Suarez Sublime In Norwich Win
|Suarez celebrates his second hat trick at Carrow Road...|
Rodgers gave Suso and Wisdom their first Premier League starts whilst opting to play Raheem Sterling once again. Also included was Sahin who scored two against West Brom in the league cup.
Possession according to the BBC ended up 50/50 after the 90 minutes but vitally for Liverpool this time they had maintained their portion of the ball and made sure they hit the back of the net at the same time.
Luis Suarez immediately cemented his love for Carrow Road just 2 minutes in. Glen Johnson cut inside and attempted to play a ball through to Sahin but he couldn't quite collect, the defensive clearance though wasn't the best and Suarez found himself with a chance at goal. His strike to Ruddy's right put Liverpool in front.
Suarez has started with a bang and it wasn't long before he was causing hassle again in the Norwich box. In a week that saw Rodgers ring up Mike Riley you would feel a referee would be extra attentive in his decision making for this game but apparently not. Suarez was brought down by Barnett and it was a clear foul but the Uruguayan was given nothing.
Some people won't agree but I think Suarez has definitely had his reputation put against him on several occasions, we know he's not always an angel but each decision should be taken independently not on the basis that he "probably" dived. Thankfully, Liverpool would not have to dwell on this decision.
Suarez never let the decision get to him either as minutes later he played a lovely ball over the defence in an attempt to set up captain Steven Gerrard. The number 8 got a strong header to it but Ruddy had it covered.
The next moment of note, yep, you guessed it, Suarez again. This time he had a pop at goal after a great ball through from Agger, unfortunately it was a dodgy finish and the ball went wide, whilst the Norwich fans stood shouting and gesturing that Suarez may be in need of some light relief the striker had other things on his mind, seconds later he'd shut them all up.
The Norwich defence were half asleep and Suarez stole possession with ease, taking the ball behind and round the defender Suarez ended with a lovely finish on the outside of his boot and secured his second goal of the game.
The man was quite simply on fire, he wasn't only scoring he was setting people up, he was here, there and everywhere and could have been on three or four goals by this stage already.
By half time Norwich were left looking pretty dismal, some half chances supplied them with an ounce of hope but their defence was clearly struggling to deal with this fresh attacking threat from Liverpool. The likes of Suso and Sahin were weaving through far too easily and the amount of possession Liverpool held in the final third surely meant more goals were coming.
To try to combat his sides lack of threat Hughton brought on Grant Holt who is usually a prolific goalscorer but hadn't found the back of the net yet for Norwich, still this would give the Reds another angle to deal with.
A wonderful chance for Norwich to get themselves back in the game left the home fans wondering how the hell they weren't after Snodgrass put the ball over the bar from centimetres out. Norwich would seriously need to take their chances in order to gain any points from this game.
Just after the 46th minute Liverpool had found yet another goal to add to the Canaries woes.
Yet another attack involving Suarez saw Norwich miss their chance to clear the danger. Suarez was then left with another chance and decided to set up Sahin who finished with a tap in. Liverpool were storming this now.
Ten minutes later and the Reds were at it again. Luis Suarez clearly wasn't content with his hat trick from last season at Carrow Road, he wanted a repeat. A lovely curled effort caught the defence and goalkeeper off guard and sent Liverpool 4-0 up. Ruddy marvellous.
You can get on Suarez's back all you want as a neutral but you'd have to agree that it was a masterclass from him on Saturday.
The game wasn't over yet though and with 4 goals already under their belts Liverpool felt like they might be able to grab some more. On the hour mark though Norwich finally managed to find a return.
A stinging effort from Martin left Reina unable to keep hold of the ball, as he parried it away it fell to the feet of Steve Morison who wasn't going to miss his chance to get Norwich a consolation goal. The Canaries had found the back of the net.
As quickly as they'd found it though Liverpool were rubbing salt in the wounds again. Raheem Sterling took a lovely touch on the wing to give himself acres of space, spotting Gerrard he played a lovely pass for the captain who's deflected strike eventually found the back of the net. It was now 5-1 to Liverpool.
With five minutes left of the game to go Norwich grabbed themselves another goal and perhaps a glimmer of hope for the fans because it was Grant Holt who got himself off the mark and gave his side a second goal.
This match was just fantastic, obviously we have to take into account that the calibre of the opposition wasn't as good as recent games and so that could reflect on the scoreline but I honestly feel that the inclusion of Suso and Sahin had a massive effect. Wisdom in defence also had a good game and Sterling was brilliant as always.
I don't care if it does sound harsh when I say this, Suso and Sterling are ten times better than the likes of Stewart Downing who for me should of been flogged anyway. The youngsters aren't only a positive addition, the majority of them are pretty versatile as we have seen with the example of Sterling. This versatility for me has also had an encouraging effect on Steven Gerrard who looked at lot more comfortable and free on Saturday in this version of the managers set up.
Extremely happy with that performance and extremely happy that Brendan has been brave enough to include youth. With some of the regular starters we were running out of ideas and seemed an easy side to read. Here's hoping for more success, I'd love for Liverpool to be praised for their youthful XI this season even if we don't finish high up in the league.
If you're good enough, you're old enough.