NORWICH 4-5 LIVERPOOL
Yes, you read that scoreline correctly. Liverpool were involved in a crazy 9 goals game in which we came from behind to not just get a draw but a win over someone who had scored four goals against us. I’ll talk you through each and every goal and how we became the winners.
Liverpool had faced Norwich before and had emphatic wins in recent years. In fact the records before this fixture showed that Norwich haven’t beaten Liverpool in 22 years (and that record still stands after our win). They’ve either drawn or lost to Liverpool in every game for more than two decades. However, that record was in danger because they had some hope from recent good form and we had a problem.
The problem we faced this time around was that the most recent wins where we scored multiple goals against Norwich came from hat tricks that Luis Suarez had scored and now… we obviously don’t have Luis Suarez any more. He’s still scoring hat tricks but he’s doing it for Barcelona with the assistance of Leo Messi and Neymar. We miss him, but we certainly can’t use him against the Premier League teams he did so well against any more.
So, the big question about this fixture was… how are we going to beat Norwich without a certain Uruguayan putting 3 goals into the net, as he used to? Well, we did alright without Suarez and got the win eventually but it sure was no easy task, as it used to be. There were ups and downs. The manager can celebrate victory, but he also knows that there’s areas of our game that Liverpool must improve upon if we are to stop anyone else from scoring four goals against us in other fixtures, too.
Jürgen Klopp had his squad changed significantly from the FA Cup squad of youngsters that faced Exeter and won. It was a little surprising not to see Joe Allen start after his recent run of good form where he had scored some goals, but he made the substitute bench at least. The manager seemed to have chosen 4-5-1 as his formation and Firmino would be the sole striker in this fixture. With no other striker being needed in this style of formation, Benteke and Lallana both sat on the substitute bench until the manager was ready to use them.
Recently returned from loan player Danny Ward would be our substitute goalkeeper, with Adam Bogdan currently being out of favour with the manager and fans. His performances definitely haven’t warranted a place as first choice goalkeeper and it seems even just being the backup isn’t possible either after Bogdan really hasn’t done well in the games he was given a chance to prove himself in, unfortunately for him. One player who has been proving himself worthy of a place in the squad, even for the under 21s Liverpool side is Stephen Caulker and he would yet again show the fans what he could do for us.
The first half started well enough for the away side as within 20 minutes, Liverpool had already taken the lead. James Milner would play a through ball to Roberto Firmino, who opened up the scoring for the game with a left footed shot from the left side of the penalty area, which went just over the goalkeeper’s leg (taking a slight touch but the shot was on target and powerful enough to keep going) and then into the bottom right corner of the net. Norwich 0-1 Liverpool.
Liverpool kept their lead for about ten minutes. Graham Dorrans would head over a pass to his teammate to assist this goal, just after a corner. The corner had not been cleared, multiple attempts at winning the ball was not successfully achieved by Liverpool. When Dorrans finally found Dieumerci Mbokani with his headed pass from the edge of the penalty area, it was backheeled and Simon Mignolet had no idea that a backheeled shot was even going to happen, so diving to save it in time to stop it from being scored wasn’t an option. Mbokani had his back to both Mamadou Sakho and Simon Mignolet and this was completely unexpected from Norwich. The ball would go straight from the back of the heel of Mbokani and into the net. Norwich 1-1 Liverpool.
The scoring for the first half wasn’t done just yet. 12 minutes after the equalizer, there would be another goal. Who would take the lead just before half time? Norwich would. Wes Hoolahan was on the edge of the penalty area with the ball. as about 3 of Liverpool’s players edged towards Hoolahan, he would find enough space to squeeze a ball through our defence to ex Everton player Steven Naismith who would strike a right footed shot from the right side of the penalty area and manage to slide it under Simon Mignolet and into the bottom left corner of the net. Naismith now has scored in each of his Premier League debuts for both Everton and Norwich against one club – Liverpool.
So, the score at the break would be Norwich 2-1 Liverpool.
Jürgen Klopp would have just to build a bit of confidence for us and tell his team that they were doing well in attack, it was good that we had scored and to just keep going and attempting to get more goals in the second half. Staying behind when our opposition had the lead would get us no points, but we’d have 45 minutes (and extra time) to get back into the game and claim 1 or 3 points.
The second half would start and by the 53rd minute, we’d see yet another goal. Steven Naismith ran into the box and was brought down to the ground by a sliding tackle of Alberto Moreno. At this point, the referee had not signalled for any wrongdoing. The sliding tackle was not a foul. However, as Naismith got himself up off the pitch to gather the ball and perhaps make his way towards our goal with it, Moreno would stretch a leg out and kick Naismith. The referee would now blow his whistle for a foul by Moreno and awarded a penalty to Norwich.
The kick was an unnecessary challenge by Moreno. The ball was almost out of play and Sakho had also been close by. If Naismith had managed to get up after the first sliding tackle, he probably wouldn’t have gotten near enough towards goal to shoot before Sakho would have been able to clear the ball. Wes Hoolahan would take the penalty kick for Norwich and although Simon Mignolet went the right way to save the ball, it still went past him and into the net. Norwich 3-1 Liverpool.
Liverpool would however, respond quickly. We weren’t going to be giving up, not ever. Two minutes after the penalty, Liverpool scored their second goal.
Firmino would put a ball through to Jordan Henderson who had been running into a dangerous position on the edge of the Norwich penalty area. Once Henderson received the ball, he took a powerful right footed shot and placed it precisely past the goalkeeper and into the far left corner of the net. Norwich 3-2 Liverpool.
