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One Man Band: Liverpool 5-1 Norwich City Post Match Thoughts

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Suarez goes on a tear against his favorite team, Norwich

Wow.  Just wow.
Wow. Just wow.
Jan Kruger

What can I say that hasn't already been said about this performance?  Absolutely stunning display from Suarez gave Liverpool the bounce back victory they were looking for after the disappoint loss at Hull.  However, the scoreline might slightly flatter Liverpool.  Sure, they definitely deserved to win, but it wasn't as convincing as the scoreline would indicate.

Norwich came out ready to play and showed some initiative in attack early on.  It clearly caught Liverpool off guard and it was a bit nervy.  Liverpool really didn't come out of their shell fully until Suarez scored his absolute wonderstrike to open the scoring.  Poor Ruddy had few saves to make, and his main involvement was picking that ball up out of the back of his net.

Once Suarez scored his third in the first half the game was out of sight.  The only question at halftime was how man and could Liverpool keep a clean sheet.  The unfortunate answer to the latter was no.  Yet again the defense was switched off and yet again a team has killed Liverpool's clean sheet.  In addition, it wasn't as if Norwich were void of chances.  They took 14 shots with 5 on target.  For a match that should have been well and truly a one way affair, this is entirely too many shots to allow.

Yes, I know I am going to hear it for being the pessimist, focusing on the negative and never being happy, but this was hardly the thrashing it appeared to be.  Yes Liverpool dominated the game on the whole and deserved to win, but they allowed a decent number of chances to a Norwich side that didn't even have their best attacking player starting.  The defense is still a massive weak link and something that needs to be sorted quickly before the run of games against City and Chelsea. Even Villa and West Ham have better defensive records.

Some bullets:

-Flanagan looked decent again.  This is especially intriguing since he is being played out of position on the left.

-Sterling may have scored, but was absent or off the pace for large parts of the match.  His confidence looks shaken and he never seemed to want to take his defender on like he did early last season.

-Joe Allen needs a bit more time to get back up to the pace.  He too was too often a step late.

-Henderson's best attribute is his work ethic.  He was responsible for pressuring Norwich into a number of turnovers in their own end.

-I would have liked to see more substitutions early given this is the crazy December fixture list.  No reason Gerrard and Suarez shouldn't have had a rest much earlier.

-As if this needs saying, but it is clear the best bit of business Liverpool have done is making Suarez stay over the summer.  It was a gamble, but it is clearly paying off.

-Seriously, three hat-tricks in a row against the same team.  Incredible stuff and most of the goals have been absolute stunners.