Sami Hyypia was back in Liverpool over the Easter weekend and the towering Finn noticed something of a spring in the step of the people he passed on the city's streets.

The much-loved former defender was in town to skipper a side of international Reds legends as they were held to a 2-2 draw by a squad of local stars during the 'Celebration of the 96' event at Anfield on Monday.

It was the centre-back's first appearance as a player in front of the Kop since the summer of 2009, when he brought a glittering 10-year career with the club to an end.

Just 24 hours earlier on Sunday, Brendan Rodgers and his squad achieved a stunning 11th consecutive Barclays Premier League victory by powering past Norwich City 3-2 at Carrow Road.

Consequently, they moved five points clear of Chelsea at the league's summit, with just three games remaining - and Hyypia insists there's a different, more excitable atmosphere around the club nowadays.

"I feel that the whole city is buzzing here now and it's great to walk on the street and everybody is happy," he told from the Anfield touchline post-match.

"Brendan has done a great job with the team. When I see the team play, they are very confident in all departments of their game. I'm very happy for the club and for the fans.

"The front players are very good and they are dangerous. Suarez and Sturridge have scored more than 50 goals together this season. So, of course, that's one of the strengths of the team.

"When you have a few players who can score a lot of goals, then it helps any team. I think they have played some lively football and it's been passing football. I've enjoyed watching them."

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Hyypia was his usual calm and collected self as he helped guide the team of international legends to within touching distance of a 2-1 victory on Monday.

However, a late Robbie Fowler penalty meant that the special trophy, awarded by chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, Margaret Aspinall, was shared between the two sides in front of a sell-out crowd.

"It was great," said Hyypia. "The stadium was full of people and the atmosphere was good.

"There were a lot of old players on the field and so the tempo wasn't at its highest in the game, but I think everybody enjoyed the occasion."