Hillsborough campaigner's words inspired us - Rodgers

Reds have 'surpassed expectations'

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he used the words of Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall to inspire his team to a 3-2 victory at Norwich.

Aspinall's son James died in the tragedy which took the lives of 96 Liverpool fans in 1989.

She spoke during a memorial service at Anfield on Tuesday to mark the 25th anniversary of the disaster.

"She talked about stress - it can prove difficult but can also offer you great determination to fight," said Rodgers.

"Those were words we gave the players before the game. We stuck them on the wall.

"It is a club that is as one at the moment - and we are all fighting to achieve the ultimate goal."

Liverpool's win at Carrow Road moved them five points clear at the top of the Premier League with three games remaining - against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Newcastle.

The win has guaranteed a Champions League group-stage spot for next season and, at present, the Reds need seven points from those matches to secure their first league title since 1990.

Goals from Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez put Liverpool ahead at Norwich before Gary Hooper pulled one back. Sterling restored the two-goal cushion before a dogged Canaries side set up a tense finish after Robert Snodgrass headed in.

Sterling's two goals took the 19-year-old's tally to nine for the league season and Rodgers was full of praise for the young forward.

"He is arguably the best young player in European football at the moment," the manager added.

"I've been really pleased with his maturity. He puts an awful lot of time into his work. We've tried to play him in different positions to improve his football intelligence.

"He is a really humble kid and it has been great to see."

Rodgers added: "You have seen all the characteristics of our team - wonderful invention, creativity, arrogance on the ball, goalscoring as well as young and senior players playing in a structure that allows them to express themselves.

"In addition, we have had to show the courage to dig in and fight away from home against a team that is fighting for its life to stay in the division."

Former Liverpool winger John Barnes said if the Reds were to clinch the title, it would be the greatest Premier League victory of any club.

Speaking ahead of a 'Celebration of the 96' match at Anfield,external-link he told BBC Radio 5 live: "The consistency they've shown has been incredible and I think if they win it this will be the most incredible victory from any team in the history of the Premier League.

"Where they were last year without making any major signings - (Daniel) Sturridge and Coutinho were there last year - so to finish seventh last year to winning the Premier League would be an incredible achievement and credit has to go to the players and the manager."

Race for Premier League title
LiverpoolChelseaMan 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)