LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, May 2 – Kenny Dalglish saluted Luis Suarez after the Uruguay forward helped Liverpool stroll to a 3-0 win over Newcastle in the Anfield sunshine.
The build up to Sunday’s game was all about Reds striker Andy Carroll and whether he would start against his old club but that issue was overshadowed by a brilliant Liverpool performance.
The win moves Liverpool above Tottenham into fifth place and leaves them in the qualifying spot for the Europa League.
Liverpool’s current form has seen them take 30 points from a possible 42 and interim boss Daglish is odds-on to be confirmed as permanent manager by the end of the season.
Carroll arrived from Newcastle in a £35 million move at the end of the January transfer window but he was only fit enough for a late substitute appearance because of a knee injury picked up in the recent draw with Arsenal.
He got booed throughout the game but sat back on the bench and watched Rodriguez volley home a 10th minute opener before a Kuyt penalty on the hour was followed soon after by a much deserved goal for the impressive Suarez.
"He’s always getting in there and is always a threat and it fell kindly for him," Dalglish said of Suarez.
"He’s a good person as well and is bubbly and just loves playing football. As a player and as a person he would not find it hard to settle anywhere and that is great credit to him.
"He will be the same next year. He comes into training with a smile on his face.
"Carroll’s only had a couple of days training and we thought it was best to start with others.
"He’s here for the future so he will have plenty of time to play games. I think when he goes to St James’ next year he will get abuse again. He is a young boy but he has broad shoulders."
Even if Liverpool miss out on Europe their resurgence suggests Dalglish can deliver success for the Anfield faithful in the near future.
"After we took the lead they put us under pressure but I thought we coped well," Dalglish said.
"In the second half we tightened up and caught them with two goals but we deserved to win. I didn’t expect to get a stroll in the sunshine.
"Maybe the Andy Carroll factor added a wee bit of spice for them. It was a tough game for us but we were deserved winners."
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew bemoaned the lack of cutting edge in his side.
The Magpies had more possession and 12 corners to Liverpool’s three but they never really looked like threatening and Pardew wants a bigger squad next season to ensure his side are a more consistent danger.
"Our squad is pushed at times and we haven’t got the beauty of having a squad like Liverpool and that was obvious today and that has got to happen," Pardew said.
"The spirit in the group is fine and the commitment and effort was honourable but we lacked a bit of quality. The important thing is we finish the season well.
"Our strikers and attacking play could be improved and we need to work on that and on our penetration.
"We affected the game a little bit but not the score-line and that is what is most important in our business. I’m not going to concentrate too much on the positives this week."