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"I thought the players were outstanding." This was Brendan Rodgers' unsurprising analysis of Liverpool's thrilling 5-0 victory over Norwich, and on this occasion few would disagree with the manager. It was arguably the Reds' most convincing performance of the season so far and the exciting partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge sliced through the Canaries like a hot knife through butter.
Admittedly, Norwich are on a miserable run at the moment - they have now lost five of their last six Premier League fixtures as well as securing just one clean sheet in the last 11. But as Rodgers said after Liverpool's crushing victory, it isn't easy to break down teams that sit back and defend - as Chelsea have found recently at Stamford Bridge - and the Reds showed plenty of ingenuity to create and take their chances.
'Profligacy' is a word often used to describe Liverpool performances, but the arrival of Sturridge may spell an end to its prominence in Anfield match reports. The striker "enjoyed every minute" of his goalscoring home debut and thanked God for the opportunity (as well as Rodgers for his first league start for the Reds). With three goals in his first three matches, his impact certainly seems like divine intervention in Liverpool's season.
Doubts have been raised over the potential for Sturridge and Suarez to form a successful patnership (including from this website), but on Saturday the duo demonstrated a natural understanding that will generate plenty of genuine optimism. "It could become as good as any other partnership (in the league)," a beaming Sturridge claimed in his post-match interview, although the immediate aim will be firing the team back into Champions League contention. Fourth place is no longer the distant mirage it has seemed for most of the season.
While Sturridge and Suarez hinted at what was to come on Saturday with a neat one-two in the early stages (Suarez threading the ball between the defender's legs in typical fashion) it was the Uruguayan's goal in the first half that highlighted the pair's link-up play and awareness. Sturridge's instinctive dummy and Suarez's run inside the full-back was a stunning example of two strikers who are on the same wavelength. It was an important moment in the match, and one that Rodgers will hope reverberates through the rest of Liverpool's campaign.
Of course, Liverpool will need to replicate their performance against teams in the top half of the table, starting with Arsenal on January 30 and Man City four days later. But while the Reds have been guilty of over-lathering opponents in previous fixtures with sterile domination, they now possess the cut-throat blade and menacing intent of Sweeney Todd in an attacking partnership that will continue to develop.
The performances of Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard and Stewart Downing should also be acknowledged, but the trio's initials lend themselves less favourably to headline writers, and on Saturday the real story was the SAS's dead-eye demolition job worthy of a lead role from Sly Stallone. Now let's see the feat repeated against stronger opposition.
Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.