It was a case of substance over style. LFC took a patient and calculating approach going forward, and it paid off handsomely. Norwich has struggled defensively in recent months, and its errors at the back gave LFC’s Uruguayan star the space he needed to hand out punishment.
Suarez stood head and shoulders above any other player on the field. He was menacing throughout, and scored as good a hat-trick as you are likely to see. Each goal was better than the one that preceded it.
The Reds put a stop to their league slide with the win. Three points keep them on seventh-placed Everton’s heels. Two points seperate the Merseyside rivals in the standings.
That’s all for now and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way on NESN.com.
85th minute, 3-0 Liverpool: Gerrard and Suarez are leaving the game to a well-deserved applause.
Kuyt and Coates will come in and see out the game.
82nd minute, 3-0 Liverpool: Suarez completes his hat-trick in stunning fashing.
He took another ball that deflected off a defender, looked up and shot over Ruddy from 50 yards out.
76th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Vaughan has another effort — this time a header from the spot — that sails just wide of the LFC goal.
Holt enters in place of Morrison.
75th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: After many struggles against this year’s newly promoted teams, LFC has been compossed and efficient against Norwich.
Barring an unforseen turn of events, the Reds should run out comfortable winners.
70th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Vaughan shoots wide of Reina’s goal from just outside the area.
It was the hosts’ first effort on goal in over 20 minutes, and only there second or third in the game.
LFC has defended well, and its passing and possession has improved over the course of the game.
65th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Howson clears a corner kick off the line.
Vaughan follows with a hard tackle on Reina, earning himself a yellow card at the other end of the field.
64th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Suarez fools the defense with a clever move at the top of the area.
It allowed him to threaten the goal, but he tried to chip the on-rushing Ruddy, but his effort went over the bar.
60th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Gerrard’s through-ball puts Downing in position to twist and turn himself free in the Norwich area.
His low shot was saved well by Ruddy.
57th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Shelvey should have scored on that effort, but there is certainly a different feeling about wasted chances when the Reds are holding a two-goal advantage.
55th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: The Reds are nearly beating down the door in search of that third goal.
Enrique delivered a low cross across the face of goal, but Shelvey could not redirect it on target.
54th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Play is still fast and open here in the second half.
Suarez and Downing find space in the area, but Downing’s attempted lob goes well over the bar.
52nd minute, 2-0 Liverpool: That’s 31 times LFC has hit the post this season, as Shelvey’s header smacks off the crossbar.
Halftime, 2-0 Liverpool: LFC heads to the locker room with a bounce. A two-goal lead will do that for a team.
Suarez’s double came from two of the three genuine chances the Reds have created.
An efficient, not wasteful LFC will be delighted with the first 45 minutes. It must do a professional job of holding the lead.
If the Reds can do that, they will head back to Merseyside three points richer.
42nd minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Suarez draws a foul from Ward, and the Norwich defender is cautioned for the effort.
The LFC forward’s dribbling has caused all sorts of havoc in the Norwich defense.
40th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: The rain is falling with increasing intensity, and the speed of the game is just picking up again.
Players are losing their footing more than in the early goings. An error at either end could lead to chances or goals, and it would be no surprise.
33rd minute, 2-0 Liverpool: LFC has taken a new approach in this game, and the early result has been positive.
The Reds are getting numbers behind the ball, as Norwich pushes forward.
When LFC recovers, it bursts forward and punishes the Canaries with quick and deadly counter-attacks.
28th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: It’s two for Suarez and he does it all himself this time.
On the right side, he took another deflection and ran in on goal. Once he got into the box, he shot low, hard and accurately to the inside of the far post.
27th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Suarez and Gerrard nearly link up to double the lead.
Suarez took a deflection off a defender and ran in on goal. He laid off to Gerrard near the spot, but the captain’s shot took a deflection off of Bennett.
When Suarez and Gerrard link up in the final third, it can carve openings into the tightest of defenses.
24th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Suarez breaks the deadlock for LFC. It was a show of ruthlessness from the Reds.
Gerrard made a rare drive forward and found his fellow icon near the top of the area.
