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Liverpool 5, Norwich 1: First Thoughts

With Liverpool looking to bounce back from their terrible performance against Hull, Norwich made for ideal opponents as Luis Suarez once again did what Luis Suarez tends to do against the Canaries—score lots of goals.

Jan Kruger

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Liverpool 5 Suarez 15', 29', 35', 74', Sterling 88'
Norwich 1 Johnson 83'

  • Given Norwich's recent history against Liverpool and Luis Suarez, the first half talking point wasn't a surprise—it was Suarez. Fifteen minutes in he attempted a chip from distance and, for the second time in his career against Norwich, caught the keeper off his line with an audacious effort from miles out. Fifteen minutes later, a difficult left footed half-volley gave him two. Five minutes after that, he flicked the ball to himself over Leroy Fer and drilled past John Ruddy to become the first Liverpool player to score three against the same opponent on three occasions.

  • Norwich had their chances both sides of the half, frequently showing promise in their build-up play before failing to convince in the finish. With Jordan Henderson pushing up the pitch, most of the blame could be put on Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen failing to impress as a midfield pairing without the ball.

  • Speaking of Allen, with three matches in seven days, it wasn't entirely unexpected to see Lucas given a rest as the Welshman returned to the starting lineup. If there was any reason for raised eyebrows, it was only that it was Lucas rested while Gerrard—the most obviously tired and under-performing member of Liverpool's midfield of late—once again was given the start, though it's possible the captain is scheduled for a break on Saturday against West Ham.

  • And speaking of players being given the night off, Mamadou Sakho once again found himself on the bench. If it's more of the same on Saturday, Brendan Rodgers being a secret Ukraine supporter who hasn't forgiven Sakho knocking that nation out of World Cup contention may be the only explanation.

  • In the end, despite the lopsided scoreline, it was a game less about Liverpool playing well and their opponents playing poorly—both sides were, for the most part, varying shades of fair throughout the night—and more about Luis Suarez doing what Luis Suarez tends to do against Norwich, as when he capped his already impressive night with a stunning free kick as the match wound down.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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