Brendan Rodgers says Raheem Sterling is 'the best young player in European football' after Liverpool beat Norwich

The England international scored twice in the 3-2 win at Carrow Road

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The Independent Football

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers singled out Raheem Sterling for praise after the England international scored a brace in the 3-2 win over Norwich.

The win at Carrow Road saw the Reds move five points clear at the top of the Premier League table and take a huge step to winning their first league title since 1990.

Sterling scored the opening goal of the match, laid on the second for Luis Suarez and score the visiting team's third thanks to a fortunate deflection. It was a performance that led Rodgers to claim the 19-year-old is the best young player in Europe.

"He is the best young player in European football at the moment," said the Liverpool manager.

"At 19 years of age you don't see anyone better. His intelligence with the ball, his movement and he's scoring goals. His first goal was a wonderful strike. He's just shifted it, got his shot off; to beat a goalkeeper of John Ruddy's quality shows you the quality of the strike.

"His pass for Luis' goal was like a top midfield player, so there's an assist, and his position for the counter attack when he broke away and obviously gets a bit of luck on the deflection but his overall performance he's shown so much maturity."


The Northern Irishman also revealed how he inspired his side ahead of kick-off following an emotional week for the club.

He said: "We've come off the back of the week where we held the memorial service for Hillsborough. We used Margaret Aspinall (chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group), one of her quotes she made on the day as a real motivation for us going into the game and real encouragement for us and the players are helping themselves.

"They're winning games and they are very hungry. We have qualified for the Champions League. That was the objective and we can finish no lower than third which is an incedible achievement for the team and the squad."

Qualification for the Champions League and winning the Premier League title are within Liverpool's grasp, and the Reds boss also said they want to hit another target.

He said: "We have a performance goal. We want to reach 100 plus goals and we're now on 96. There are only three teams in the history of the Premier League that have got 100 goals or more. We want to try and push for that in the final three games."