By John Keith of "The Daily Express".
Norwich's FA Cup fate was sealed even before they stepped into an Anfield snowstorm to be buried under Liverpool's goal avalanche.
Kenny Dalglish, omitting himself from the team but shaping the course of a weather-gripped contest told his players in the dressing room: "Today is not about pretty stuff .... it's about attitude." Liverpool duly went out and proved their canny manager right while Norwich vainly attempted to play the sweet football that has swept them to the Second Division summit on the back of seven straight wins.
Perhaps Liverpool did them a favour with a merciless 5-0 hiding that reminds Ken Brown's side of First Division quality and leaves them with the single-minded mission of gaining promotion at the first attempt.
As if Liverpool, pouncing like snow-cats on every opportunity, were not enough for Norwich to contend with they aided and abetted their own downfall with fatally hesitant moments.
Norwich stood and watched Paul Walsh - taking over Dalglish's attacking place - swiftly take a free kick awarded for Dave Watson's illegal challenge. And they paid the penalty when Kevin MacDonald seized on the chance to rifle Liverpool in front and extend their record of scoring in the FA Cup every season since 1955.
After Walsh had issued another reminder to Bobby Robson by heading in Jan Molby's free kick for his 14th goal in his last 17 outings, Norwich again paid dearly for failing to put the ball out of play as Steve Bruce lay injured. Play went on and Steve McMahon clinched Liverpool's fourth round ticket by cashing in on MacDonald's telling pass to end Norwich's brief flurry or resistance following John Deehan's entrance in place of Dave Williams.
"There are things we must brush up defensively because we can only blame ourselves for the first and third goals," sighed Norwich's Liverpool-born captain Watson, whose unhappy afternoon was completed when Ronnie Whelan headed a superb fourth goal and injured Walsh's replacement John Wark struck for the fifth.
Dalglish, who insisted during Liverpool's previous five games without a win that only the bounce of the ball was going against his side, also won the tactical battle by keeping Molby employed in a fiveman rearguard. That ploy - to counter the menace of long kicks from Norwich keeper Chris Woods - worked so successfully that the visitors managed just one shot on target ... and Bruce Grobbelaar dealt comfortably with that second half effort from Peter Mendham.
As Molby said: "We wanted to stop giving away silly goals and we never gave Norwich a sniff at one".
Ken Brown remained philosophical to life at the top as he reflected : "There is always a danger when you meet Liverpool after they haven't been doing too well. They adapted brilliantly to the conditions, especially in the first half, when we couldn't get the ball rolling. I don't think we had a particularly off day - but their goals were killers."
Dalglish was delighted at the distribution of the goals, saying : "The lads got their reward and it's pleasing to see five of them score. The only surprise was that Craig Johnston and Ian Rush were not among them to crown impressive performances."
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