Carrow Road, Norwich – Norwich City welcomed premier league high flying pacesetters in the shape of Liverpool and hoping to no doubt claim a few scraps from the league leaders. To put it into context, Norwich are rock bottom in the premier league with only four wins to their name all season and with the dark clouds of relegation looming over the football club any point was very much a win for the canaries. Liverpool on the other hand haven’t lost a game all season and are sitting pretty at the pinnacle of English football with a whooping 73 points to their name. That is, their stat looked something like this – W24 D1 L0 all season so it was safe to assume that the onus was with the home team.
And the first twenty minutes lived up to the it with both teams going at each other but with Liverpool creating the better of the chances and half-chances. And to their credit Norwich didn’t exactly sit deep and they displayed countless moments of brilliant intricate football with Todd Cantwell keeping Alexander Arnold on his toes.
But with 30 minutes on the clock and only Liverpool mustering just one shot on target it looked like the canaries had done more than enough to keep the visitors at bay only for left full back Sam Byram to pull up with what looked like a hamstring injury on 35 minutes. At the other end, Alisson was called upon to make a brilliant save when it looked surely that Norwich would break the deadlock but the Brazilian thwarted Lukas Rupp from squaring to Teemu Pukki with both men bearing down on his goal.
The second half did start with Liverpool coming out of the block as one would expect but it took a while for them to register a shot on target when Naby Keita forced a safe from Tim Krul after being played in by Mo Salah. The resulting corner kick was head on goal by Virgil Van Dijk for a comfortable save for Krul. And the Netherlands goalie was called upon three minutes later to make a double save denying the fleet footed Salah and then, Naby Keita from close range after some poor defending by the Norwich defense. The on watching Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman would have been very pleased with Tim Krul.
It would proof a pivotal moment in the game as Jurgen Klopp made two changes immediately with Fabinho and Sadio Mane replacing Wjnaldum and Oxlade-Chamberlain respectively in search of more cutting edge or perhaps with a champions league midweek fixture in mind and from that point on Liverpool absolutely laid siege to the Norwich defence with the home side content to sit back and hit on the counter attack and on one of those breaks on the 72nd minute, Alex Tettey rattled Alisson’s left post with a low shot that seem to catch everyone by surprise.
Liverpool’s pressure was starting to tell and on 77 minutes Jordan Henderson played a beautiful ball from the center circle which Mane controlled delicately and dispatched into the bottom corner to give the visitors the lead. From that point on there were little doubt about Liverpool letting up given how their season has gone thus far and they would in the end see out another victory.
As for Norwich, they can take comfort in the fact that they went toe to toe with the league leaders and on another day it might have gone their way. The man of the match award has to go to Todd Cantwell who showed zero nerves in running the show for the canaries and their manager Daniel Farke will no doubt take pride in this performance.