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The winger scored twice as Liverpool won to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points and his team-mate was quick to praise his performance

Joe Allen hailed Raheem Sterling after the winger hit a brace in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich on Sunday.

The 19-year-old has hit top form in the second half of the season, scoring nine Premier League goals, as the Reds have soared to the top of the Premier League.

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The victory at Carrow Road increased Liverpool's lead at the summit to five points with just three games remaining – leaving them on the brink of a first league title since 1990 – and Allen took time out to praise Sterling's “incredible performance” after the game.

“It was an incredible performance from Raheem,” Allen told the Liverpool Echo.

“His first goal showed the talent he possesses. It was a great strike.

“The improvements he has made in the time I’ve been here is just incredible. He has become a very important player for us.

“I think it’s a combination of two things. Firstly, being given that chance to perform as young players can sometimes be overlooked.

"But the other side of it is being willing to work hard day in, day out to improve and Raheem has done that."

Fellow title-chasers Chelsea were beaten at home by Sunderland on Saturday – with Liverpool loanee Fabio Borini scoring the winner from the penalty spot – and Allen admitted the result gave he and his team-mates a timely boost ahead of their clash with Norwich.

"The Chelsea result did give us a boost," he admitted. "We wanted to make sure we used it as inspiration. We didn’t want to become complacent on the back of that.

"It’s obviously a great story that Fabio who is on loan from us got a big goal like that and did us a favour.

"But we wanted to ensure our focus was solely on going out there and performing and doing everything we could to get the three points. We did enough to come away with what we wanted."

Despite standing on the brink of ending a 24-year wait for England's top prize, Allen believes Liverpool must not get ahead of themselves with the season drawing to a close.

"We’re just fully focused on ourselves," Allen added. "That ability to concentrate on what’s important is part of the reason why we’ve been on this successful run.

"Only now that Norwich has gone will we start thinking about Chelsea. No-one is getting carried away. We’ve worked so hard to get where we are and we need to ensure we keep that focus until the very last minute of the last game of the season."

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