Premier League
LiverpoolLiverpool5NorwichNorwich City1

Liverpool 5-1 Norwich City

By Mike HensonBBC Sport
Liverpool's Luis Suarez

Liverpool's Luis Suarez scored four goals as his virtuoso performance overwhelmed Norwich at Anfield.

The Uruguayan opened the scoring with a 40-yard lob over John Ruddy before sweeping in Philippe Coutinho's corner.

Suarez slammed in a fierce half-volley to complete his hat-trick and grabbed his fourth with a dead-eyed free-kick.

Bradley Johnson nodded in a consolation for Norwich before Raheem Sterling swivelled to fire in the hosts' fifth, but the match belonged to Suarez.

Rodgers: Suarez equal to world's best

The striker was withdrawn late on by manager Brendan Rodgers to a standing ovation and received a second as he returned after the final whistle to retrieve the match ball.

It was a performance that kept Liverpool in the top four and on course for the Champions League qualification that Suarez will surely demand as the minimum required from his club this season.

The 26-year-old, who has now scored 11 goals in his last four meetings with Norwich, busied himself from the off, demanding the ball from his team-mates and making runs.

Unfortunately for Liverpool their early chances fell to Jordan Henderson rather than Suarez and the midfielder twice sent shots into the stands when he had sight of goal.

After a toothless display in defeat by Hull at the weekend, Reds fans, deprived of the services of the injured Daniel Sturridge, may have feared more frustration.

But in 20 minutes Suarez had devastated Norwich and finished the game as a contest.

In contrast to Henderson's tentative attempts from good positions, Suarez proved he did not even need a half-chance to score.

There appeared little danger as he turned on a bouncing ball midway into the Norwich half, but Suarez detected a slight error in Ruddy's positioning and ruthlessly punished it with a dipping shot that crashed over the goalkeeper into the bottom corner.

Ruddy may have remembered being beaten from similarly long range by Suarez in a 3-0 defeat at Carrow Road in April 2012 as he retrieved the ball from the back of his net.

Suarez's second exhibited his predatory instincts as he hooked Coutinho's skidding corner into the roof of the net, before another sublime strike completed his hat-trick six minutes later.

After he had flicked the ball over a hesitant Leroy Fer and the rest of the Norwich defence stood off him, Suarez took up the Kop's urgings to shoot and almost inevitably the ball arrowed into the corner of the net.

Hughton laments poor defending

Things may have been different for Norwich had Gary Hooper, rather than Wes Hoolahan, been on the end of a chance when the scoreline was still blank.

But the summer signing, who scored the winner against Crystal Palace at the weekend and had spoken about his excitement at playing at Anfield in the build-up to the game,external-link was surprisingly left on the bench.

As it was, Norwich spent the second half searching for a consolation while Ruddy minimised the damage at the other end with stretching stops from Joe Allen and Suarez.

After Suarez had celebrated a precise set-piece with an almost embarrassed smile, the visitors scored a high-quality goal of their own to blemish Liverpool's defence.

Johnson's precise header in front of Daniel Agger from a Nathan Redmond cross means the Reds have kept only one clean sheet in their last 12 games.

But Liverpool's defensive fragilities were a concern for another day as Suarez turned creator, providing a low cross for Raheem Sterling to power home, before heading to the sidelines to take the home fans' acclaim.

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Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Johnson
  • 38FlanaganBooked at 69mins
  • 24AllenBooked at 33mins
  • 37Skrtel
  • 5Agger
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forRomero Alconchelat 69'minutes
  • 8GerrardBooked at 43mins
  • 7SuárezSubstituted forIago Aspasat 90+2'minutes
  • 10Coutinho
  • 31Sterling

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 4K Touré
  • 6Romero Alconchel
  • 9Iago Aspas
  • 12Moses
  • 17Sakho
  • 21Leiva

Norwich

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Ruddy
  • 2Martin
  • 23Olsson
  • 10FerSubstituted forWhittakerat 72'minutes
  • 24Bennett
  • 5Bassong
  • 14HoolahanSubstituted forMurphyat 62'minutes
  • 8Howson
  • 16ElmanderSubstituted forHooperat 69'minutes
  • 4JohnsonBooked at 20mins
  • 22Redmond

Substitutes

  • 3Whittaker
  • 6Turner
  • 11Hooper
  • 18Garrido
  • 19Becchio
  • 20Nash
  • 31Murphy
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
44,541

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamNorwich
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home28
Away14
Shots on Target
Home12
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away0
Fouls
Home10
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 5, Norwich City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 5, Norwich City 1.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Iago Aspas replaces Luis Suárez.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Liverpool 5, Norwich City 1. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Luis Suárez.

  7. Post update

    Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Luis Alberto (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Glen Johnson.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Luis Suárez (Liverpool).

  10. Post update

    Sébastien Bassong (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Liverpool 4, Norwich City 1. Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Nathan Redmond with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Steven Gerrard (Liverpool).

  13. Post update

    Steven Whittaker (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nathan Redmond (Norwich City) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Bradley Johnson.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Luis Suárez.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Luis Suárez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Glen Johnson.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Liverpool 4, Norwich City 0. Luis Suárez (Liverpool) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Foul by Jonathan Howson (Norwich City).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Steven Whittaker replaces Leroy Fer.