Liverpool 5-0 Norwich

Liverpool

Liverpool strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge started together for the first time and both scored as the Reds thrashed Norwich at Anfield.

A classy Jordan Henderson strike put Liverpool in front and a Sturridge dummy let Suarez confidently slot in.

Grant Holt had a rare Norwich effort saved before Sturridge tapped in a Stewart Downing cross and Steven Gerrard rifled in a 25-yard strike.

Ryan Bennett put Raheem Sterling's cross into his own net for the fifth.

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Rodgers lauds 'outstanding' Liverpool

Sturridge's goal meant he became the first player since Ray Kennedy in 1974 to score in each of his first three games for Liverpool and the ovation he was given when substituted showed he has quickly won over fans of the Merseyside club.

There was a degree of apprehension that the 23-year-old's arrival might diminish the impact of Suarez but so far those fears appear unfounded.

Instead, the duo provided evidence they could form a prolific partnership as Liverpool put in an assured display for a sixth win in their last eight league games at home.

Norwich's containment strategy did not work and, with just one point from the last 18, they will be wary of being sucked back into the relegation battle.

The Canaries presented the Reds with a yellow wall to break down and the home side initially struggled to find a way through. The visitors could even have shocked their hosts, only for central defender Ryan Bennett to nod a free far-post header straight at keeper Brad Jones.

Sturridge and Suarez combined and the former had a shot saved before Henderson provided the flash of inspiration Liverpool needed to take the lead.

The ball broke into the midfielder's path after Suarez was tackled on the edge of the area and Henderson produced an unerring 18-yard strike. From there on, Liverpool never looked back.

Norwich continued to sit back and invite pressure and were soon punished again when Suarez, who had scored two hat-tricks in his last two games against the Canaries, struck.

Sturridge dummied a pass from Lucas Leiva to send the Uruguayan in on the visitors' goal and Suarez slotted into the bottom corner for his 20th goal of the season.

Norwich produced little in attack, Holt having a follow-up shot from the right of the area blocked by home keeper Jones, after seeing his initial header cleared.

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Hughton respects Reds quality

That was almost the last meaningful action from Jones, playing in place of the injured Pepe Reina, such was Liverpool's dominance.

Sturridge stole in at the far post to mark his Anfield bow with a simple finish after Downing's low first-time cross before Gerrard sent a low, long-range strike into the bottom corner.

Liverpool had scored five against Norwich in the reverse fixture in September and repeated the trick when substitute Sterling's cross was put into his own net by centre-back Bennett.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers:

"It was an outstanding team performance. 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.

"It [Daniel Sturridge's goal] was the type of goal he was brought in for. He is terrific outside the box but he is a real killer in it. It's three goals in three games for him and I think there will be many to come. We have played well for most of the season but Daniel coming in adds that extra threat. He has pace and power and he has got good touch and good skills.

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Sturridge on Suarez 'understanding'

"We are just taking each game as it comes. It is a very pleasing day but we will not get too far ahead of ourselves."

Norwich manager Chris Hughton:

"What we were up against today was an extremely good Liverpool side. They were very good and clinical.

"It's been a bad day for us and we need to dust ourselves down and make sure we are better for the next game.

"We need to get back on track. Sometimes you have to accept that, with the quality these teams have, if you have a bad day you can be well beaten."

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