• Premier League

Suarez dismisses Chelsea defeat

ESPN staff
April 28, 2014
Rodgers not blaming Gerrard for mistake

Luis Suarez claimed Liverpool had already put their damaging defeat by Cheslea behind them by the time he collected his Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year for award 2013-14 on Sunday night.

The 2-0 reverse at Anfield , when they failed to break down their defensively-minded opponents, only hours earlier meant Brendan Rodgers' side no longer have the fate of the Premier League title in their own hands.

But even with Manchester City now in pole position, Suarez insisted Liverpool would not lose their focus. "We have forgotten about the game and now we just focus on the next matches." Asked if Liverpool could still take the title, the striker said: "Of course."

The award marks an amazing turnaround for the 27-year-old, who almost a year to the day was caught on camera biting the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and banned for 10 matches by the FA.

Despite missing the first four games of the Premier League season through suspension, Suarez is practically assured of winning the Premier League Golden Boot after plundering 30 goals in 31 appearances, as well as providing 12 assists for a Liverpool team which regularly blew the opposition away with their pace and attacking football.

Suarez won the award ahead of Liverpool team-mates Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge, Southampton's Adam Lallana, Chelsea's Eden Hazard and also Yaya Toure of Manchester City.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard, absent for Sunday's game at Anfield due to injury, was named winner of the Young Player of the Year award after scoring 13 goals and providing seven assists this season.

Suarez said: "The Premier League is full of really great players and so it is a great honour when these players recognise your work on the pitch. I always try my best for the team and it is nice to get awards but really this is for my team-mates and the staff at Liverpool because without their help I wouldn't have this prize."

The striker has put behind him a troublesome year which saw him agitating for a move in the summer, even at one stage claiming manager Rodgers had reneged on a deal to allow him to leave for a Champions League club. Rodgers' handling of the situation has been impressive but the Liverpool manager insisted all of the credit should be with the player.

"He is a brilliant talent. I think the supporters have seen him mature over the course of the last season," Rodgers said of Suarez on Friday. "I think he was in a real low moment after that game [against Chelsea last year] but he has gone away and probably looked in the mirror and reflected on himself because he is not that type of guy and it probably just spilled over.

"He is a really intelligent man who fits the values of this club, which is all about humility, class and he has all of that. He is a sheer winner and that probably overspilled last year but his development over the last year has been remarkable both on and off the field and Liverpool have benefited from that.

"For me he is the consistently outstanding player over the course of the last year."

Former Spurs winger Gareth Bale, now at Real Madrid, won both young and senior PFA awards in 2012-13. Suarez was also nominated for the senior award last season.

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