Six games into the Premier League season, and Brendan Rodgers finally gets his first win as Liverpool boss.
His charges delivered a 5-2 thrashing of Chris Hughton’s Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday in a thrilling, attacking performance.
Luis Suarez hit a hat trick, while Nuri Sahin and Steven Gerrard wrapped up a convincing victory for a new-look Reds.
Here are five things to take away from Liverpool’s first league win of the season—and, as usual, feel free to have your say in the comments below.
First and foremost, the most important thing: Liverpool finally have the three points to show for their performance.
Norwich, just as they did last season, provided a much-needed respite for the Reds.
The challenge, as ever, is to keep up not necessarily the five-goal salvo, but the productivity that adds three points to the board.
At the center of the Norwich thrashing, and the player perhaps most crucial to Liverpool keeping up such productivity, is Luis Suarez.
For all the attacking threat and creativity he brings to the side, Liverpool fans have already become accustomed to his profligate finishing.
Saturday was a timely reminder of how devastating he can really be.
Liverpool’s official website delivered an obscure post-match stat: that Suarez became the first Liverpool player to score hat tricks in successive away matches.
If Liverpool are to kick start their season from this point on and not fade into further obscurity, consistency will be the name of the game for Suarez.
Making their first league starts for Liverpool on Saturday were defender Andre Wisdom and attacker Suso.
Raheem Sterling, who has become a regular in Brendan Rodgers’ starting XI, resumed his role in the front three.
A few weeks ago, following their appallingly profligate (sound familiar?) transfer deadline day, Liverpool were left cruelly short of options in their squad, especially with Andy Carroll’s last-minute departure on loan to West Ham.
Rodgers vowed to take this opportunity to see whether his youngsters could make the grade, and it seems his policy of “talent first, age second” is reaping rewards.
The future should surely make for some nervous viewing for Kenny Dalglish’s signings from last summer.
Once again, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing failed to earn a starting spot, and this time at the expense of Academy graduates.
Those who say that Rodgers’ summer-transfer budget was limited after Dalglish’s excesses last year will only have credibility lent towards their argument by each passing game.
And another note on a summer signing: Nuri Sahin’s three goals in two games will have Jonjo Shelvey, suspended after a red-card offence against Manchester United, worrying about his first-team status after a seemingly meteoric rise so far.
But of course, it’s way too early to sound any consistent note of optimism for Liverpool.
A five-goal haul against Norwich is by no means a small feat, but Rodgers will have to ensure that his side take full advantage of a relatively easier upcoming set of fixtures after a tough opening schedule.
When the going is good, Rodgers’ ideas seem to be taking shape on and off the field.
The key is to still shine through when the going gets tough.
That’s the kind of level Liverpool have to aspire to if they are to finish in a European place in the ever-competitive Premier League.
Also check out: 5 Big Glimmers of Hope for Liverpool