“The most remarkable game one will witness in years” – How the media reacted to Norwich 4-5 Liverpool

on 24.01.2016


Following Liverpool’s unforgettable 5-4 victory at Norwich City on Saturday, we round-up the best media reaction to the game.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Friday, January 22, 2016: Liverpool's Adam Lallana celebrates scoring the fifth, and winning, goal against Norwich City to seal a late 5-4 victory with manager Jürgen Klopp during the Premiership match at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A frankly ridiculous game at Carrow Road will live long in the memory of both Reds and Canaries supporters, in what was surely the most entertaining Premier League match of the season to date.

Liverpool’s same old defensive flaws once again reared their ugly head, and at 3-1 down in the second-half, it looked to be yet another miserable away day for Jurgen Klopp and his side.

A remarkable turnaround saw the Reds 4-3 in stoppage time, however, but Sebastien Bassong’s last-gasp strike looked to have earned Norwich a point.

Incredibly, Adam Lallana popped up with a memorable winner with almost the last kick of the game, and the celebrations will never be forgotten.

It was not a contest that will fill you with confidence as a Liverpool fan, but the manner of the win was up there with the most joyous in recent years.

Here is how the media reacted to the game:

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NORWICH, ENGLAND - Friday, January 22, 2016: Liverpool's Adam Lallana celebrates scoring the fifth, and winning, goal against Norwich City to seal a late 5-4 victory with manager Jürgen Klopp during the Premiership match at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo felt that, despite the ecstasy of winning so late in the game, it is hard not to feel frustrated with Liverpool:

How to make sense of such a crazy, chaotic afternoon at Carrow Road?

[…]

This was a day when Kopites went through the full spectrum of emotions as Liverpool showcased both their encouraging strengths and their embarrassing weaknesses.

Not since Leeds away a quarter of a century ago have the Reds won a league game by such a ridiculous scoreline.

This was a contest they should have won at a canter as they finally clicked as an attacking force.

However, the defensive deficiencies which have dogged Liverpool all season repeatedly gave lowly Norwich a helping hand.

The Telegraph‘s Arindam Rej focussed on yet another impressive performance by Roberto Firmino, who scored two on the day:

Roberto Firmino started for Liverpool ahead of Christian Benteke – meaning that manager Jurgen Klopp initially tried to break down Norwich using patience rather than power, despite the home team’s occasional susceptibility in the air.

Firmino quickly gave a demonstration of why Klopp had faith in him, as he made a nuisance of himself in the early stages.

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The decision was given further vindication when he scored from Liverpool’s first attempt on goal, finishing off a slick passage of play and then made it 3-3 in the second half with a delicate finish.

Firmino’s movement makes him an asset against lesser defences and he troubled the Norwich back line. The Brazilian has now picked up a welcome scoring habit, having also netted twice against Arsenal ten days ago. Before this purple patch, his only other goal had been against Manchester City in November.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Friday, January 22, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp, without his glasses, celebrates after the dramatic 5-4 victory over Norwich City during the Premiership match at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While far from his worst display in a Reds shirt, Simon Mignolet once again failed to make any saves in the game. Tom Sheen of the Independent was not impressed:


Criticism of Simon Mignolet has been a constant theme of his two-and-a-half years at Liverpool.

The Belgian goalkeeper, a £9million signing from Sunderland in 2013, has had good spells at the club, but overall has not lived up to that high price-tag.

Fans of the Reds were shocked when he signed a new five-year deal earlier this month, especially with Liverpool linked with numerous goalkeepers during the transfer window.

Jurgen Klopp’s team went 1-0 up at Carrow Road but the Canaries fought back, first from a brilliant back-heel from Dieumerci Mbokani and then from a strike by Steven Naismith.

Liverpool fans were not happy with the goalkeeper. At all.

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In fact, after Wes Hoolahan added the third from the penalty spot (with a chip that may have been saved) Mignolet has now conceded seven goals from the last seven shots he has faced on target.

The Echo‘s Kristian Walsh simply revelled in the madness of the occasion, and saw echoes of 2013/14 in the victory:

Liverpool have never looked better under Jurgen Klopp. That might seem a strange statement, given the evidence. Klopp was in the dugout for the 3-1 win at Chelsea, the 4-1 victory at the Etihad, and the 6-1 hammering of Southampton.

Strange, too, given this was a game strewn with errors particularly defensively, with Liverpool’s back troubles almost crippling their chances of taking three points.

There will have to be repercussions, as the manager suggested after the game, because this is not a sustainable model for success. But wasn’t it fun, for those of a red persuasion?

There has been a lot of talk about 2013-14 this week. Brendan Rodgers has been reliving it, like a serene cruise down Route 66 before the Cadillac drives off the cliff.

Even a return to Norwich, where Liverpool were so close to winning the Premier League title, has brought back memories. This was a reminder of that. The front play was not as dazzling; the errors, arguably, even worse. But visits to Stoke and Cardiff, 5-3 and 6-3, came flooding back.

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This game had it all from Liverpool. Character, fight, maddening mistakes. The most remarkable game one will witness in the next 10 days, months, years.


NORWICH, ENGLAND - Friday, January 22, 2016: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scores the third goal against Norwich City during the Premiership match at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Firmino was understandably Liverpool’s star man in Steven Kelly‘s ESPN player ratings, despite not always impressing, while Nathaniel Clyne and match-winner Lallana also fared well:

Firmino (8/10) – Perplexing performance, where his lack of real tenacity for a forward role was sometimes evident. He still scored two vital goals and was a threat throughout. Recent goals might instill more confidence in a young player who clearly has bags of ability.

Clyne (7/10) – One of the few who could hold his head up at the back, though most of his better work came in Norwich’s half rather than his own. Often gets into good crossing positions only to look up and see nobody arriving in the box. That isn’t his fault, but at least Jordan Henderson capitalised on one of them to make it 3-2 and start the comeback.

Lallana (8/10) – Immediately justified his manager’s decision to put him on by setting up Firmino’s second goal. He produced the only moment that mattered in the fifth minute of injury time. His ecstatic response shows how much he wants to be an Anfield star and, who knows, this winner could prove to be the decisive moment he began to be one.

> Clinical finishing, welcome leadership, building momentum – 5 talking points from Norwich City 4-5 Liverpool

> Norwich City 4-5 Liverpool: Player Ratings

> Video: Jurgen Klopp post-match press conference – Norwich 4-5 Liverpool

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