They have been spoiled for goalscorers down the years at Anfield, but even those fortunate enough to have lived through the Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish years will seldom have seen anything to match an attacking masterclass from Luis Suarez on Wednesday night.
There were supposed to be cracks appearing in the Liverpool push for a Champions League return after a recent dip in form, culminating in a widely and fiercely criticised defeat at Hull on Sunday.
Instead, the cracks were in Norwich’s defence and how Suarez exploited them with a 19-minute hat-trick that earned him a standing ovation at half-time and another when he reappeared for the secon
Still he wasn’t finished, as he curled home an unstoppable 74th-minute free-kick to make it 11 goals in his last four appearances then revealed a less heralded string to his bow by laying on a fifth for Raheem Sterling.
They still chant Dalglish’s name on the Kop and still serenade Rush for the four goals he put past Everton at Goodison Park back in November 1982. The way Suarez is going, his place in their affections will prove just as enduring.
An outrageous dipping volley rom 40 yards, razor-sharp close-range finish from a corner and unerring half-volley from the edge of the area combined to reignite Liverpool’s supposedly faltering top-four challenge and leave Norwich nursing a persecution complex.
Brendan Rodgers describes his prolific frontrunner as a delight to work with but he’s a statistician’s dream as well, as Norwich will readily testify after being on the receiving end once more.
He left the field with the match ball after becoming the first player in Barclays Premier League history to score three hat-tricks against the same team, Norwich, while all six of his open-play goals from outside the box have also all come against the hapless Canaries.
It has taken him just 86 appearances to reach 50 Premier League goals, while his current 13-goal tally for this season is one more than the whole Norwich side have managed between them.
Little wonder Rodgers compared him to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, as he sent a chilling message to Premier League defences that he has yet to reach his peak.
‘The headlines are simple enough, eh boys?’ smiled the Liverpool manager. ‘I haven’t seen many individual performances like that before. It was a joy to watch, sheer brilliance from one of the best strikers in the world. Among modern-day world-class operators like Messi and Ronaldo, it’s all about numbers. They don’t seem to deal in ones and twos any more. It’s all fours and fives, and, of course, Luis has shown he can do that.
‘He is the happiest he has been in all his time here, and that is adding a maturity to his play. This club suits him. It goes hand in glove with him, and I am convinced his best years are going to be spent here.
‘The football we are playing is allowing him to exploit the spaces he likes playing in, and the way he is finishing things off deserves mention alongside Messi and Ronaldo. He is only 26 and is going to keep improving. The quality of his finishing was just incredible, and I actually felt sorry for Norwich’s defenders, because there’s not much you can do about it.
‘You would have to toss a coin between the first and third for hew pick of the bunch, Initially, I thought the opener, but then I looked at the third again and just thought, “Goodness me, what a goal that was.” It was a remarkable individual performance.’