By PAUL JIGGINS
LUIS SUAREZ conjured up a double dose of magic to cheer ill boss Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool hotshot Suarez scored twice as Rodgers missed the game after being struck down by a virus.
Skipper Steven Gerrard said: “Luis is a magician. He has been brilliant since he came to the club.
“Week-in, week-out, he shows what a top player he is.
“These players only have to play against him twice a year, we have to train with him every day!”
Rodgers was sent home from the team hotel yesterday morning, along with reserve keeper Brad Jones.
And Gerrard admitted Rodgers’ absence from the dugout came as a major blow to the Merseysiders.
The England captain dedicated his side’s ‘best display of the season’ to his manager.
He said: “It was tough. There was a gap there.
“You can tell when Brendan is not there. He’s been fantastic since he came in and brilliant to the players.
“When we knew he wasn’t going to be coming, we knew it would be important that we got the three points for him.
“I’m sure he is getting looked after well and he will be well happy with the lads.
“It was probably the best we’ve played in the first half this season.
“I wouldn’t say it was easy, that would be disrespectful to QPR — they are having a tough time.
“But we knew if we started well we could quieten the crowd.
“At half-time, we wanted more goals but Harry Redknapp is a top manager.
“He changed it to three at the back so, credit to him, we found it harder to get through in the second half. We played well and deserved the three points.”
Coach Colin Pascoe took the Liverpool side in Rodgers’ absence and he agreed with Gerrard’s assessment of Suarez.
Pascoe said: “He’s a maverick, he’s brilliant. I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s a true gentleman.
“But all of the lads were magnificent. The chances we created were phenomenal.
“We could have had a couple more. Some of our play was exciting to watch and I’m sure our fans will be happy tonight.
“It was fantastic to watch, the way the lads passed the ball around and the weight of our chances.”