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SportLiverpool 5-2 Norwich City: Reds win thriller in first game since Klopp...

Liverpool 5-2 Norwich City: Reds win thriller in first game since Klopp exit announcement

Liverpool kept their hopes of ending the Jurgen Klopp era with a quadruple alive on Sunday, beating Norwich City 5-2 to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Ahead of the Reds’ first game since Klopp’s surprising announcement that he will leave the club at the end of the season, the Anfield crowd gave a rousing reception to their popular German boss.

He was then able to watch on in comfort as Liverpool raced away from David Wagner’s side, the only major blip coming when Ben Gibson cancelled out Curtis Jones’ opener.

Goals from Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota either side of half-time put Liverpool firmly in control, then Virgil van Dijk came off the bench to head in a fourth.

Borja Sainz reduced the arrears by firing a brilliant finish into the top-right corner, but Ryan Gravenberch headed in Liverpool’s fifth goal as they teed up a last-16 meeting with either Watford or Southampton.

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On what was always likely to be an emotional day at Anfield, Liverpool started well and could have gone ahead within 10 minutes as Nunez cut inside from the left before bending a shot against the far post.

The hosts had their opener 16 minutes in, though, Jones sending a cushioned header past George Long after being picked out by a fine cross by teenage midfielder James McConnell.

Their lead lasted just six minutes as Gibson got across his man to divert Gabriel Sara’s corner across goal and in, though there was a hint of fortune about the leveller as the ball struck Gibson’s back as he attempted a glancing header.

Nunez soon restored Liverpool’s advantage, however, capping a flowing move with a calm finish across goal after taking Conor Bradley’s pass in his stride.

Klopp’s men gave themselves a two-goal cushion when Jota seized on Grant Hanley’s misguided header to fire home with 53 minutes played, then two substitutes combined for their fourth goal five minutes later, Van Dijk powering Dominik Szoboszlai’s corner in.

Sainz gave the travelling fans something to celebrate with 21 minutes left as he brought Jarell Quansah’s header down before gliding forward and crashing a long-range strike past Alisson, but there was to be no nervy finish for Liverpool.

Indeed, Long made two excellent reflex saves to deny Jota and Gravenberch, but he couldn’t keep the latter out at the second time of asking as the midfielder headed Bradley’s centre in from close range deep into stoppage time.

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