Cracking spectacle against Norwich can break Liverpool pattern

Norwich 4 Liverpool 5
Cracking spectacle against Norwich can break Liverpool pattern

Nine goals punctuated a genuine Premier League classic in Norfolk, a classic which emerged from a match which, at first, had seemed to lack any quality or any real purpose.

Ditto life under Klopp for Liverpool so far, some have argued.

There is a feeling among some of the club’s fans that they are currently treading water, transitioning from the old to the new, that not until the summer will the Klopp revolution truly begin.

But this pulsating victory, which came after they had trailed 3-1 in the 54th minute, suggests Liverpool still have much to prove before the campaign is out.

They have won 3-1 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and also 4-1 against Manchester City at the Etihad since their new manager arrived in October.

To call those wins false dawns may be unfair but Liverpool never really built on them. But this cartoon of a game at Norwich can be different for Liverpool, according to Klopp.

When asked whether this win can finally be the springboard for the season, the manager said: “Hopefully — that’s what we all hope. Yes, for me it felt like a turning point. But for me it’s too easy — I feel nearly everything is a turning point.”

So he would have lost count of them in this topsy-turvy early kick-off.

Roberto Firmino opened the scoring in the 18th minute only for Diemurci Mbokani’s backheel to level matters 11 minutes later.

Then Steven Naismith marked his Premier League debut for Norwich by drilling them 2-1 ahead four minutes before the break.

And when Alberto Moreno foolishly felled Naismith inside the box nine minutes after the restart, Wes Hoolahan made no mistake from 12 yards to make it 3-1.

Liverpool had hit a combined 22 goals in their previous six matches against Norwich and the spot-kick seemed to remind them that something was seriously wrong.

It took captain Jordan Henderson less than a minute to make it 3-2 before Firmino’s second made it 3-3 with 17 minutes left to play.

Norwich’s panic was summed up by a woeful back pass from Russell Martin, which James Milner punished by finishing strongly.

But in yet another twist, Sebastien Bassong, who had joined the other three centre-halves on the pitch in seemingly taking the day off, produced an unstoppable 20-yard equaliser as the game entered stoppage time.

Klopp was incensed but anger soon turned to joy as Lallana lashed a scarcely believable winner home which provoked on-pitch celebrations which will go down in Premier League history.

“The last time I was that excited? I don’t know,” Klopp admitted.

“We played with Dortmund. It was a similar game but it’s much better today. It feels really good.

“It’s great, it’s perfect, it’s deserved.

“For 70, 80 per cent of the game we played football and that’s what you have to do in an away game.

“I’m happy for the lads, let’s go home and Tuesday next game.”

Tomorrow Liverpool face Stoke in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg, holding a 1-0 aggregate advantage.

Eleven years back, Jose Mourinho claimed his first silverware in English football via the same competition and Liverpool are now favourites to ensure Klopp follows suit.

Meanwhile, they sit eight points outside the Champions League places and, with 15 games to play, a top-four finish seems unlikely at best.

Klopp added: “We were not scoring enough goals but we scored five today, three against Arsenal, three against Exeter.

“That’s 11 in a week and a half.

“So we are back in the race.

“We have to work really hard and today I saw how we created the chances.

“It’s a long way for us and we cannot see where it will end.

“Especially without glasses.”

NORWICH: Rudd 6; Pinto 5, Martin 4, Bassong 6, Brady 6; Dorrans 6, Howson 6; Redmond 6 (Jarvis 70; 6), Naismith 7 (Jerome 82; 6), Hoolahan 6 (Olsson 70; 5); Mbokani 7.

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet 6; Clyne 6, Toure 5, Sakho 5, Moreno 6 (Caulker 90; -); Lucas 6, Henderson 7 (Benteke 76; 6), Can 7; Milner 6, Firmino 8, Ibe 7 (Lallana 59; 7).

Ref: Brooks 7.

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