Terrible, Just Terrible...
After last week`s injury to Sebastian Bassong at Newcastle, Chris Hughton was unable to field the same defence that has served us so well recently.
Michael Turner again stepped in to partner Leon Barnett while up front, Wes Hoolahan dropped to the bench as Simeon Jackson was chosen to start alongside Steve Morison.
Before the game, the crowd stood to give a minute long applause to the late John Bond. As the announcer started to talk about Bond, the Liverpool fans spontaneously burst into applause before anyone else and were quickly joined by the rest of the stadium. What a brilliant gesture from a great set of fans, thank you.
Once the game kicked off though it wasn`t long before they were applauding again - Just one minute and nine seconds to be exact.
Glen Johnson surged forward and played a pass towards Suarez on the edge of the area. It was easily cut out by Turner but poorly played straight to Suarez who ran along the edge of the area for a couple of yards more before striking a low shot inside Ruddy`s post for one nil.
Unbelievable - and a rubbish start from Turner. But as we shall see, that wasn`t his worst contribution of the afternoon.
The game moved on and the only saving grace was that the goal had come so early - "plenty of time to get back in it" I thought.
It was fairly open at both ends although Liverpool were more incisive and Suarez looked a constant threat.
Perhaps City`s best moment came a few minutes later when a spell of Norwich pressure saw Russell Martin hit a cross/shot across goal. Jackson stretched and managed to get a low hard shot on target albeit from a tightish angle.
Reina was equal to it and blocked it with his legs, onto the post and out.
Other than that when Jackson had a volley sail just over from a Morison head back we weren`t creating too many clear cut chances.
At the other end, Liverpool were creating though. 26,000 odd hearts were in mouths when Suarez went through into the area and got ahead of Barnett.
Leon was all over him and leant on him as they both tumbled to the ground.
Immediately, Leon jumped up and was protesting to the ref and pointing at Suarez, presumably suggesting that "It`s Luis Suarez, you know he`s a diver…"
Incredibly the ref waved the Liverpool protests away and awarded a goal kick - it was a penalty all day long, stone wall.
This and several other examples suggest that the solid Leon Barnett that plays alongside Bassong has disappeared and been replaced by dodgy Leon.
You remember him? The one that hardly played under Paul Lambert in the Premier League.
Suarez received plenty of stick from the City fans and none more so than in the 37th minute when Daniel Agger strode forward and released the Uruguayan who sprung the offside trap and left Turner in his wake. He was one on one with Ruddy who charged out as Suarez incredibly put it wide - it was a horrible miss.
This resulted in howls of derision from the Barclay as Suarez stood with his head in his hands. Meanwhile, Ruddy retrieved the ball and played a quick goal kick to Garrido in the left back position.
Suarez started to walk towards Turner on the edge of the area as Garrido incredibly decided to play the ball to him. Turner was unaware of what was around him and Suarez pounced, easily dispossessing him, nutmegging him and scoring with the outside of his boot from 18 yards.
It was an utter shambles, an absolute horror show and a gift for Suarez. Instead of going in at one nil it was now 2 nil - terrible, terrible defending (if you can call it that).
The second half brought a substitution, Simeon Jackson was replaced by Grant Holt to boos from the crowd. Jackson had a good first half and looked the most likely to create something or take a chance. The game was crying out for Holt though as Skrtel and Agger were not harassed by Morison at all - it was too easy. I would`ve taken Morison off, myself.
With the half only seconds old though, Morison did something good and got to the byline. His cross went to Surman who hit a shot goal bound only to see it hit Snodgrass on the goal line and fly over the bar with Reina beaten. Unbelievable.
Just one minute later though and City were three down. Suarez received the ball and surged into the area. Turner desperately lunged but missed and Suarez crossed, the ball was blocked and came back to him. He passed it to Sahin who scored easily from 8 yards out.
To my mind, only Russell Martin emerges from the defence with any credit at all. At different times he was faced by both Suso and Sterling and both wanted to run at him. He dealt with them both reasonably well. Which is more than can be said of Garrido who was given a torrid time by Sterling throughout.
One such occasion saw Garrido lunge in again, miss and allow Sterling past. He passed the ball to Suarez who was given far too much time and curled a lovely shot into the bottom corner for four nil.
Steven Gerrard got the fifth when his long ranger deflected horribly off Barnett and past Ruddy.
In between Morison scored when he put a rebound from Martin`s powerful drive into the Liverpool net.
The biggest cheer of the afternoon though came when Holt finally opened his account for this season. Howson curled the ball over Skrtel and Holt spun away. His first touch was great and he struck an impressive shot past Reina to make the final score 2-5.
Make no mistake though, this was a horrific performance from Norwich. Hughton has demanded a reaction but next up are Chelsea at the Bridge.
After that come Arsenal at home and then Villa away. It`s not looking pretty at all.
Michael Turner was awful and Barnett was hardly any better - let`s hope Bassong quickly recovers. Garrido was shown up for his lack of pace and opted to try to jump in - I remember my PE teacher telling me not to do that as a young full back.
I heard a lot of people say this was a poor Liverpool side on Canary Call. They are not poor they are incisive and in Suarez have a lethal front man.
On this performance we are a million miles away from that level and several of our players had bad games - Snodgrass, so often this season our best player was anonymous for most of the match and looked tired.
Hoolahan replaced Surman on 55 minutes to cries of "Hallelujah" from the crowd but was played on the left wing, and we all know he`s not a winger.
I`m starting to worry, seriously if Hughton knows how to set the team up to be offensive. He`s been defensive and solid for the last few matches but without Bassong it fell to pieces again. No coincidence that on the two occasions we`ve conceded five that Turner has been playing, I think.
Next week is a nightmare place for us to go - we need a reaction desperately but against that level of quality?
This game had just one reason to be cheerful and that was Holty scoring again.