Nervous win keeps Liverpool on course

Reds edge closer to Premier League title with 3-2 victory over battling Norwich, who are now in danger of slipping into the relegation zone

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 April, 2014, 12:35am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 April, 2014, 12:35am


Liverpool nervously edged closer to a first league title in the Premier League era with a nail-biting 3-2 success over Norwich City at Carrow Road on Sunday.

Brendan Rodgers' side now boast a five-point advantage over second-place Chelsea, who surprisingly lost 2-1 at home to bottom club Sunderland on Saturday and who will be their next opponents at Anfield next Sunday.

Manchester City are also in the equation and have two games in hand, but Liverpool know that a first title since 1990 will be theirs even if they draw with Chelsea, provided they win their two other fixtures.

Every victory at this stage of the season, whether you're top, middle or bottom, is important, and I thought we showed great courage
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

"It was massive," Rodgers told Sky Sports. "We said before the game, every victory at this stage of the season, whether you're top, middle or bottom, is important, and I thought we showed great courage today. We will go into the next three games looking to perform well. We want to continue to fight and now look to Chelsea next week, where it will be an incredible atmosphere at Anfield."

Raheem Sterling scored two of Liverpool's goals against Norwich, with Luis Suarez bringing his total for the season to 30 with the other.

Meanwhile, Lukas Podolski scored twice as Arsenal claimed an important 3-0 victory at Hull City in his side's quest for a top-four finish and FA Cup success.

In a preview of next month's FA Cup final at Wembley, Arsenal scored an important psychological edge over Steve Bruce's team after Aaron Ramsey shot them in front. Podolski then added two goals in the space of eight minutes, either side of half-time.

The loss to Liverpool was a huge setback for Norwich, who remain out of the relegation places but are in danger of being overtaken by any of three clubs below them.

Norwich manager Neil Adams said: "The first half was not good enough, Liverpool are a top side but we were off the pace.

"The second half was a great effort, I couldn't ask for any more of the players and hopefully that will give them belief going into the final three games."

It took Liverpool just four minutes to take the lead in sensational style through Sterling, who celebrated it by running to the touchline and hugging Rodgers.

The winger received the ball from Philippe Coutinho and used his skill to slip past Bradley Johnson before unleashing a 20-metre drive that deflected off defender Michael Turner on its way past goalkeeper John Ruddy.

With Liverpool on the rampage, goal number two was inevitable and this time Sterling was the provider in the 11th minute, sending in a low cross from the left for Suarez to poke home his 12th goal in just five games against the Canaries.

Norwich got back into it in the 54th minute. Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet was to blame, flapping at a cross under pressure from Johnson, and Gary Hooper got there before Mamadou Sakho to put the ball into the empty net for his first goal since December 26.

That woke Liverpool up and Sterling restored their two-goal cushion in the 62nd minute.

Robert Snodgrass headed home Martin Olsson's cross with 13 minutes remaining.