Liverpool continued their mission of closing the gap on Premier League leaders Man City with a commanding 3-1 win over Norwich City.
The Reds dominated 66% of the possession in the first half and had plenty of big chances to score (including Tsimikas missing a sitter early on) – but just couldn’t get anything past the Norwich backline.
Liverpool started the second half in a complacent fashion and fell behind in the 48th minute when Milot Raschica’s shot took a wicked deflection off Joel Matip – gifting Norwich a 1-0 lead.
But the Reds gained momentum after the hour-mark and got the equalizer in the 64th minute thanks to a stunning acrobatic effort from Sadio Mane – ending his three-month goal drought at Anfield to make it 1-1.
Liverpool continued piling on the pressure and took the lead 3 minutes later after Alisson’s exceptional pass helped set up a sweet goal from Mo Salah. Luis Diaz then scored his first goal for the Reds in the 81st minute – making a clever run into the box before exceptionally dinking over the goalkeeper to make it 3-1!
With that, the Reds completed an impressive comeback in the second half to stretch their winning streak to 8 games in all competitions. They’re now six points behind City in the title race. Now it’s all on Tottenham Hotspur to ensure City drop some points later today.
Here are Liverpool player ratings vs Norwich.
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Norwich
Jurgen Klopp (8.0) –
Klopp tried the much-anticipated front-three of Salah-Mane-Diaz today and guess what? It worked wonders! All three of the forwards scored and produced some exciting stuff! The German boss will probably be irked by his side’s inability to finish certain chances and switching off today, leading to Norwich’s goal and certain opportunities too.
But he kept his side confident enough to complete the comeback and get the win. His subs worked well too and made an impact in the game. His brilliant record against Norwich continues!
Alisson (7.5) –
Ali’s forced into making a clutch save just 20 seconds into the game. Makes a remarkable long pass from his area to just outside the Norwich box to set up Salah’s strike. That kind of an assist proves why he’s among the best keepers around today.
Joe Gomez (6.0) –
Gomez makes his first PL start for Liverpool since November. Failed to close down Raschica quickly enough for Norwich’s opener. Looked a bit shaky defending against Norwich’s pace by his side, but put in a decent shift and made some nice crosses too.
Virgil van Dijk (7.5) –
Big Virg nearly scores an opener from a strong header in the 14th, but unlucky to see it saved. Defensively, he was a Rolls Royce at the back – keeping Teemu Pukki quiet and covering for the shaky Matip. Won 5 duels and made 4 clearances to keep the Canaries from threatening his goal.
Joel Matip (5.0) –
Matip initially helped maintain a strong defensive line and play the Norwich players offside as they looked to get past the backline. Callously dribbled past before the opener and stuck out a needless leg that helped the deflection for the goal. Uncharacteristically error-prone at times and lost his composure in the second half.
Kostas Tsimikas (6.5) –
Misses an absolute sitter from like 4 yards out in the 5th. Has a powerful shot saved by Angus Gunn in the 37th. Makes up for his early miss by setting up Mane’s acrobatic goal with a nice pass. A real engine moving up and down the left wing, but will be gutted not to score his first LFC goal.
Naby Keita (5.0) –
Keita was disciplined with his general distribution in midfield. But unable to create anything influential or really pressurize the Norwich defenders, which is why he was taken off at the hour-mark.
Jordan Henderson (8.0) –
Hendo’s back in the deeper midfield role after impressing vs Inter. Played a smart pass to Tsimikas and help him set up Mane’s goal. The captain covered every blade of grass in midfield and came up with terrific last-ditch challenges to rob the Norwich players. Made over 100 passes, 9 recoveries and won 3 ground duels to help his side dominate the midfield battle.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (5.5) –
Ox is operating as LFC’s most advanced midfielder and making clever runs into the final third to force issues. Nearly got a goal late in the first half, but saw his shot blocked away. But lost control in the second half, giving the ball away and failed to create any big chances – which forced Klopp to take him off at the hour-mark.
Mo Salah (8.0) –
Salah’s being given too much room and seems to be loving it. Creates a big chance for Tsimikas early on. Forces a save with a cheeky shot/cross in the 16th. Toying with the defenders but just couldn’t get anything past the goalkeeper in the first half.
Took his time, but finally gets his goal minutes after Mane’s leveller – sitting the goalkeeper on his backside and wrong-footing two players with an exquisite finish. Nearly scores another in the 71st, with his attempted curler going inches away from the goal.
Sees another whipped effort saved in the 79th. Tormented Norwich with his movement and perhaps a bit unlucky not to get more goal contributions.
Luis Diaz (7.5) –
Diaz was an electric figure on the left and nearly smashed one into the top corner in the 17th. Gets a sight at shot and lets rip once again in the 55th but sees it deflected wide. Finally gets his first LFC goal late on, latching onto Hendo’s pass and beautifully chipping the onrushing goalkeeper. An ever-bearing threat with his work down the left and scores the first of what should be many LFC goals.
Sadio Mane (7.5) –
Sadio seems to be operating in the middle of the Salah-Mane-Diaz forward line. Troubling with his movement and link-up play early on and hit a shot at the keeper in the 18th. Scores a brilliant overhead kick to get the crucial equalizer. Should’ve scored again after being played through in a sweet area in the 82nd, but sees his shot just go wide.
Did well operating as a centre-forward, but probably needs to polish his decision-making as a centre-forward a bit more for this particular trio to be played more regularly.
Thiago Alcantara (7.0) –
The Spaniard helped his side gain control of the game and created some nice moves with his sweet forward passes too.
Divock Origi (5.5) –
Brought on to help LFC get the winner, Origi wasn’t able to really threaten the Norwich defenders and couldn’t produce anything noteworthy.
Takumi Minamino (N/R) –
Introduced for the last few minutes.
MAN OF THE MATCH
I know all the three Liverpool forwards scored and were impressive today, but I’ll give this to Jordan Henderson. He was excellent in the defensive-midfield role, helping control the game and always ushering his side forward. Also got the assist!