The last time Luis Suarez took an extended absence from the squad, his teammates did not exactly light the world on fire with their goal scoring efforts in league matches and only ended up with a single win for their troubles. Scoring goals hasn't been nearly as much of an issue this season, but with Suarez being responsible for roughly a third of the club's goals in all competitions, there remained some nervous and not unexpected questions about where the goals might come from during the striker's second long-term time out.
It turns out reports of Liverpool's future goal scoring drought were greatly exaggerated, since four different players managed to strike the club's six goals on Saturday afternoon. That Newcastle were incredibly poor on the day doesn't diminish how well Liverpool played in addition to their opponent's defensive frailties, and the effort by the club as a group quickly buried at least a few inevitable narratives before they really found their feet.
"You saw today that it was very much about the collective," Rodgers said after the match. "We pressed together and we passed together. We scored six goals and maybe could have had a few more but the clean sheet was important.
"We're certainly no one-man team — we're very much a collective and the focus and concentration from the group today was very good. I've never thought that we rely on Luis. He's been an outstanding player for us this season and I'm sure he'll continue to be."
Rodgers will likely convince exactly zero people that the team does not rely on Suarez, but it's a good affirmation that the Uruguayan's ban does not necessarily have to be the crisis situation many have imagined it to be. A single positive result against an appallingly bad Newcastle isn't necessarily proof positive that Liverpool will emerge unscathed, but it's a step in the right direction of demonstrating that the club can cope without Suarez.
"It was a great performance, we'll enjoy it and move on," Rodgers concluded, noting that there elements of the team's game that could have been sharper. With another exciting and/or stressful installment of the Merseyside derby coming up on Saturday, fans could take their cues from Rodgers to enjoy the Newcastle rout for what it is before Everton make their way across Stanley Park, bringing with them a greater set of challenges.