This is a pretty long read, but if you really care about how Suarez has fared among the stars at Barcelona, you will find this really interesting. The Uruguayan has found himself taking some time to settle in with the Catalan giants, but that’s not take anything away from his industry. This is why we have decided to look at how much impact the former Liverpool striker has had since joining.
There are definite parallels to be drawn with Neymar‘s own start from a year previously. Learning a new way of playing, getting used to new team-mates, different positions etc. was always going to take time.
From his debut at the Santiago Bernabeu to this point, Suarez has been involved in 18 matches for the Blaugrana. Let’s take a look at how he’s fared.
These ratings are based on overall performance and goals scored/assists provided if applicable.
1. Grade B vs. Real Madrid (L 1-3)
The long-awaited debut eventually arrived on the last weekend of October. Fate would decree an El Clasico as Suarez’s openingBlaugrana gambit, and within three minutes, he’d already providedNeymar with an assist for the opening goal.
Thereafter, the Uruguayan toiled without reward, and after fading badly, he was replaced on the hour.
Perhaps not the statement many had expected but a workmanlike performance nonetheless.
2. Grade C vs. Celta Vigo (L 0-1)
Just a week later and the Camp Nou faithful would get to see their new signing competitively for the first time.
Despite his best efforts, Suarez either fluffed his lines at the crucial moments or found Celta‘s ‘keeper Sergio in inspired form.
Per an interview with Barca TV, via Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC, Suarez noted:
When the ball does not want to go in, it does not go in. Their goalkeeper was the man of the match. We created a lot of chances, but we lacked luck.
They created one, they took it, and they won the game.
3. Grade B- vs. Ajax (W 2-0)
Suarez’s first Champions League experience for his new club coincidentally came against one of his old employers.
On the night, Lionel Messi would steal his thunder with a brace to bring him equal to Raul’s all-time Champions League scoring record.
As with the match against Real Madrid, Suarez worked hard but couldn’t make the breakthrough.
4. Grade A vs. Almeria (W 2-1)
This match was something of a watershed for Luis Suarez. Still unable to register on the scoresheet, he would at least turn the game on its head after coming on as sub. Two assists saw Barca snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Catalans had gone behind to a surprise Thievy goal on 37 minutes, and they were just 17 minutes from defeat before Suarez set upNeymar in the 73rd minute and Jordi Alba in the 82nd.
After cracking a shot against the crossbar himself, he can consider himself unlucky not to have broken his scoring duck.
5. Grade B+ vs Sevilla (W 5-1)
One of Barca‘s best performances of the season against an opponent who were expected to be hugely difficult to overcome.
A completely professional performance included another Suarez assist and his usual sprinkling of unselfishness and hard work.
6. Grade A- vs. APOEL FC (W 4-0)
Finally, at the sixth time of trying, Luis Suarez scored for Barcelona.
A magnificent piece of control to create the chance and a low shot into the opposite corner was vintage Suarez from his Liverpool days.
Messi‘s hat-trick made the headlines, but Suarez’s strike was arguably just as important for the club.
7. Grade B+ vs. Valencia (W 1-0)
Possibly Barca‘s hardest game of the season other than El Clasico,Nuno Santo had Valencia testing every aspect of Barca‘s credentials.
A controversial and incorrect offside decision chalked off a perfectly legitimate Suarez opener, and despite best efforts again, there was to be no fairy-tale ending for Suarez himself.
8. Grade B- vs. Espanyol (W 5-1)
Despite registering another assist in this game, Suarez became incredibly frustrated and was eventually substituted.
A goal from his replacement, Pedro Rodriguez, wouldn’t have done anything for the Uruguayan’s confidence.
9. Grade A vs. Paris Saint-Germain (W 3-1)
Fortunately, another Champions League goal was just around the corner on one of those special Camp Nou European nights.
Knowing only a win against the hitherto unbeaten French side would see Barca top their group, the Catalans set about their task in hand with purpose.
It was a night when both Neymar and Messi joined Suarez on thescoresheet for the first time.
Suarez first assisted the Argentinian to cancel out ex-Blaugrana ZlatanIbrahimovic‘s opener and then putting the game beyond the French champions after Neymar had given the home side the lead.
10. Grade C vs. Getafe (D 0-0)
The less said about the performance at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez the better. To say that both Suarez and Barca were out of sorts is a huge understatement.
Suarez just never got going, and WhoScored awarded him the lowest mark of any Barcelona player on the pitch. Enough said.
11. Grade A vs. Cordoba (W 5-0)
Fortunately, Suarez got straight back on the horse in his next fixture.
His goal in the 53rd minute of the game eventually opened the floodgates against a stubborn Cordoba side. His all-round display was completely at odds with what he had served up in the previous outing.
12. Grade C vs. Real Sociedad (L 0-1)
The first game of the new year and a trip to Anoeta and David Moyes‘Real Sociedad side.
Ill-equipped for such a fast start, Barca were behind after two minutes,Jordi Alba the culprit steering the ball into his own net.
Typical Suarez graft underpinned the fixture but once again he drew a blank.
13. Grade B+ vs. Elche (Copa del Rey round-of-16 first leg W 5-0)
Elche, a team that hadn’t even scored against Barcelona since 1978, per the Mister Chip Twitter account, pitched up at Camp Nou and, you’ve guessed it, didn’t score.
Luis Suarez did score the second of five on the night. His movement and interplay was on point once again, making the decision to keep picking him an easy one for Luis Enrique.
14. Grade A vs. Atletico Madrid (W 3-1)
Arguably Suarez’s best game in a Barca shirt. Atletico Madrid arrived for their league game at the venue where they won La Liga last season.
In the back of everyone’s minds has to have been the poor record that the Catalans had against the Rojiblancos in 2014. Six matches and six failed attempts to get a win.
The gloom partially lifted with Neymar‘s 12th-minute opener, which was assisted by the Uruguayan. Suarez’s fortuitous 35th-minute strike blew the cobwebs well away.
Messi‘s second-half third produced one of the most iconic pictures of the season.
15. Grade B vs. Deportivo La Coruna (W 4-0)
The last time Barca played at the Riazor, back in 2012, Lionel Messiscored a hat-trick. It seemed only right he did so again as the Catalans ran riot in Galicia. Suarez weighed in with another assist in a fine all-round performance.
16. Grade C vs. Atletico Madrid (Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg W 1-0)
Unlike the league game just a few days before, Atleti were well organised and difficult to break down—much like they had been throughout last year, in fact.
Indeed, Diego Simeone’s men couldn’t play as badly as they had.
Unfortunately for Suarez, he had an absolute stinker and a booking merely added to his woes on the night.
17. Grade A- vs. Atletico Madrid (Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg W 3-2)
Fast forward a week and what a difference.
Despite going behind to a lightning-fast Fernando Torres goal, Barcacame back into the match thanks to some superb skills on the touchline by Messi and an inch-perfect assist from Suarez.
The ball fell kindly for Neymar, who made no mistake.
An eventual win was never in doubt once Atleti started losing their heads.
18. Grade B+ Barcelona 3-2 Villarreal
A performance like so many we’ve seen already from Suarez. Hard-working, diligent and, at times, effective.
He should’ve had two goals before half time, and but for a super save and a lick of paint, he would’ve done.
Luis Enrique can have no complaints about Suarez’s application, and a rousing ovation as he left the pitch told you that the crowd appreciate his efforts too.
There was another assist registered in this one. However, goals are Suarez’s currency. He needs to start cashing in soon.
Originally posted 2015-02-09 08:03:21.