Liverpool 1-1 Norwich City – as it happened
Both teams gave it a proper go, neither struck the killing blow. The Adam/Gerrard axis didn’t work. Anfield was hushed. Paul Lambert is skill.
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If Paul Lambert keeps this up, he’ll find himself on the shortlist for The Man Who Must Dare To Follow Ferguson. In the second half especially, Norwich were terrific.
Liverpool remain in fifth, Norwich move up to seventh.
Full-time: Liverpool 1-1 Norwich City Delia Smith looks delighted, and rightly so. As 1-1 draws go, that was a barnstormer. Paul Lambert’s side gave it a go, as he promised before kick-off, and Liverpool let them. Fantasy managers with Suarez in their team will be left wondering how the Uruguayan didn’t score a single goal today. He had at least six good chances.
90 + 3 min: Andy Carroll has a wonderful chance to win it but his header from close range goes inches wide. D’oh! “What a waste of money,” go the Norwich fans. Seconds later, Ruddy makes a brilliant save from Suarez. Liverpool throwing everything at Norwich now.
90 + 2 min: Pilkington off, Crofts on. Away fans give Pilkington a rousing ovation. He’s been excellent today.
90 min: Kuyt off, Agger on. That’s progress.
88 min: Liverpool desperately trying to play good football, but not enough of their players are on the same page. Norwich have edged the second half.
86 min: Both teams going for the winner. Fun fun fun. Holt still scaring Liverpool’s back four. Grant. Holt.
84 min: Super little run down the left by Adam but the balls gets away from his little legs.
83 min: Norwich look the more likely to win it. If it wasn’t Dalglish on the touchline, would Liverpool fans be clearing their throats with boos? Hodgson might have something to say about that. “There’s only one Paul Lambert!” sing the away fans.
80 min: Holt has made a massive difference to Norwich. Down the other end, Carroll puts himself about and the ball falls to Suarez, who is offside. Suarez might have had a double hat-trick today.
78 min: On the touchline Paul Lambert strokes his chin, then smells his fingers. Eurgh. Here comes Carroll…
73 min: What’s the smallest coin currently in circulation? Because Suarez could turn on it, no bother. Andy Carroll is getting ready to come on.
71 min: Liverpool’s attitude, Suarez apart, has been good, but too much of their attacking play has lacked precision. Downing and Kuyt, we’re looking at you, you pair of woolly scamps.
69 min: Suarez is in a foul mood but that doesn’t stop him working another shot at goal from next to nothing – his ‘turn’ is something else. Again though, it’s straight at Ruddy.
68 min: Dalglish has to change things here. And lo, he does. Jordan Henderson comes on for Craig Bellamy. Hmm.
66 min: As Liverpool look to retake the lead, the game hits new heights of intensity. And still not a bad tackle in sight. Liverpool camped in Norwich’s half for the last couple of minutes.
64 min: A promising Liverpool counter-attack ends as it so often does, with an atrocious touch from try-hard Kuyt.
61 min: Another assist for Pilkington, by the way. He’s having a fine game. Andy Carroll warms up with his fellow Liverpool subs. Norwich look more and more of a threat.
59 min: GOOOOAAAAAALLL!! Supersub Grant Holt scores in front of the Kop! Liverpool 1-1 Norwich. Reina came for a cross but didn’t get it and Holt’s head did the rest from five yards out. Lambert is a genius, clearly.
58 min: Fox speculates from 25 yards out. His shot is powerful and a tad wobbly in the air, but it’s straight at Reina. Shots often seem to fly straight at Reina. Coinky-dink?
56 min: It’s Elliott Bennett who makes way for Holt … Downing’s chipped cross finds Bellamy’s head, but the Welshman’s header isn’t up to much. And still Liverpool come, looking for that second killer goal.
54 min: Cute one-two between Gerrard and Suarez. Gerrard drives into the Norwich area but his shot is tame and straight at Ruddy. Grant Holt about to come on…
53 min: Can you dominate an opponent but in an entirely unconvincing manner? If you’re Dalglish’s Liverpool, then yes.
