Match report: Liverpool 5-0 Norwich

Daniel Sturridge scored his third goal in as many games. Photo: PA

Liverpool 5-0 Norwich

Norwich must be sick of the sight of striker Luis Suarez as he scored his seventh goal in three matches against them to help Liverpool return to winning ways.

The Canaries' nemesis, after hat-tricks in his previous two outings against them, struck the second after Jordan Henderson's well-taken opener.

New £12million signing Daniel Sturridge became the first Reds 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 rout.

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 manager Brendan 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.

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.

From that point onwards it was virtually one-way traffic with Suarez and Sturridge combining early only for the latter to shoot straight at goalkeeper Mark Bunn.

By then Suarez was already running rings around the visitors - one brilliant backheel skill leaving Michael Turner completely bamboozled - and his low cross-shot was claimed by Bunn at the second attempt at his near post.

The South American'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.

There has been talk this week of Rodgers wanting to bring Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder to the club if the Holland international is willing to lower his considerable wage demands.

Henderson is a long way from being in that class yet he has offered, in the last six weeks, hope that he can develop into the midfielder which persuaded Rodgers' predecessor Kenny Dalglish to spend £16million to bring him to the club.

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.

The initial indications from the performances of Suarez and Sturridge together suggests now at least Liverpool have a fighting chance of finishing off teams and stringing results together.