Norwich 0-1 Liverpool
Premier League (26), Carrow Road
Saturday, 15 February 2020
Mane 78′ (assist: Henderson)
The Reds were welcomed back after the winter break by Storm Dennis, with strong winds in Norfolk for a match that saw the runaway leaders face the bottom side in the league.
Jurgen Klopp made just one change to the side that beat Southampton a fortnight ago, but had one eye on the match against Atletico Madrid by not risking Fabinho. Instead Naby Keita came into midfield.
The first half was an open game but resulted in very few chances for either side, with just one shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.
Despite the conditions, Liverpool failed to test Norwich ‘keeper Tim Krul and the final pass was often lacking or the final shot not being taken.
Indeed, the best chance arrived for the home side but Alisson produced a piece of world-class goalkeeping to deny the Canaries.
Half time: Norwich 0-0 Liverpool
- Mane marks his return with his first goal from the bench
- Reds make it 25 wins from 26 league games
- Lead extended to incredible 25 points
- 15 more points needed to guarantee the title
Liverpool finally tested Krul when Keita hit a good strike from outside the box just before the hour mark. It was a comfortable save but a welcome sight from the Reds who hadn’t threatened from distance thus far.
Two minutes later Keita should have scored but was denied by a superb point-blank save by Krul after Salah’s shot was pushed back into the midfielder’s feet just five yards out.
Klopp brought on Mane and Fabinho in an attempt to break the deadlock and maintain the record of his side having scored in every league game this season.
And it was Mane who got the crucial goal in the 78th minute, superbly controlling and finishing from Jordan Henderson‘s pass from midfield.
Roberto Firmino should have doubled the lead but couldn’t keep Alexander-Arnold’s powerful low cross on target, while Teemu Pukki had a decent chance at the other end.
It wasn’t pretty, far from it, but yet again Liverpool ground out the win.
“We’re gonna win the league” sang the travelling Reds and a maximum of 15 more points are required to secure the club’s first Premier League title.
For now, attentions turn to Europe and Tuesday’s trip to Madrid to defend the Champions League crown the Reds won at the Wanda Metropolitano last June.
TIA Man of the Match: Alisson
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Norwich: Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Zimmermann, Byram (Lewis 27′); Cantwell, Tettey (Drmic 84′), Rupp (Beundai 83′), Duda, McLean; Pukki
Subs not used: Fahrmann, Godrey, Hernandez, Vrancic
Subs not used: Adrian, Lovren, Lallana, Origi
Next Match: Atletico Madrid (away, Tuesday 18 February)