Luis Suarez spurs Liverpool to second, Manchester United coast to win at Villa
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Irrepressible Luis Suarez scored twice in Liverpool's 5-0 rout of 10-man Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday that suggested the former aristocrats of English football may have the pizzazz and swagger to end their long wait for a league title.
Champions Manchester United ended a poor run of results with a comfortable 3-0 win at Aston Villa but it was Suarez who made all the headlines.
Revelling in the role of captain in Steven Gerrard's absence through injury, the Uruguayan produced another virtuoso display which put Liverpool above Chelsea into second place on goal difference, two points behind leaders Arsenal who have 35 from 16 games.
Suarez began the season late after serving the end of a ban but the striker has made up for lost time - his 16th and 17th Premier League goals more than powderpuff Spurs and nine other top-flight teams have managed.
"It was a brilliant all-round performance. The players worked tirelessly. The level of football was superb," enthused Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.
"We got five goals and arguably we could have had seven or eight. That's the beauty of team, it has goals in it.
"We spoke before game that were missing outstanding players in Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge but I said winning teams support each other. We've shown it's the team that is most important for us."
Liverpool have not been crowned champions since 1990 and trips to Manchester City and Chelsea this month could go a long way to revealing whether the Anfield club have the stamina and class for a sustained title challenge.
Suarez, flourishing without injured partner Sturridge alongside him, netted an 18th-minute opener with a precise finish into the bottom corner.
Philippe Coutinho struck the bar but Jordan Henderson added a second five minutes before halftime after Hugo Lloris had palmed away a Suarez shot.