The Catalan derby on Sunday between Barça and Espanyol will be the first for many, coach and players included. Barça’s busy summer in the transfer market means that many blaugranes will be making their debuts in the fixture. However, for one new signing, Luis Suárez, the derby would be the perfect scenario for him to open his league account for Barça, after all he has previous when it comes to finding the net in this type of encounter.
Luis Suárez spent three and a half seasons at Liverpool between 2010 and 2014 and in that time he featured in no less than six local derbies against city rivals Everton. The Uruguayan was unbeaten against ‘the Toffees’ in his time at Liverpool, winning on four occasions and drawing twice. He not only started all six matches but also played a big part in ‘the Reds’ excellent recent record in the Merseyside derby. The now Barça striker scored 5 goals in those 6 derbies, only failing to find the net in one encounter between the two clubs from the city of Liverpool.
In his second season at Anfield he faced Everton on no fewer than three occasions. On his Merseyside derby debut he helped Liverpool to a two-nil victory at Goodison Park by scoring the second. Just a few months later in the return league fixture at Anfield, he found the net again with the home side cantering to a 3-0 victory. In April of 2012, the FA Cup draw brought Liverpool and Everton together in the semi finals. The match was played at Wembley and Luis Suárez helped his side to a 2-1 come from behind victory with the equaliser to take Kenny Dalglish’s team through to the final.
In his third and fourth year at Liverpool he played three more times in the Merseyside derby, scoring in each one. In the season 2012/13 Suárez scored in the 2-2 draw away at Everton and the following season, his final at the club, he notched up strikes in the 3-3 draw away and the 4-0 victory at home on his way to league leading total of 31 goals come the end of the season.
Luis Suárez in his career only scored more goals against Wigan, Stoke, Sunderland and Norwich than Everton during his career as a ‘red’, a sure sign that local derbies are a happy hunting ground for the Uruguayan striker.