Lallana Nets In Riveting 5-4 Win
|Image via theguardian.com|
The game began with continued pressure from Norwich who started the match far more brightly than Liverpool but against the run of play, Klopp's side opened up the scoring after just 18 minutes. A Firmino effort which should have been saved by goalkeeper Declan Rudd somehow managed to spin back towards goal and provided the Reds with their first of the game. It wasn't clear then however that another eight goals would be scored!
Naismith was quick to make his mark on the game when initially he made a crunching tackle on Lucas Leiva, it was a bad one in my opinion and I'm surprised he wasn't shown a yellow card. Probably just still bitter about all those Merseyside derbies he's lost playing against Lucas eh? He would later get his own back though with a great strike.
Prior to that Norwich managed to find an equaliser via Mbokani after some shambolic defending from Liverpool. The play originally began from a corner which wasn't dealt with by the back four, a ball back into the box then enabled Mbokani to score with a neatly timed back heel. Just 12 minutes later and it was Naismith's turn, the ex Evertonian broke past three Liverpool players in the box and struck low to the far left of goal, Simon Mignolet really should have done better from that angle and the Reds were now well and truly on the back foot.
Both teams came out in the second half having made zero changes and it was Norwich once again who began strongly. After eight minutes this time they'd once again found the back of the net. Alberto Moreno was at fault for this one and I don't see how he can escape any criticism because it really was just a stupid piece of play. His first challenge that brought down Naismith in the box was disregarded by the ref and Moreno should have realised he was a lucky boy there but no, he just kicked the back of Naismith again, idiotic. I really like Moreno but it was just a daft decision from him. Wes Hoolahan converted the penalty despite Simon Mignolet heading in the right direction.
After being 1-0 up and now 3-1 down after 53 minutes I was struggling to see how the Reds were going to get back into this one but just seconds after the penalty Liverpool were up the other end of the pitch. A completely unmarked Jordan Henderson was gifted the ball in the box and scored with a powerful finish to make the scoreline 3-2.
Adam Lallana then entered the fray replacing Jordon Ibe who to be honest was one of few influential players on the pitch, it seemed like a questionable substitution but would turn out to be perfect. Lallana was immediately involved in the game offering an assist to an encroaching Roberto Firmino who with a lovely finish put the Reds level in the game. This game was just ridiculous 3-3 after just an hour and there were still several signs that there were still more goals to come.
At 74 minutes it was James Milner's turn to join the party, he's been quite in several games this season but I thought he held his composure well in the one on one chance with the keeper, he remained strong and converted an important goal to put Liverpool into what looked like a final lead to obtain all three points.
When the fourth official held up the board with five minutes, Klopp and the majority of Liverpool fans appeared to be disgruntled little did we know that the extra time would be precious. It sure didn't feel like it though when Bassong sent home a beautiful strike with his left foot from outside the box. I couldn't believe it, shouting and swearing I was convinced we'd thrown away a vital three points.
With just two minutes left of the game and after watching Liverpool's performance in the 90 it just didn't feel like we'd be able to find a glorious last minute winner but we did, we bloody did! Adam Lallana, a man who also perhaps hasn't been justifying his massive price tag of late was never going to let this chance go flying. With 94 minutes on the clock the ex Southampton man scored with his left foot from the centre of the box. Phenomenal, how we had managed to win 5-4 I have no idea but I didn't care about the mishaps and dodgy performance at this point, I was too fixated on Jurgen Klopp who had made a sprint for Adam Lallana, been bombarded by the team and nearly lost his glasses in the process. Just brilliant.
Next up for Liverpool is a massive game against Stoke in the league cup semi final!