Reds fire five past Canaries
Published 19/01/2013 | 17:20
Norwich must be sick of the sight of striker Luis Suarez as he scored his seventh goal in three matches against them to help Liverpool return to winning ways in the 5-0 victory.
The Canaries' nemesis, after hat-tricks in his previous two outings against them, struck the second after Jordan Henderson's well-taken opener.
New £12million signing Daniel Sturridge became the first Reds player since Ray Kennedy in 1974 to score in his first three matches before Steven Gerrard's strike and Ryan Bennett's own goal completed the rout.
With goalkeeper Jose Reina missing due to a thigh injury Norwich needed to take advantage but Bennett planted his early free-header from Robert Snodgrass's free-kick straight at stand-in Brad Jones.
Suarez's admission this week that he had dived in an attempt to win a penalty here in October had brought condemnation, but against Norwich he appeared determined to stay on his feet.
That resulted in the opening goal as he avoided two crunching tackles, the second pushing the ball into the path of Henderson, who drove a first-time shot high past Mark Bunn for only his fourth goal in 74 appearances.
Boosted by his goal Henderson attempted a swerving 30-yard effort which Bunn held but the goalkeeper was powerless to prevent Suarez making it 2-0 in the 37th minute. Sturridge cleverly allowed Lucas Leiva's through-ball to pass through his legs for the Uruguayan to run onto and he coolly slotted in a shot off the far post with his weaker left foot.
Sturridge had chances either side of half-time, first firing a narrow-angle shot at the goalkeeper and then completely missing his kick from close range from Suarez's pass. He made up for that, however, just before the hour.
Henderson switched the ball out to the right for Stewart Downing to drive a first-time cross for Sturridge to convert from close range.
Gerrard then added the fourth when Glen Johnson's run down the left presented him with a chance which he drilled home low from 25 yards, while substitute Raheem Sterling may yet be awarded the fifth as it was his run and shot which was turned into his own net by Bennett.