English Premiership

Suarez twists and turns again

2013-08-14 19:00
Luis Suarez (AFP)
Tokyo - Unsettled Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has denied a report Wednesday saying that he had decided to stay at Anfield, according to Japanese media.

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The 26-year-old scored with a rocket and provided the ammunition for two quick-fire Diego Forlan goals as Uruguay overpowered Japan 4-2 away in a pulsating friendly.

The Arsenal target had been quoted beforehand as saying in an interview from Japan with the Uruguayan newspaper El Observador that he would stay with Liverpool.

But speaking after masterminding his country to a comfortable win, he denied that he had had a change of heart.

"I didn't say that, maybe someone else did and the main thing is that I am here now with the national team," Japan's Kyodo News quoted him as saying.

Liverpool have had two bids from Arsenal rejected and Suarez has been made to train on his own by manager Brendan Rodgers after accusing the club of breaking promises by refusing to let him leave.

Before the friendly with Japan, Suarez had been quoted as saying: "Right now, because of all the affection of the people, I'll be staying."

On Tuesday, captain Steven Gerrard said he would hate to see Suarez leave Anfield and he was confident that he would not be joining another English club.

Suarez has scored 51 goals in 96 games for Liverpool after joining from Dutch giants Ajax in January 2011 but is keen to leave to fulfil his Champions League ambitions.

The striker was all smiles before kickoff Wednesday -- in contrast to the forlorn figure he has cut in recent weeks during his transfer standoff.

A bundle of energy, he wriggled clear down the left before squaring unselfishly for strike partner Forlan to slide home the opener in the 27th minute at Miyagi Stadium.

Moments later Forlan doubled Uruguay's lead, curling home a free-kick from the edge of the box after Suarez had gone to ground following a robust challenge from Maya Yoshida.

Suarez proved a constant menace and scored a deserved goal in the 52nd minute with a venomous strike.

Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa pulled one back for the hosts from close range two minutes later, only for Alvaro Gonzalez to head Uruguay's fourth in the 58th minute as the floodgates threatened to open.

Keisuke Honda fizzed home a superb free-kick in the 72nd minute but Japan had already left themselves too much to do.

"You have to give credit to Uruguay," Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni told reporters.

"They are one of the best teams in the world. They showed that again by reaching the Confederations Cup semi-finals this year."

Japan lost all three of their games at the Confederations Cup in June and a dejected Kagawa said: "We haven't learned our lessons from then. There is still a lot to work on before the World Cup."


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