Suarez had a bit of space, turned and fired past the outstretched Ruddy.
18th minute, 0-0: Dalglish spoke about trading style for results earlier this week. Maybe it was his prediction.
LFC hasn’t played with its usual verve, as it takes a cautious approach against Norwich.
It could be that it’s sitting back and looking to counter (for at least the first half hour) because of the heavy schedule of games this week.
11th minute, 0-0: So far, Gerrard is sitting deep — right in front of the defense — and conducting LFC’s approach.
It’s his first game back from a hamstring injury, and he’s working his way back into the game.
Expect him to bomb forward a bit more as the game progresses.
Ninth minute, 0-0: Drury is down, with what looks like a groin injury. He went down with no contact and his day is likely over.
Martin is the only defender on the Norwich bench. He’s warming up.
Fifth minute, 0-0: Norwich looks like it will take a direct approach to its attack.
With Liverpool pushing its defensive line high up the field, Norwich looks to play balls over the top. Morrison has been isolated against Carragher on two occasions and there is a sense of danger.
First minute, 0-0: Fox becomes the game’s first victim of a cleat to the head. He tried to head a ball that was at knee level, and Shelvey caught him with a stud or four. He looks like he’ll be able to run it off.
Pregame: Martin Skrtel is rested for the first time in what seems like forever. The dependable LFC stopper is on the bench.
Gerrard, Shelvey and Henderson will form the center midfield trio, while Suarez will lead from the front.
Norwich will not start its budding striker Holt. But he can be a force coming off the bench against tired legs.
The Canaries pack five in the midfield, as they look to neutralize Gerrard and Shelvey’s forward raids.
12 p.m. ET: Here are the lineups
Pepe Reina (25), goalkeeper
Glen Johnson (2), right back
Jamie Carragher (23), center back
Daniel Agger (5), center back
Jose Enrique (3), left back
Steve Gerrard (8), midfielder
Jordan Henderson (14), midfielder
Jonjo Shelvey (33), midfielder
Stuart Downing (19), midfielder
Craig Bellamy (39), forward
Luis Suarez (7), forward
Doni (32), goalkeeper
Martin Skrtel (37), defender
Martin Kelly (34), defender
Sebastian Coates (16), defender
Jay Spearing (20), midfielder
Maxi (11), midfielder
Dirk Kuyt (18), forward
John Ruddy (1), goalkeeper
Kyle Naughton (25), right back
Ryan Bennett (33), center back
Elliot Ward (22), center back
Adam Drury (3), left back
Anthony Pilkington (12), midfielder
David Fox (15), midfielder
Bradley Johnson (4), midfielder
Elliot Bennett (17), midfielder
Jonathan Howson (24), midfielder
Steve Morison (5), striker
Jed Steer (31), goalkeeper
Russell Martin (2), defender
Wesley Hoolahan (14), midfielder
Andrew Surman (11), midfielder
Aaron Wilbraham (21), striker
James Vaughan (8), striker
Grant Holt (9), striker
12 a.m. ET: Liverpool FC travels to Carrow Road for the first time since 2005 to face Norwich City. Both clubs have taken long, strange journeys since then, but they will contest Saturday’s Premier League game as top-flight rivals.
Norwich has impressed in its first Premier League campaign in over half a decade. Having hit its target of avoiding relegation, it sits 13th in the league with 43 points, and trails the eighth-placed Reds by just three points in the standings.
These two teams last met in late October. Craig Bellamy’s early goal was canceled out by Grant Holt’s header, and the Norwich was able to hold LFC to a 1-1 draw. Liverpool felt it deserved more from that game, and the trip to Norwich is a chance to make amends.
The Canaries have struggled at home in recent months. They have won two of their last nine contests at Carrow Road. They have conceded more home goals than all but three teams in the league, and they have not held an opponent scoreless in their last 12 games (home or away).
Saturday’s contest will start the most important seven days of LFC’s campaign. It plays Norwich, then Fulham on Tuesday, followed by the FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday. LFC players will need to earn their places in the final with good performances in the next two league games.
Join us for all the action between Norwich City and LFC. We’ll have it right here starting at 11:45 a.m. ET.
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