An incredible game at Carrow Road, with Liverpool coming back from 3-1 behind, giving up a 4-3 lead in stoppage time, then winning the game 5-4. Here’s how we rated the Reds.
Norwich City 4 – 5 Liverpool
Premier League – Carrow Road – Saturday 23rd January 2016
Goals: Mbokani (29′), Naismith (41′), Hoolahan (54′ pen), Bassong (90′ +2); Firmino (18′), (63′), Henderson (55′), Milner (75′), Lallana (90′ + 4).
Simon Mignolet – 4
The bemusement at his new five year contract won’t ease up after this game.
He can’t really be blamed for the first goal but should have done better for the second.
Naismith’s shot flashed just by his right leg, but the Belgian instead chose to go the long way round and attempted to get down to the shot with his hands. It went past him and into the bottom corner of the goal.
Nathaniel Clyne – 6.5
Mr Dependable. You know what you’re going to get from him and even though he isn’t brilliant he’s reliable, which is more than enough considering what we’ve been used to in this position in recent seasons.
He motors up and down the right hand side throughout the game, and provided a great cross from which Henderson scored Liverpool’s second goal.
The type of offensive contribution which could see his ratings of 6 and 7 turn into regular 8s.
Kolo Touré – 4.5
Was beaten to the ball by Mbokani at the corner in the build up to the first goal, and the Congolese had the better of him throughout the game.
Mamadou Sakho – 5
Couldn’t stay tight enough to Mbokani to prevent the Norwich striker scoring the equalising goal with an inventive back-heel in the first half.
Like Touré he was culpable for the torrid day the team had at the back, but he did look more convincing in the air, winning a total of 8 aerial duels.
Was the team’s most accurate passer with a success rate of 93%.
Alberto Moreno – 4.5
Showed great recovery pace at times in defence to mop up even when it wasn’t his job to do so, but this type of last ditch tackle was eventually his undoing when he gave away a penalty in the second half.
He saw a decent attempt from a free-kick fly just wide in the first half on his 50th appearance for the cub, and another shot later in the game was more in hope than expectation.
Having been lucky not to be penalised for a wild tackle on Naismith in the area, he made sure of the foul when he tripped him up just moments later in a mindless passage of play from the Spaniard.
Lucas – 5
Lucky to escape unscathed following Naismith’s stamp on his ankle early in the game.
Did nothing to track Naismith’s run as the Scotsman enjoyed a free run through Liverpool’s midfield to get on the end of Hoolahan’s cross to score his side’s second goal.
Won a few aerial balls, made a few tackles, and the odd block, but still didn’t do enough to protect the back four.
Jordan Henderson – 6.5
One of the main culprits in midfield as scrappy play from several players contributed to a disjointed and chaotic game.
He did manage to get on the scoresheet, however, as he tucked away a cross from Clyne with precision from near the penalty spot.
Emre Can – 6
Part of a sloppy midfield three and can take some blame for Naismith’s goal as he should have been more aware of the potential Norwich attackers around him.
Put in an aggressive tackle which led to the chance from which Milner scored towards the end of the game, and adds an element of bite and determination to the centre of the park, but can improve by being tidier in all areas.
Jordon Ibe – 6.5
The young winger operated on the left and looked like he could be one of the side’s better players. He always threatened when running with the ball, but the ball didn’t come his way often enough during the time he was on the pitch.
Had touched the ball just 21 times by the time he was replaced by Lallana in the second half.
James Milner – 7
Played the pass for Firmino’s goal but should have scored one of his own shortly after.
Showed his versatility when the system needed changing, and then showed the coolness expected from a player of his stature when he cooly finished a one-on-one chance to score an important goal for Liverpool.
Finished the game as captain.
Roberto Firmino – 8.5
Opened the scoring with a scuffed left-footed shot which bobbled into the goal, having made the type of run behind the defence which Liverpool have been lacking recently.
Worked hard up front despite looking isolated early in the game. If he can add an extra yard of sharpness to both his passing and running he’ll be even more dangerous.
Started and finished the move which led to his second and Liverpool’s third with a great flick to Lallana, before receiving the ball back from his team-mate and cooly putting it past onrushing goalkeeper Declan Rudd.
Might even get an assist for Henderson’s goal, as it looks like he got a flick on Clyne’s cross.
Adam Lallana (on for Ibe 59′) – 8.5
Was brought on to great effect in the second half, setting up a goal for Firmino with an excellent cross shortly after entering the fray.
Offered an outlet in the attacking half of the pitch as he slotted into the number ten position behind the Brazilian, before moving wider with the introduction of Benteke.
Scored the winning goal to round-off an exhausting game for fans and players. He was alert to a rebound and drilled his shot hard into the ground before it found the corner of the goal. Cue mass celebrations.
Christian Benteke (on for Henderson 76′) – N/A (5)
Spent around twenty minutes on the pitch, and whilst he didn’t do much he provided a distraction in the opposition penalty area in the confusion which led to Lallana’s winner.
Giving him N/A is to give him the benefit of the doubt, but at times he can appear to be as much of a distraction to his own team as he is for opposition defenders.
Steven Caulker – N/A
Came on late in the game to protect the defence. An impossible task as this wasn’t a game for protecting leads. Had a hand in the fifth goal!
Jurgen Klopp – 7
The team sent out by the German in Norwich were fully rested for the game in midweek, but they looked laboured, sloppy, and low on quality.
Joe Allen remained on the bench despite impressive recent performances.
The manager gets credit from bringing on Lallana even though Ibe looked to be playing well, as it’s not a move many would have made.
He also gets an extra .5 for celebrating with the players at the end and breaking his glasses in the process!
- FAN REACTIONS: “Never say die”
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