Liverpool came back from a goal down to beat Norwich 3-1 at Anfield yesterday. Goals from Mané and Salah cancelled out Rashica’s opener before Luis Diaz netted his first for the club to seal the victory late on. Here’s a review of the match.

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° Lineup. As we predicted, there were wholesale changes with Jürgen Klopp making seven alterations to the side that beat Inter on Wednesday. Gomez, Matip, Robertson, Henderson, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Luis Diaz all started with some key personnel rested.

° Norwich explode out of the blocks. The visitors started the game strongly with Alisson having to tip over Aarons’ cross in the opening minute. Two minutes later they had the ball in the back of the net after Rashica was played through. The offside flag went up though, and Liverpool woke up.

Dean Smith’s plan must have been to catch Liverpool cold early on. Seven changes to a side usually means a slow start as the players rotated in take their time to settle into the swing of things. The Reds weathered that brief spell of pressure and cranked things up at the other end.

° Liverpool respond. Salah cut inside his man and stood up a cross to Tsimikas at the back post but the left back steered his volley over. Not long after that Van Dijk’s header across the face of goal was pushed wide by Gunn with nobody gambling to get on the end of it. The hosts should have been ahead.

° Barrage of chances. Norwich were next to threaten, with Pukki being played through on goal after a poor clearance by Matip. The striker screwed his shot wide of goal however. Two minutes later, Diaz picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and whipped a shot that narrowly cleared the crossbar.

° Open game. It was a very open start to the game and Klopp’s side finished the hard strongly. Salah had a header cleared off the line, Tsimikas saw a shot pushed behind by Gunn before Van Dijk’s finish was ruled out for offside. It was a breathless first half at Anfield.

° Norwich break the deadlock. Dean Smith’s side broke the deadlock in fortuitous circumstances as Rashica’s shot took a heavy deflection off Matip to fly into the bottom corner. It was against the run of play but it’s the kind of luck you get for having a go. Norwich had a go at Liverpool and their overall play deserved it.

° Matip’s lack of bravery. Joel Matip has a tendency to turn his back on shots rather than face them square on. He similarly deflected De Bruyne’s shot past Alisson earlier this season when City visited Anfield. Once is unlucky, twice is a pattern. A centre back needs to be ready to take a painful shot to the body at times.

° Double sub. For the second game running, Klopp turned to his bench to change the game. On came Origi and Thiago for the underperforming duo of Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain. A switch to a 4-4-2 shape ensued and Liverpool looked better for it.

° Quickfire response. Five minutes after the double change, Liverpool were 2-1 up! An acrobatic effort from Mané was quickly followed up by a cool Salah finish after a raking long pass by Alisson. Two quality finishes, with Mané’s particularly aesthetic.

° 150 and counting for Mo. Salah’s strike was his 150th for the club in what was his 233rd appearance. Frankly ridiculous numbers with only Roger Hunt managing that tally quicker than Mo in the club’s history. Mané’s stunning strike was his 108th for the club, matching the tally of the great John Barnes in 159 fewer matches!

Liverpool’s 150-goal club and the number of matches it took to reach the milestone:

Roger Hunt (226)
Mo Salah (233)
Gordon Hodgson (242)
Ian Rush (249)
Robbie Fowler (261)
Michael Owen (281)
Harry Chambers (328)
Kenny Dalglish (390)
Billy Liddell (391)
Steven Gerrard (586)

° Wing GOATs. Yesterday was also the 30th time that both Mo and Sadio had found the back of the net in the same PL game for Liverpool, the most of any pair in the competition’s history. The pair of them are truly the greatest wingers in Premier League history.

° Diaz off the mark. The Colombian slowly grew into the game and was irrepressible in the last half hour. He marked a strong performance with a lovely chipped effort after Henderson found him with a sensational through ball. Only Salah bettered Diaz’s tally of 5 chances created and 4 shots in the match.

° Hendo runs the show. It’s been an impressive return to form by the skipper. He came off the bench at San Siro and controlled the game and was similarly influential here. His switch to Tsimikas led to the equaliser and his assist for Diaz was his fifth of the season in all competitions.

Jordan Henderson vs Norwich:

• 123 touches (1st)
• 107 passes attempted (1st)
• 104 passes completed (1st)
• 100% long ball accuracy
• 100% dribble success rate
• 97% pass accuracy (1st)
• 9 ball recoveries (1st)
• 3 chances created
• 3 crosses
• 3 ground duels won
• 2 shots
• 2 blocks (=1st)
• 2 dribbles completed
• 1 big chance created (=1st)
• 1 assist (=1st)

° Subs change the game. Thiago and Origi’s introduction changed the game in the host’s favour. The Spanish international was fantastic as he glided past players in midfield to set off attacks whilst Origi looked sharp and posed a different kind of threat for the Norwich defence.

° Title race back on. Liverpool’s comeback win was followed by Manchester City losing 3-2 at home to Antonio Conte’s Tottenham. That result has blown the title race wide open with Liverpool potentially just 3 points behind City if they win their game in hand.

° With a trip to the Etihad to come in April, we could be set for an explosive title decider. Liverpool were 14 points behind City at a point last month, and here they are now with a chance to cut it all down to 3. You gotta love the Premier League.

° What next? That crucial game in hand comes off on Wednesday night, with Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United visiting Anfield. You can be sure the Kop will be in full voice as they realise the title charge has gone from a distant dream to an achievable target.

Leeds won’t make it easy as they battle to stay in the division. They will be intense and will require of the Reds to match that intensity. Trent, Robbo, Fabinho and co should all be fresh having been rested yesterday. Injuries to Jota and Firmino have come at a bad time but Salah, Mané and Diaz are all in the goals.

Origi and Minamino both featured yesterday and are ready to be called upon too. The strength in depth that has been lauded in recent weeks continues to shine through for Jürgen Klopp in a crucial part of the season.

Four days after the Leeds clash is the small matter of the League Cup final against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. Liverpool are currently on an eight match winning streak and it’ll take a brave soul to bet against them making it ten in a row by next week.



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