Mark Thompson/Getty Images
19 January 2013
Liverpool 5-0 Norwich
This game, everything clicked, with all five factors we've so far discussed playing their part.
- There was a clean sheet, with Norwich managing just two shots the entire game, and a defense based upon possession—68 percent to be exact—and calculated, tactically astute attacking play.
- Younger players came to the fore, with Wisdom impressing and Jordan Henderson putting in his best Liverpool performance to date, which started with him opening the scoring from outside the box.
- The finishing was clinical: five goals, all of them ruddy beautiful.
- The Norwich game started Liverpool's belief and recent resurgence—since that night at Anfield, Liverpool have lost just once in six outings.
- The partnership between Suárez and Sturridge was at its most devastating. Both scored, with Suárez's strike coming about by a wonderful dummy from Sturridge to leave the Norwich's Michael Turner on his backside. "That goal was a wonderful demonstration of how the two players can link together. It was great vision from Daniel," said Rodgers. "They linked very, very well. There was a real fluidity to our movement at the top end of the field." (via The Guardian)
The reason why this is Liverpool's best performance under Rodgers is that on top of the factors above, it was the closest to the manager's philosophy of short, incisive passes with quick movement, built on a bedrock of possession and tactical awareness. It is important to stress that this win was also not dependent upon Suárez, as many other of the wins have been, but inclusive of him.
Other honourable mentions of matches I might have added to this list include another 5-0 win over Swansea and a 3-0 away win at QPR, but I decided against them for the reason of the opposition being substandard, rather than Liverpool being exceptional.
Swansea were too distracted by their League Cup final that coming weekend, and as somebody that was there at Loftus Road, QPR were so bad, my eyes started to water. Or bleed, I can't be sure.
Hit me up on Twitter @michaelbutler18 if you fancy a nice chat/heated discussion/flat-out argument about any of this.