City. Despite his antics in the game he was crucial in leading a fight back against City.
Suarez had a poor game against Arsenal at the Emirates. He had a few chances which he was unable to finish. His performance against Manchester City was quite encouraging. He was instrumental in the creation of the goal for Coutinho, however he was rightly not credited with the assist. He also managed to create a great chance for Coutinho which the Brazilian was unable to convert. Against Chelsea he was involved in the build up which led to the goal for Skrtel. Overall he had a quiet game and had a penalty shout turned down when E’too appeared to have brought him down.
Overall his goal scoring form was not present in the games against the top four teams but his contribution was immense in some of the games. He had two poor games out of the six games. One can also take into account the fact that in the games against the top 4 , he was marked quite well and was unable to perform to his best ability.
Comparison with the performance of other top players
(The number in brackets indicate appearances as a substitute)
Almost all the players struggled to perform up to their usual standards. Only Aguero managed a great record as he scored two goals from his three appearances. Aguero was unable to play more games due to his injuries. Hazard managed to score two goals but did not contribute a single assist in those games. Toure despite having a prolific season just managed to score once against the top teams.
Rooney was able to manage only a single goal and contributed one assist against the top teams. If we consider the ratings of whoscored.com , to get an idea about the overall performances , Suarez’s average rating in the games against the top 4 teams was 7.57 compared to Rooney’s 7.24 , Hazard’s 7.58 and Toure’s 6.65.
Performance against Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United
Suarez played five games against the likes of Everton, Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester United in the season. He managed to score six goals in these games and also contributed three assists. Apart from the goals and the assists, his contribution was critical to some of the other goals.
What the numbers show is that Suarez’s performances are not much worse than other top players against the top teams. He struggled to score against the teams which qualified for the Champions League but was sensational against the other teams in the top seven. In future seasons, Suarez needs to improve his goal scoring form against the top four teams to silence his critics. His overall contribution and performance still remains quite good this season.