Brendan Rodgers proud of Liverpool after 'difficult week'

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Rodgers hails 'outstanding' Reds

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said his team's 6-0 win over Newcastle was a "great victory" after what had been a difficult week for the club.

Luis Suarez put the Reds under the spotlight after biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last weekend.

The striker was banned for 10 games and Rodgers said: "Luis was wrong and we take the punishment and move on.

"It has been a difficult week as a group and club. It's a great victory on the back of a difficult week."

Prime Minister David Cameron had even intervened in the Suarez affair, saying Liverpool's leading goalscorer had set "the most appalling example" to children when he bit Ivanovic during last Sunday's 2-2 draw at Anfield.

Liverpool were expected to miss Suarez, their leading goalscorer, during what was the first of his 10-match suspension.

But Daniel Agger's header in the opening minutes set them on their way to an emphatic victory which included two goals from both Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge, plus a first league goal in Liverpool colours for Fabio Borini.

"It could have been very difficult for the players with a loss of concentration," said Rodgers, whose side enjoyed their biggest win of the season.

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"As a manager you take great pride in watching your team play like that.

"Our concentration and focus, as well as our quality, was outstanding and you have to give credit to the players for that."

January signing Philippe Coutinho provided the spark in Suarez's absence, with the Brazilian, thanks to his direct running and incisive passing, at the heart of Liverpool's attacks.

"Coutinho is only going to get better," said Rodgers of the 20-year-old.

"He is a very humble boy. He is learning very quickly and has quickly adapted to this country. I think he was born with a football at his feet. He has got a wonderful touch."