Friday , October 20 2017

Liverpool edge Norwich in 9-goal thriller – Villa still helpless after derby draw

Liverpool’s Spanish defender Alberto Moreno (left), vies with Norwich City’s Scottish striker Steven Naismith during the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and Liverpool at the Carrow Road Stadium in Norwich, Norfolk, England, on Jan 23. (AFP)
Liverpool’s Spanish defender Alberto Moreno (left), vies with Norwich City’s Scottish striker Steven Naismith during the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and Liverpool at the Carrow Road Stadium in Norwich, Norfolk, England, on Jan 23. (AFP)

LONDON, Jan 23, (RTRS): Liverpool substitute Adam Lallana struck deep into stoppage time to snatch a 5-4 win over shell-shocked Norwich City in an extraordinary Premier League game at Carrow Road on Saturday. The visitors had fought back from 3-1 down to lead 4-3 after 90 minutes but Norwich central defender Sebastien Bassong’s fierce drive looked to have earned the home side a point before Lallana bundled the ball into the net with seconds remaining. Liverpool took the lead after 19 minutes when Roberto Firmino’s scuffed strike found the corner of the net but Dieumerci Mbokani equalised with an audacious back-heel after Liverpool failed to deal with a corner on the halfhour.

Steven Naismith, making his Norwich debut after joining from Everton, beat Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet with a fierce shot from a narrow angle before halftime and Wes Hoolahan converted a penalty to give the hosts a twogoal cushion. The unmarked Jordan Henderson then pulled one back for Liverpool with a low shot and Firmino’s deft finish from Lallana’s cross levelled the scores before James Milner slotted in following a dreadful back pass from Russell Martin. “A strange afternoon. I was just delighted to get the three points in the end,” Lallana told BT Sport.

“When they scored you just think it’s going to be one of those days. A massive three points for us. “That goal was one of those moments in your career that just happens, you go with the flow.” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrated wildly with his players after the final whistle and his glasses were accidentally knocked off by Christian Benteke in the melee. “Unbelievable game,” Klopp said. “We had a lot of problems today but we played football and scored beautiful goals. “I think we were the deserved winners in a spectacular game. Of course we were lucky, but we were not too lucky when they equalised in added time. It is very emotional.” It was only the fourth Premier League match to finish 5-4.

“Defensively, it was very poor and that is what cost us,” Naismith said. “If 11 men can’t defend their goal for two minutes, then you will get punished.” West Bromwich Albion 0 Aston Villa 0 Aston Villa’s battle for survival at the foot of the Premier League still looked a hopeless one after they could only scrape a point from a grim goalless derby at the Hawthorns on Saturday. Plenty of endeavour but precious little quality marked a poor game with Villa coming the closest to a victory they desperately needed as the bottom club remained nine points short of safety.

Luck was against them when Jordan Ayew looked to have been brought down by Jonas Olsson in the box midway through the first half only for the penalty claims to be waved away. Albion, who had high hopes of doing the league double over Villa in the top flight for the first time since the 1964-65 season, barely created any chances.

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