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Brendan Rodgers: Raheem Sterling is Europe's best young player

Updated: Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 15:48 | Comments

Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring the opening goal with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring the opening goal with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers hailed the performance of teenager Raheem Sterling in his side's 3-2 win over Norwich, which keeps the title race firmly in the Reds' hands.

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

"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."

"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." - Brendan Rodgers

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."

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