Brendan Rodgers paid tribute to the Liverpool fans who lined the streets of Anfield to form a guard of honour before roaring his side to a narrow 2-1 victory over Sunderland on Wednesday night.

Kopites flocked to Anfield Road to greet the manager and his players as their coach snaked towards the Shankly Gates and onwards into the stadium.

Flags and banners which normally adorn the Kop prior to kick-off were waved on the pavements as Rodgers and his squad watched through the bus windows.

A close-fought encounter followed - and the action went right to the wire after Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge struck to hand the Reds a two-goal cushion.

Afterwards, reflecting on his side's seventh consecutive win in the Barclays Premier League, Rodgers was keen to praise the fans for the part they played on the night.

"Our game started on the coach on the way in here," Rodgers told reporters. "It filled me with great pride being the manager of the club.

"As we were driving in, to get that support and then to have that in the stadium - the supporters really lifted us when it got to 2-1. They got us over the line tonight."

The pre-match guard of honour was organised by supporters group 'Spion Kop 1906', who are also responsible for arranging the colourful flag and banner displays which have brought the Kop to life before every game this season.

The group took inspiration for the display of support from a similar showing, which inspired their team to a much-needed victory against Tottenham Hotspur in January 2010.

Rodgers was questioned after the game as to how the players responded when they saw the special greeting, which heralded their first Anfield match for more than a month.

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"As you can imagine, it gives you a real boost in energy, because we're doing it for them," said Rodgers. "The supporters here have been brilliant - absolutely fantastic.

"They've been a big part of our success this season. I think they take great pride in watching their team now and that's great. Hopefully, together, we can continue and finish the season strong."