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Jan 19, 2013

Luis Suarez fuels Liverpool's 5-0 romp

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez scored his seventh goal in three matches against Norwich on Saturday to fuel a 5-0 rout for the Reds.

Having recorded hat-tricks in his previous two outings against Norwich, Suarez connected for the Reds' second goal of the match after Jordan Henderson's well-taken opener.

"Luis has done what he has done for us all season, given us 100 percent every game, and he combined well with Daniel up front," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said.

New signing Daniel Sturridge became the first Liverpool player since Ray Kennedy in 1974 to score in his first three matches before Steven Gerrard's strike and Ryan Bennett's own goal completed the blowout.

It took Liverpool's tally against Norwich in the last three league matches to 13, most of which have gone to Suarez.

Only Ian Rush, with nine, has scored more goals against them for Liverpool.

Questions had been asked about whether Suarez, who now has 20 goals for the season, and Sturridge could play together and how Rodgers would accommodate the pair.

The Uruguay international dropped into a deeper role off the front man but it did not lessen his impact as he was a constant thorn in Norwich's side.

After a promising 45 minutes in the defeat at Old Trafford last week, the pair continued to build on their fledgling relationship with Sturridge's awareness and dummy for Suarez's goal the highlight.

"The second goal was a wonderful demonstration of how good players can link together," Rogers said. "It was great vision by Daniel to see the run of Luis coming from the outside, great weight of pass by Lucas, and Suarez found himself one versus one."

Norwich boss Chris Hughton admitted his side, who have taken just one point from their last six matches, fell well short of what was required.

"At this moment it is not a good feeling," Hughton said. "We were beaten by a very good side who were very clinical in everything they did.

"We weren't good enough and we have to be better than that. We were nowhere near as good as we could have been."

With goalkeeper Jose Reina missing due to a thigh injury Norwich needed to take advantage but Bennett planted his early free-header from Robert Snodgrass's free-kick straight at stand-in Brad Jones.

Suarez's admission this week that he had dived in an attempt to win a penalty here in October had brought condemnation, but against Norwich he appeared determined to stay on his feet.

That resulted in the opening goal as he avoided two crunching tackles, the second pushing the ball into the path of Henderson, who drove a first-time shot high past Bunn for only his fourth goal in 74 appearances.

Boosted by his goal, Henderson attempted a swerving 30-yard effort which Bunn held but the goalkeeper was powerless to prevent Suarez making it 2-0 in the 37th minute.

Sturridge cleverly allowed Lucas Leiva's through-ball to pass through his legs for the Uruguayan to run onto and he coolly slotted in a shot off the far post with his weaker left foot.

Sturridge had chances either side of half-time, first firing a narrow-angle shot at the goalkeeper and then completely missing his kick from close range from Suarez's pass.

He made up for that, however, when he became only the seventh man to find the net in each of his first three appearances for the club just before the hour.

Henderson switched the ball out to the right for Stewart Downing to drive a first-time cross for Sturridge to convert from close in.

Gerrard then added the fourth when Glen Johnson's run down the left presented him with a chance which he drilled home low from 25 yards.

Substitute Raheem Sterling may yet be awarded the fifth as it was his run and shot which was turned into his own net by Ryan Bennett.

After last week's disappointing defeat to Manchester United a third successive home victory was just what was required but, as Rodgers knows, consistency is the key to success.

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