PLAYER RATINGS: LIVERPOOL 3-1 NORWICH CITY
Liverpool closed the gap to Manchester City to six points after a comeback win over Dean Smith’s plucky Norwich side. A goalless first half exploded into life in the second half when Rashica gave the Canaries the lead.
Mané and Salah quickly responded before Luis Diaz netted his first for the club goal to seal the game. Read on for player ratings from an exciting encounter at Anfield:
Alisson – 7
Made a good save on Pukki late on but the flag went up for offside. Didn’t have much to do in terms of facing shots. He was wrong footed for their goal after a deflection off Matip. His distribution was iffy at times but how can you complain when he pings a 60 yard pass to send Salah through on goal to put the side infront? Ridiculous pass.
Gomez – 7
Solid on his first Premier League start in 15 months. Held his own at right back and even managed to swing in a couple of crosses. Wasn’t always the right choice of cross but it’s understandable as he’s naturally a centre back. He showed he hasn’t lost any of his pace when he steamed back to recover after Matip’s loose back pass was almost pounced upon.
Matip – 7
Unlucky to see Rashica’s shot deflect off him and into the back of the net. Didn’t do much wrong. Looked stretched whenever they broke on the counter but he dealt with it well.
Van Dijk – 7.5
Showed a clean pair of heels to deal with Pukki’s run in behind early on. Dealt well with Norwich’s counter attacks and went close to scoring when his header across the face of goal was parried by Gunn. Almost set up Salah for a goal when his header fell to Mo whose header was cleared off the line.
Tsimikas – 8
Should have scored early on when Salah stood up a cross to him at the back post. He somehow steered his volley off target. It was a tough start as he tried to get on the same page with Diaz. Second half he was incredible, whipping in a number of dangerous crosses. Set up the equaliser with a header across for Mané to finish. Could have gotten a few more assists.
Henderson – 9
Patrolled the midfield first half and tried to get his side on the front foot. Was left on his own at times when Norwich broke. Second half he was everywhere. Snuffed out attacks and pinged passes all over the pitch. His raking through ball put Diaz in for the third goal. A true captain’s performance second half and his combination with Thiago was delightful.
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5
Let himself down today. Didn’t impact the game as much as he’d like as he let another match pass him by. Overhit some crosses and sent one shot into the stands. Ruined a counter attack by fouling his man as he had no awareness of what was around him. Taken off shortly after that.
Keita – 5.5
Was okay. Another who didn’t do much going forward. Mucked around out of possession but wasn’t incisive enough on the ball. After an exciting cameo at the San Siro, it was back down to earth for Naby.
Salah – 8.5
Had Williams on toast and bamboozled him with some mind bending close control, as he twisted him in and out and then in again. Clipped a cross to Tsimikas early on that should have been converted and saw a header cleared off the line. Curled a couple of shots over.
Got his side ahead after a fantastic run to collect Alisson’s pass and then a cool rolled finish into the bottom corner with defenders scrambling on the line. Almost got a second when he curled another effort narrowly wide. Looked back to his best.
Mané – 8
Played down the middle and dropped deep to get on the ball early on. Saw a shot deflected into Gunn’s arms first half. It was his cross that Van Dijk almost scored from too. He was quiet thereafter as Hanley and co hounded him out of the game. When the changes were made second half he moved to the left and found more space.
He produced a lovely finish to bring his side level with an overhead kick leaving Gunn with no chance. Was unlucky not to score again when he collected Diaz’s pass and curled his shot just wide of the far post. Looked menacing in that last half hour.
Diaz – 7.5
Wasn’t in the game much first half bar a whipped shot that just cleared the crossbar. He was losing possession too many times and wasn’t on the same page as Tsimikas. He changed positions after the subs and got more involved. Won the ball back a lot with some fierce pressing and finished the game off with a lovely chipped effort after making an intelligent run in behind.
Thiago – 9
I don’t think he lost the ball even once. What a lovely footballer he is. He immediately took charge of the game and dictated play. Played a sensational pass to Salah that saw the Egyptian curl his effort just wide. Thiago glided past players like they were cones. A true world class operator.
Origi – 7
His first appearance since scoring at the San Siro against AC Milan and he looked sharp. Sent a long range effort just wide after taking in Thiago’s pass and shooting on the turn. Offered loads of doubt in the minds of the Norwich defence as his movement moved them this way and that. Unlucky not to get on the scoresheet with the Kop willing him on.
Minamino – N/A
On late on to afford Diaz his well deserved standing ovation.
The gaffer made 7 changes to the side that secured victory in Milan on Wednesday night. Gomez, Matip, Tsimikas, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita and Diaz came in for Trent, Konaté, Fabinho, Elliott, Thiago and the injured Firmino (muscle).
His side played well enough to be ahead at the break but poor finishing let them down. He once again changed the direction of the game with his use of subs. Few minutes after Norwich scored, he sent on Origi and Thiago for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita and changed shape to a 4-4-2 formation.
The Reds looked much better for it and quickly went 2-1 up. It was an exciting last half hour with waves after waves of attack. It looked like they would score everytime they went forward. It is possible we could see more of this formation going forward.
3 thoughts on “PLAYER RATINGS: LIVERPOOL 3-1 NORWICH CITY”
A better performance second half, the front three were more involved in the game. I think Diaz still has a lot to learn, he was mostly anxious with game play, always trying to be close to the ball and sometimes too close, his first goal for the club ought to have taught him that, make spaces and intelligent runs and the ball will get to you.
Liverpool has got a gem in Thiago.
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Diaz grew into the game late on. The switch to 4-4-2 helped, and Thiago plays football like he invented the damn sport!