Henderson’s goal was very good motivation that we could get at least a single point from the game now. We’d been planning to get a second goal ever since half time when it was 2-1, but after Norwich got a third goal we needed goals even more. There was a belief that we’d get a third goal once the second was in the net. We were fighting hard, to gain a minimum of a draw in this fixture.
Despite having determination and scoring in the second half, there was one player who just wasn’t up to his best performance. Unfortunately Jordon Ibe really was not playing well at all. He would shortly after the Henderson goal be replaced by Adam Lallana, who had quite a large impact on the game. It was a wise decision by Jürgen Klopp to make this substitution.
Less than 5 minutes after coming onto the pitch Lallana was running fast down on the left wing. He would quickly get past the last defender, cross the ball into the middle of the box and the ball would find Firmino, who was on the edge of the penalty area. He’d collect the ball, bringing it down from the air to the pitch with a single touch then he’d take his chance to score and put the ball past the Norwich goalkeeper and into the left corner of the net, equalising for Liverpool.
Norwich 3-3 Liverpool.
Liverpool and our fans now could see themselves at least holding on to the level scoreline for a draw and gaining a point against Norwich. But the goals would not stop here, in fact. They would keep coming until very late in the game.
Liverpool were ready to not just draw, but also looking to score again and perhaps even claim all 3 points.
11 more minutes would go by and it was now the 73rd minute of the game. Firmino would assist Moreno for a shot that came close. Moreno seemed to be possibly trying to make up for his mistake earlier in the game, when he had given away a penalty kick which Norwich scored.
A minute later, Liverpool were pushing forward, pressuring the Norwich defenders who had the ball. Howson would attempt to pass back the ball to his goalkeeper. The ball would never actually reach Declan Rudd as James Milner intercepted the pass, collecting it for himself. He then only had to run a little to the right of the goalkeeper, making enough space for a shot which would put the ball past Rudd and into the net. Liverpool had once again taken a lead for the first time since the 18th minute of the game.
Norwich 3-4 Liverpool.
Shortly after the goal, Jordan Henderson would be replaced by Christian Benteke and by the 90th minute, Stephen Caulker replaced Alberto Moreno. Around this time, the 4th official would start making a decision on what the length of added time would be for the end of the game. It would be announced that 5 minutes of extra time were to be played. Several substitutions for both sides had been made, but there were very few stoppages to the second half other than these changes to the teams lineups. Jürgen Klopp would go over to the 4th official and start questioning just how 5 minutes was an acceptable amount of time. Shouldn’t it have been less? Klopp was rather angry, but he couldn’t change the amount of time decided upon. Liverpool would be forced to play 5 more minutes of football.
Liverpool would attack some more. James Milner played a great through ball to Christian Benteke who was in a great position, though it was judged to have been offside. Benteke would quickly have been in a 1 on 1 situation with the goalkeeper and possibly have scored from it, had the linesman not raised his flag.
In the 92nd minute, Norwich would go on the offensive. An attack from the home side saw a free kick conceded by Liverpool. Soon after, Cameron Jerome would put a short ball to Sebastien Bassong and Bassong would strike a very powerful and accurate shot into the top right corner of Liverpool’s net… a late equalizer! Norwich 4-4 Liverpool.
This kind of event was why Klopp had been so angry with the match officials who added 5 minutes of extra time. If a single minute of extra was to be played, it would have been the end of the game before Bassong had scored his goal. Liverpool would have won 4-3. However, now in the 92nd minute it was 4-4. Norwich may just have gotten a point out of the game with their equalizer.
However, what can be used to the advantage of the home side, can also be used to the advantage of the away side also. Liverpool would score within the 5th minute of extra time.
A long cross from the left wing came in from Emre Can. The cross would reach Benteke. He headed it down to Firmino, who would head towards goal although his header was met with a short clearance by a Norwich defender. The cleared ball only made it’s way to Adam Lallana who struck a powerful left footed curling shot from around the penalty spot area that went flying into the top right corner of the net and this was to be the final and winning goal of the game.
The manager beckoned to the goalscorer as he ran towards him. Lallana jumped into the arms of his manager and the entire Liverpool team jumped on top of Klopp and Lallana as they celebrated the goal. Benteke would even jump on top of Klopp and Lallana and seemed to hit Klopp’s face with his hand as he reached to put his arms around them. Benteke’s hand broke Klopp’s glasses as he hit him accidentally. Or, if it wasn’t Benteke’s hand that had broken them, the rest of the Liverpool team who were now jumping on top of Lallana and Klopp certainly helped to break them. Sorry, boss!
Liverpool would end the celebration eventually and there was less than a minute of time after the goal to play before the referee blew his whistle and Liverpool had won their away game with Norwich.
In the post match interview Jürgen Klopp said
“this is why you should never give up”.
Liverpool’s determination was a part of what brought us to the victory we experienced. We had taken the lead, then Norwich equalised and even took a lead of their own by half time. In the second half, Norwich had seen us equalise and take a lead of our own but then they would also equalise before we would see winning goal of the game scored. It was quite a thrilling game and it may be a long time until either Liverpool score five times in a game or a 9 goal game happens again. If you watched this, you watched history being made. And who was the best player in the 9 goal thriller? Well…
Man of the Match? Roberto Firmino. He scored two goals and assisted another. NOBODY else played better than Firmino.
Liverpool will continue their season and are soon to play the second leg of their League Cup Semi Final. Everton also have the second leg of their Semi Final draw with Manchester City, who lost to the blue Merseyside team in the first leg. If Liverpool win and Everton win these Semi Finals, it will be an all Merseyside team League Cup Final. I’m hoping this is the way things turn out, it will be very entertaining especially for the people of Liverpool.
Walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.