Liverpool 5-0 Norwich City
1-0 Henderson (26), 2-0 Suarez (36), 3-0 Sturridge (59), 4-0 Gerrard (66), 5-0 Bennett og (74)
Our biggest win under BR and, for many, the first look at Sturridge and Suarez in tandem. The signs were good as the new multi faceted Liverpool steamrolled Norwich for the second time this season.
This was supposedly the “easy meat” in a tough schedule of games, having lost to The Mancs we, after this game and the FA Cup at Oldham, have to face Arsenal and Manchester City. A result was therefore vital and it was delivered with ease with a performance that must have increased confidence about us scoring our first victory over a side that is above us in the league. More importantly we appear to have banished those home sick gaffs, this was our third consecutive win at Anfield, not much you might think but we haven’t achieved that for nearly two years! Said BR
“The players are starting to enjoy playing at home again and hopefully the supporters are enjoying it as well.”
BR made some changes some forced some other wise. Jose Reina stood down with a hip injury presumably a result of the clash he had at Old Trafford the week before, Brad Jones replaced him. Henderson replaced Allen in midfield and of course Sturridge and Suarez had their first start together.
It began well for Norwich with Ryan Bennett heading Snodgrass’s free kick into Brad Jones arms when he had time to pick his spot. However, it didn’t take us long to get into our stride Strurridge and Suarez exchanged, what one hope will the first of many pleasantry’s on the edge of the area which saw the new boy getting our first shot on target which, in fairness, was easily dealt with by Bunn in the Norwich goal.
The first goal was something old something new with Suarez trotting out his usual trickery before the ball finally broke, via Howson’s attempt to stop him, to Henderson on the edge of the area who crashed home a half volley into the top right hand corner. Henderson’s celebration, I suspect, was mixture of joy at the manner of the goal but also a case of relief and an a case of “see, look, I can do it”? It was a vital and timely strike steadying those now familiar home nerves. Said BR again
“.. The first goal was going to be important and Jordan scored a fantastic goal. We’ve had games where we haven’t got the first goal early enough and have ended up drawing.”
This might have given Norwich hope however, they seemingly bowed to inevitable. Lucas deep in his own half (what’s new!) threaded a pass forward Sturridge who dummied over it leaving Suarez with the easy task of knocking past Bunn into the right hand corner. Would Suarez have had so much time without Sturridge, who was also vying for the Norwich defence’s attentions? Half time and a word about Suarez you can say what you like about him, and many do, but that’s twenty goals this season which, I guess, is the usually benchmark for most strikers in a season AND it’s only January!
The second half emphasised the options we have open to us. Suarez was in deeper position linking up with Henderson and Downing whose cross found Sturridge who had the simple ask of keeping it down and guiding it into the net. Three in his first three games for Sturridge not since Ray Kennedy have we seen that however, more importantly, our new man’s celebration and reaction to the crowd suggests that the looks to be enjoying his so far brief time with us the signs of a good relationship with Suarez were also there.
After that it was easy stuff. Johnson set up Gerard who smacked home a trade mark, under the radar, pile driver from distance into Bunn’s right hand corner. Sterling then did enough with his run in from the right to claim our fifth however Ryan Bennett’s boot got in the way, an own goal. Home, hosed, no fuss and cigar in hand if only every game was like this!
Liverpool: Jones, Johnson Booked, Agger, Carragher, Wisdom, Gerrard, Henderson (Allen – 77′ ), Downing, Lucas (Sterling – 68′), Suarez, Sturridge (Borini – 69′ ) Substitutes: Gulacsi, Skrtel, Robinson, Allen, Sterling, Shelvey, Borini
Norwich City: Bunn, R Martin, Turner, Garrido, R Bennett, Johnson, Snodgrass Booked (Pilkington – 86′ ), Howson, E Bennett (Hoolahan – 65′ ), Tettey, Holt Substitutes: Rudd, Barnett, Tierney, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Jackson, Kane