Liverpool opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League after a hard-fought win at Norwich.

Second-placed Chelsea had lost on Saturday and the Reds capitalised, with Raheem Sterling arrowing in a long-range shot to put them ahead.

Luis Suarez guided in a second only for Gary Hooper to slot in for Norwich after keeper Simon Mignolet's error.

Reds have 'surpassed expectations'

Sterling scored with a deflected shot before a Robert Snodgrass header gave the Canaries hope but the Reds held on.

It was a frantic finish at a boisterous Carrow Road and the home side almost salvaged a point only for Mignolet to save a Ricky van Wolfswinkel header.

Liverpool were given a scare by Norwich but managed to secure an 11th successive league win, which confirms their place in next season's Champions League, ahead of next Sunday's home game against Chelsea, a visit to Crystal Palace and a meeting with Newcastle at Anfield.

Chelsea's surprise defeat at home to Sunderland on Saturday had added to the expectancy surrounding the Reds at Carrow Road.

But following a storming start, they had to determinedly drag themselves over the line to earn a victory which brings closer a first title since 1990.

Norwich suffered a sixth defeat in eight outings, although they can take heart from a battling display. They are two points above the relegation zone with games at Manchester United and Chelsea to come before they play Arsenal at home.

Verdict

"What a battle and what a performance from Neil Adams's Norwich side. They were magnificent in the second half and they pushed Liverpool all the way."

The Canaries ultimately paid the price for a disappointing first half, which began with Sterling sidestepping Bradley Johnson and powering a 22-yard shot, which took a slight deflection off defender Michael Turner, past keeper John Ruddy.

Joe Allen had an angled drive fended away by Ruddy as Liverpool made a typically energetic start, with a second goal not taking long to arrive.

Sterling turned from scorer to provider as he bent a low right-wing ball into the path of Suarez, who guided a sidefoot home for his 30th league goal of the campaign.

Norwich rallied and striker Hooper latched on to a Turner knockdown but was denied the chance to get a shot away courtesy of two tigerish Allen tackles.

A swerving long range Nathan Redmond effort was also palmed away by Mignolet, with Norwich continuing to the apply the pressure after the break.

'Phenomenal effort' pleases Adams

The home side received their reward for their efforts when Mignolet mistimed his attempt to punch away Steven Whittaker's cross and Hooper tapped in from eight yards.

Suarez could have eased Liverpool's nerves but sent a shot from just inside the box narrowly wide.

It was left to Sterling to restore the visiting side's two-goal advantage, with the Reds forward racing at the Norwich defence before his effort looped in following a deflection off Bradley Johnson.

The Canaries refused to be disheartened and Snodgrass had a shot palmed around the post, while a Redmond strike was diverted wide off the head of defender Martin Skrtel.

The home pressure eventually told again when Snodgrass headed in - but despite going close with Van Wolfswinkel's header, an equaliser eluded them.

Race for the Premier League title

Liverpool Chelsea Man City

Mon 21 Apr: West Brom (h)

Sun 27 Apr: Chelsea (h)

Sun 27 Apr: Liverpool (a)

Sun 27 Apr: Crystal Palace (a)

Mon 5 May: Crystal Palace (a)

Sun 4 May: Norwich (h)

Sat 3 May: Everton (a)

Wed 7 May: Aston Villa (h)

Sun 11 May: Newcastle (h)

Sun 11 May: Cardiff (a)

Sun 11 May: West Ham (h)

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (4)

Norwich City

  • 01 Ruddy
  • 03 Whittaker
  • 23 Olsson
  • 04 Johnson
  • 02 Martin
  • 06 Turner Booked
  • 10 Fer (Murphy - 78' )
  • 07 Snodgrass Booked
  • 22 Redmond
  • 11 Hooper (van Wolfswinkel - 78' )
  • 08 Howson Booked

Substitutes

  • 09 van Wolfswinkel
  • 13 Bunn
  • 15 Gutiérrez
  • 18 Garrido
  • 24 R Bennett
  • 27 Tettey
  • 31 Murphy

Liverpool

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 02 Johnson
  • 38 Flanagan Booked
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 37 Skrtel Booked
  • 17 Sakho
  • 24 Allen (Agger - 81' )
  • 21 Lucas
  • 07 Suarez
  • 31 Sterling
  • 10 Coutinho (Moses - 76' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 04 K Touré
  • 05 Agger
  • 06 Luis Alberto
  • 09 Iago Aspas
  • 12 Moses
  • 20 Cissokho
Ref: Andre Marriner
Att: 26,857

Match Stats

Shots

13 14

On target

5 6

Corners

8 3

Fouls

16 10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Norwich City 2, Liverpool 3.

90:00 +4:03 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Norwich City 2, Liverpool 3.

