A first-half hat trick and fourth goal late in the second half from forward Luis Suarez lifted Liverpool to a 5-1 victory over Norwich City on Wednesday night at Anfield.
The 26-year-old Uruguayan proved unstoppable throughout the match, and put the Reds back on track after Sunday’s 3-1 shock letdown to Hull City. The victory moved Liverpool into second on the table with 27 points, and seven points behind first-place Arsenal.
Suarez has now tallied 13 goals this season, and seemed more than capable of leading the Reds attack with Daniel Sturridge likely sidelined for the next two months with an ankle knock.
Six of Suarez’s seven shots found their mark and he notched his third hat trick in the last four appearances against the Canaries. Boss Brendan Rodgers finally substituted Suarez for forward Iago Aspas in the 90th.
Norwich’s Bradley Johnson recorded his squad’s only goal off a well-timed cross from Nathan Redmond in the 83rd, and Reds midfielder Raheem Sterling scored his first goal of the season at close range in the 88th with an assist, of course, from Suarez.
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The Reds dominated possession 62-38, and 12 of their 28 shots were on target compared to 14 total shots for Norwich.
At the fifteen minute mark, Liverpool had yet to record a shot on goal, but Suarez quickly changed the Reds fortunes with a dazzling lob shot from roughly 35 yards out that stunned the Norwich defense and flew over goalkeeper John Ruddy to the bottom of the right corner.
His next two goals came six minutes apart in the 29th and 35th minute, the first coming off a well place corner from midfielder Philippe Coutinho, which Suarez headed in from close range.
Later, Suarez finished a run by flipping the ball over Canaries midfielder Leroy Fer, and firing a right-footed shot squarely across the area and into the bottom right corner.
The fourth goal came in the 74th minute off a blistering free kick that elicited a deafening roar from the Anfield crowd.