LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - Liverpool’s Luis Suarez scored his second hat-trick of the season to top the Premier League scoring charts on Saturday, the Uruguayan taking his tally to 21 with some lethal finishing in the 4-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic.
Suarez, who played a large chunk of the season as Liverpool’s sole striker, has moved two goals ahead of Manchester United’s Netherlands forward Robin van Persie.
Once Stewart Downing had given Liverpool a second-minute lead at Wigan it was Suarez’s show as he repeated his three-goal display away to Norwich City earlier this season.
He planted a precise left-foot shot past keeper Ali Al-Habsi after 18 minutes, made it 3-0 in the 34th with a deflected free kick and again showed how deadly he is just after halftime when he slotted home after being sent clear by Glen Johnson’s pass.
After all the negative publicity surrounding Suarez last season when he was banned for eight games by the FA for racist comments to Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and was also accused of diving, the Uruguay forward is fast winning over his critics as an outstanding No.10.
Suarez is well on the way to winning the Golden Boot prize and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes he deserves to win the Player of the Year award.
”He is a pleasure to work with,“ Rodgers said of the former Ajax Amsterdam frontman. ”Not only does he have the hunger but also humility as well.
“With the quality of his finishing combined to the work rate, that makes him world class,” he told ESPN.
“For me there is not a better striker in the Premier League,” he added. “He is clearly the Player of the Year for me. He is absolutely incredible.” (Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Ken Ferris)