90:00 +3:13

Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

90:00 +3:13

Martin Olsson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +2:44

Offside, Liverpool. Glen Johnson tries a through ball, but Luis Suarez is caught offside.

90:00 +2:23

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Martin Olsson.

90:00 +2:17

Attempt blocked. Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

90:00 +2:15

Attempt saved. Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luis Suarez.

90:00 +0:11

Attempt missed. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Victor Moses with a headed pass.

88:33

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

88:33

Foul by Martin Olsson (Norwich City).

88:06

Luis Suarez (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:06

Foul by Michael Turner (Norwich City).

86:39

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:39

Foul by Russell Martin (Norwich City).

83:00

Jon Flanagan (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:00

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City).

82:22

Attempt saved. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nathan Redmond with a cross.

80:27 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Daniel Agger replaces Joe Allen.

79:37

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Steven Gerrard.

78:36 Booking

Booking Jon Flanagan (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.

77:37 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Norwich City. Josh Murphy replaces Leroy Fer.

77:29 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Norwich City. Ricky van Wolfswinkel replaces Gary Hooper.

76:49 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Norwich City 2, Liverpool 3. Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Martin Olsson with a cross.

75:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Liverpool. Victor Moses replaces Philippe Coutinho.

73:57

Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

73:57

Leroy Fer (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

71:45 Booking

Booking Jonny Howson (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

71:38

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:38

Foul by Jonny Howson (Norwich City).

70:23

Attempt missed. Russell Martin (Norwich City) with an attempt from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross following a corner.

70:00

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

69:59

Attempt blocked. Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bradley Johnson.

67:52

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Lucas Leiva.

67:50

Attempt blocked. Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross.

67:25

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Simon Mignolet.

67:24

Attempt saved. Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Leroy Fer.

64:15 Booking

Booking Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

64:09

Foul by Martin Skrtel (Liverpool).

64:09

Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

63:10

Glen Johnson (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:10

Foul by Jonny Howson (Norwich City).

61:25 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Norwich City 1, Liverpool 3. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal following a fast break.

59:31

Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

59:31

Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:53

Attempt missed. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Glen Johnson.

55:50

Attempt saved. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

53:35 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Norwich City 1, Liverpool 2. Gary Hooper (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

51:44

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Steven Gerrard.

51:35

Attempt blocked. Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leroy Fer.

50:27

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

48:36

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho following a fast break.

47:52

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Martin Skrtel.

45:32

Jon Flanagan (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:32

Foul by Steven Whittaker (Norwich City).

45:00

Second Half begins Norwich City 0, Liverpool 2.

45:00 +2:32 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Norwich City 0, Liverpool 2.

45:00 +2:14

Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).

45:00 +2:14

Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00 +0:28

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

45:00

Delay in match Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) because of an injury.

44:30 Booking

Booking Michael Turner (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

44:27

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

44:27

Foul by Michael Turner (Norwich City).

43:30

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Joe Allen.

41:14

Attempt missed. Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho with a cross following a corner.

40:50

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Steven Whittaker.

36:56

Glen Johnson (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:56

Foul by Bradley Johnson (Norwich City).

33:25

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Bradley Johnson.

32:41

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

32:41

Foul by Steven Whittaker (Norwich City).

32:09

Attempt saved. Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

31:23

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).

31:23

Steven Whittaker (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:16

Glen Johnson (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:16

Foul by Gary Hooper (Norwich City).

30:09

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).

30:09

Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:51 Booking

Booking Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

28:29

Joe Allen (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:29

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City).

27:26

Hand ball by Luis Suarez (Liverpool).

25:57

Attempt missed. Joe Allen (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Luis Suarez.

24:15

Jon Flanagan (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

24:15

Foul by Steven Whittaker (Norwich City).

22:49

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

22:49

Foul by Michael Turner (Norwich City).

19:20

Foul by Glen Johnson (Liverpool).

19:20

Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

19:06

Attempt blocked. Steven Whittaker (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass.

18:01

Joe Allen (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:01

Foul by Jonny Howson (Norwich City).

16:40

Attempt blocked. Leroy Fer (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

16:38

Attempt blocked. Gary Hooper (Norwich City) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked.

15:44

Foul by Joe Allen (Liverpool).

15:44

Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

14:59

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Glen Johnson.

10:14 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Norwich City 0, Liverpool 2. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

9:19

Attempt blocked. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

8:54

Attempt saved. Joe Allen (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho with a through ball.

7:50

Attempt missed. Gary Hooper (Norwich City) header from very close range is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jonny Howson with a cross.

3:39 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Norwich City 0, Liverpool 1. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

3:15

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

2:33

Delay in match Martin Olsson (Norwich City) because of an injury.

0:42

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City).

0:42

Joe Allen (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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