Brendan Rodgers hailed his Liverpool team's achievement in fulfilling their first objective for the season – securing Champions League football – before immediately looking forward to the next set of challenges.

The Reds eventually ran out 3-2 winners over Norwich City on Sunday afternoon, battling hard to protect a lead that had been built up by a Raheem Sterling double, which sandwiched a Luis Suarez strike.

Rodgers' team were forced to weather a significant comeback by the hosts, however, with first Gary Hooper and then Robert Snodgrass finding the target to create a tense and testing final 10 minutes.

The win took Liverpool five points clear of Chelsea at the Barclays Premier League summit and thereby booked the side's spot in the group stages of the European Cup for the 2014-15 campaign.

"It was a brilliant win for us," the manager reflected at his post-match press conference. "It was a really good game, tactically. We had to change a few times.

"Both teams started with a diamond. We looked at Neil [Adams] and how he's been with his youth teams and analysed the shapes he's played. They played a diamond last week at Fulham. We started with five midfield players to try and dominate centrally.

"In the first 15-20 minutes, we got our two goals and carried on through the first half. We showed great quality and were nerveless in our possession and control.

"Give credit to Norwich, they changed their shape to 4-2-3-1 in the second half. They got a goal that gave them and the crowd a little bit of momentum, and it was always going to be a tough game for us.

"We showed everything again. The quality of our play, positioning and movement in the first half was exceptional. In the second half - when we had to show character, determination and resilience - we had it in bundles.

"It was an incredible victory and big congratulations to the players because we can finish no lower than third, which guarantees Champions League football. A wonderful win.

"At the beginning of the season, I think everyone thought it would be a struggle for us to even get to fourth, so it shows the magnitude of the effort the players have put in, to have at least guaranteed that at this stage and have Champions League football at Anfield again next season."

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The Northern Irishman added: "For us, it's just concentrating on the performance level. We've got other goals. It's now 96 goals we've scored this season in the Barclays Premier League.

"When I arrived 20 months ago, the team had 47, so it shows how the attacking set-up and mentality in the team has improved.

"We want to be one of the very few teams to reach 100-plus goals in a season, so we've still got other objectives.

"But we've cemented the first objective, which was to qualify for the Champions League. Now we will look forward to next weekend, which will be a great atmosphere at Anfield."

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Sunday's victory at Carrow Road was Liverpool's 11th consecutive triumph in the Premier League, and also extended the team's unbeaten streak to 16 league matches throughout 2014.

With three fixtures left to navigate on their schedule for the season, and supporters naturally daring to dream of what may unfold, Rodgers pointed to the spirit and feeling around the club.

"The welcome we got in the last home game showed how the supporters have slowly been getting hope," he continued. "I think they're really proud to watch their team attack.

"There were banners hanging over the walls at the training ground - there is a real nostalgia at the moment and that is great for the supporters. They're proud of their team.

"For me, it's what it's all about. This is a real iconic football club. We're trying to do it in the most sporting way we can. We're trying to play attacking football, with a team that is set up to attack, one that is balanced and we want to win games.

"My players give me everything. It's 11 wins now and it's an incredible achievement. I know they give me everything and I can't ask any more. They do their best and, for me, that's what is important."