50 min: South American wizardry from Suarez but his poked shot takes a deflection and hits the base of Norwich’s right-hand stick.
48 min: Downing goes to ground, more to protect his face than anything else, and sort of catches Tierney. Free-kick to Norwich, despite Downing claiming he did nowt wrong guv. If you’re looking for gritty footballers who you might want alongside you in a trench, Downing is not one of them.
46 min: A positive start from Norwich. Pilkington’s shot keeps Reina involved. Straight at the Spanish slapheid though.
You can watch Bellamy’s goal on 101GreatGoals. The second half has just kicked off.
ESPN pundit Andy Townsend, taking a busman’s holiday from ITV, appears to make a good point: Luis Suarez is so unpredictable that he can’t be the easiest of strikers to play with.
In other other ‘news’ (ahem): On May 1st Aaron Ramsey scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Man Utd – the next day Osama bin Laden was killed. On October 19th Aaron Ramsey scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Marseille – the next day Colonel Gaddafi was killed. What can this mean?
In other news: Mario Balotelli escaped from his burning house in the wee hours of this morning after a fire caused by letting off fireworks in one of his many bathrooms. Never a dull moment with him.
ESPN running a half-time featurette on Liverpool old boy Steve McManamanamanaman.
The ball broke kindly to Bellend, after a sly Suarez body-check on the edge of Norwich’s area, and his shot was powerful enough that it slipped under the hitherto excellent Ruddy, via a Tierney deflecshun. Harsh on Norwich? Mebbe, but Liverpool have made all the running so far.
45 min: There will be one minute of added time, says the Anfield voice in the sky, somewhat morosely. Liverpool use that minute wisely, as Craig Bellamy puts Liverpool ahead! GOOOOOOOOOAL!! Liverpool 1-0 Norwich
42 min: “You’re shit, oo-arrrrr!” sing Norwich’s merry, red-faced fans as Pepe Reina boots the ball back into the middle. Suddenly, Norwich win a corner. Fox looks for Morison but the ball sails over the latter’s head and out of play. Sheesh.
40 min: Liverpool flood forward but Kuyt’s low cross from the left flank is garbage, and Ruddy deals with it again. Liverpool retreat and then go again…
39 min: Downing’s cross to the back stick is met by Suarez with the force of a poached egg. Ruddy deals with it.
38 min: Norwich are somehow making a game of this without making a game of it. It’s all about Liverpool and their inability to put the chuffing ball in the chuffing net. Pins drop at Anfield. CRASH.
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‘Wan’field, writes Alex Netherton, semi-cryptically.
33 min: Tierney booked for a tackle on Downing. The first yellow of the game. Free-kick to Liverpool on the right-hand edge of Norwich’s area. Downing takes it but hits the Norwich wall. He has another go and again hits a player in yellow, then Adam sends an aimless cross/shot over the bar. The lack of precision about Liverpool’s attacks could cost them points today.
31 min: Liverpool win a corner on their left side. Bellamy pings it in at speed, Kuyt fails to get a clean head on it. Norwich clear the danger but Liverpool come again.
28 min: A subtle lofted pass from Adam finds Dirk Kuyt in Norwich’s box, but Kuyt is flagged for offside. Close. Kuyt rages at the lino for several seconds. It doesn’t become the Dutch family man.
27 min: Hoolahan’s long pass finds Pilkington, who again gives Glen Johnson something to think about. Like the look of Pilkington. And Hoolahan has always been fun to watch.
As open and enjoyable as this game is, we can’t stress highly enough how quiet the home fans are. At least that’s how it comes across on the box. What’s like a library but rhymes with Anfield?
This is open football as played out in the worst nightmares of Tony Pulis: fast, footloose, contact-free. Netball, he’d call it. Not a bad tackle so far. Hell, hardly a tackle to speak of.
22 min: We get the first (?) shot of Andy Carroll brooding magnificently on the Liverpool bench. What’s he thinking? Nothing at all, probably.
