Liverpool 5-0 Norwich
Premier League; Saturday 19th January 2013
Billy Bissix takes a look at the individual performances from yesterday’s comprehensive win over Norwich.
Brad Jones: 6
Apart from the early Bennett chance he had little to do. Still makes me slightly nervous when the ball’s at his feet but for the most part he was able to relax and enjoy the carnage unfolding further up the field.
Andre Wisdom: 7
He is just a very mature player. He doesn’t get the attention that Sterling does but, for me, he’s arguably been our most consistent performer of all the youngsters that have come into the team this year. Totally unflappable performance yet again.
Daniel Agger: 7
Had an easy afternoon because we dealt so effectively with Holt’s supply line. As ever was superb when bringing the ball out of defence.
Jamie Carragher: 7
I was surprised and a bit worried about his inclusion but he had a very good game. There’s little or no pace in the Norwich attack and he handled Holt comfortably. I’d forgotten what a fine footballer Carra is with the ball at this feet. He has completely embraced the possession based approach but isn’t scared to launch it into Row Z when that’s what’s required.
Glen Johnson: 7
There is no finer sight that Johnson marauding down the wing. Played more like a conventional wing forward than a full-back. Norwich couldn’t cope with him and he did an excellent job in nullifying Snodgrass, arguably their biggest threat.
He’s getting there slowly and this was another big step towards full match fitness. Looked much fitter than of late. It’s reassuring to see him patrolling the area in front of the CBs even if he is still prone to giving away the odd unnecessary free kick.
His best performance for the club. Didn’t rate him much last season but he has worked hard to prove me (and more importantly those that tried to sell him for a pittance) wrong. Work rate was exceptional. He was everywhere and his goal was absolutely sensational. Great pass to Downing to set up the third goal too.
Steven Gerrard: 9
This was a ‘rolling back the years’ performance from Gerrard. He was just brilliant from start to finish. Really found his range with his passing, a constant attacking threat and a trademark goal.
Luis Suarez: 8
The arrival of Sturridge means Suarez can roam. You need to give a player like Suarez a free role so he can pop up all over the place creating mayhem. That’s exactly what happened. Freeing up Suarez has given this team a whole new dimension and level of threat. He took his goal superbly and generally toyed with Norwich for the full 90.
Some of his runs reminded me of Torres. He seems to have the same instincts and, on the evidence so far, is the ideal foil for Suarez. His dummy for Suarez’s goal was great and what I particularly enjoyed was that his goal came from inside the 6 yard box. A poacher’s goal of a type we just haven’t seen often enough in recent years.
Stewart Downing: 7
This is probably his most consistent run of reasonable form since he joined the club. Still a long way from looking like a £20 million player but he is showing for the ball more and provides some genuine width, even if the decision making is still sometimes questionable. Again the arrival of Sturridge should help him as too often he has delivered decent balls into the box only to find there’s no one there. His assist for Sturridge could be the first of many as we have a player now who has a genuine striker’s instinct.
Raheem Sterling: 7 (on for Lucas, 68 min)
Good to see him being rested and also good to see him being brought on for Lucas. A positive, attacking substitution if ever there was one, especially at 4 – 0 up. Probably best used in short bursts. He’s the last thing a tired defence wants to see towards the end of a game.
Fabio Borini: 6 (on for Daniel Sturrige, 68 min)
Seemed to be going on all around him and found it difficult to get involved. He’ll take time to get up to speed following such a long lay off. He could do with a goal, shame that Bennett intervened to stop him getting one.
Joe Allen: 6 (on for Jordan Henderson, 76 min)
A confidence boosting substitution from Rodgers. I think Allen’s in the same place that Henderson was last season. Young lad, big price tag and great expectations. He’s also been overplayed by the manager and has struggled a bit. In this sort of scenario though he’s the ideal substitution because he keeps possession and helps tighten things up.
General thoughts on the match/manager:
Norwich are in a terrible run of form but, even allowing for that, this was as comprehensive a thrashing as it’s possible to get. Suarez/Sturridge is really exciting and Gerrard’s performance was as good as we’ve seen all season. We need now to start taking the game to some of the ‘bigger’ teams. We have been far too meek when we’ve come up against them but Sturridge’s arrival and the freeing up of Suarez means that teams, regardless of who they are, will be worried about us. This is a team that now has goals in it and, at long last, some genuine options on the bench.