20 min: A string of around a dozen Norwich passes gets the away fans ‘Ole’-ing. Cheeky bloody farmers. It all ends in a corner… the corner goes deep and Steve Morison (one R – maverick) heads into Reina’s arms.
18 min: If Norwich played this freely against Barcelona, the Canaries would be, ooh, 8-0 down by now. As it is, they’re level. Football, bloody hell.
16 min: After a minute of Liverpool pressure, starring Bellamy’s twinkle toes, Suarez is fed neatly by Glen Johnson but he hooks his shot wide. Another chance evaporates into nothing. Still 0-0.
15 min: Hoolahan finds some space on the left edge of Liverpool’s penalty area but he shoots straight at the solid torso of Pepe Reina. Norwich’s best chance thus far.
14 min: The crowd is so quiet you can clearly hear instructions from the two benches. Sing up, Anfield.
12 min: Bellamy’s nifty run takes him deep into Norwich territory. The ball ends up with Downing but his shot doesn’t get through. Liverpool should be two- or three-up already, but Kenny Dalglish doesn’t look too concerned… yet.
10 min: Suarez hits the post! Superb fingertip save from Ruddy saved his team there. Liverpool all over Norwich here.
9 min: Norwich in Liverpool’s half at last. They win a corner, or think they do… Walton awards a goal-kick. Not much noise inside Anfield right now.
7 min: Pugnacious work by Glen Johnson down Liverpool’s right side, but his low cross comes to naught. ALL Liverpool at the moment.
That was splendid work by Suarez. Whatever you think of him as a human being, he’s a bloody marvellous footballer.
4 min: Frantic start, both teams are giving it a go, as promised… a brilliant turn from Suarez on the edge of Norwich’s box and he’s away, but the Uruguayan shoots wide of Ruddy’s right-hand stick. Liverpool look like they mean business.
2 min: Bimey. Skrtel makes a cheeky near-post run and his glancing header from an Adam corner crashes off the crossbar. Norwich escape.
1 min: We’re away. This is happening.
Will Luis Suarez be disappointed or delighted to see how overwhelmingly caucasian this Norwich team is? That’s not for us to say, is it. No comment.
Right, the balls are out of the bath. Liverpool 2-0 Norwich. Suarez and Gerrard.
ESPN pundit John Scales, an ex-pro blessed with zero discernible charisma, says that Norwich are the best of the promoted teams. We said that earlier, so it must be true. Anyway, shhh, here come the teams…
Here, via the wonderful YouTube, is that Norwich City win at Anfield in 1994: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r99uJAjeU2g
For the record, Peter Walton is your man in black this avo. Walton is perhaps the least conspicuous referee on the Premier League circuit.
For Liverpool, the main talking point is Craig Bellamy’s inclusion, ostensibly ahead of Andy Carroll. If Lambert intends to give it a go, Dalglish intends to give it a go with – to quote Kevin Keegan – “legs and energy”. After a big summer of spending, Liverpool are starting to look like a proper team, but is the Adam/Gerrard axis in central midfield too cavalier? At home against Norwich, you’d think not.
Norwich City’s starting XI: Ruddy, Naughton, Barnett, Russell Martin, Tierney, Bennett, Fox, Johnson, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Morison
Liverpool line up like this: Pepe Reina, Glen Johnson, Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Steven Gerrard, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt, Luis Suarez
A meaningless stat: Norwich haven’t won at Anfield since April 1994. Norwich have played at Anfield twice since April 1994.
Two teams, both with Scottish managers: one old enough (60) to be the other’s (42) old man, just aboot. The younger man, Paul Lambert, is doing a fine job at Norwich, who look the best of the three promoted teams.
Lambert has said his team will “give it a go” at Anfield, which is encouraging but could mean almost anything. We’ll give it a go by playing mean,counter-attacking football/We’ll give it a go by playing 4-2-4/We’ll give it a go by parking the bus/We’ll give it a go by trying to get Luis Saurez sent off in the opening ten minutes. We’ll find out soon enough.