written by Jamie McLaughlin website at www.anfieldnews.com
Liverpool was hoping to put newly promoted Norwich to the sword in their quest for at least a top 4 place. Liverpool who drew 1-1 with Manchester United last weekend would be hoping to get back to winning ways against Paul Lambert’s charges. Norwich have impressed so far this season with their style of play, they have played an attractive attacking style with tremendous displays without reward at Chelsea and more recently at Old Trafford. Norwich go into the match on the back of great win against Swansea last weekend and will give them great confidence.
Dalglish made two changes to the side that drew with Manchester United last week with Glen Johnson coming in for Kelly and Craig Bellamy replacing the suspended Lucas. A big night for Dirk Kuyt making his 250th appearance for Liverpool. Liverpool started with a very attacking line-up with Gerrard and Adam in the middle of midfield with Downing on the right and Bellamy on the left of midfield with Kuyt and Suarez up front. Andy Carroll had to be content with starting on the bench once again.
Liverpool attacked from the start and almost took the lead inside two minutes when Skrtel headed off the bar from an Adam corner, then two minutes later Suarez made a brilliant turn before shooting wide.
Liverpool were dominating the early stages with Suarez and his brilliant best. Then in the 10th minute Bellamy made a great run down the left before crossing low to Suarez and his first time effort was tipped onto the post. Moments later Suarez tried a chip from outside the box but it floated over the bar.
The chances kept coming for Liverpool and another one went a begging when Suarez shot wide after being played in by Johnson. But Norwich showed the threat they had Morrison powered a header straight at Reina from a corner kick. Then moments later Norwich had another effort from long range saved by Reina.
Then on the half hour mark Kuyt had a header blocked from a corner. Liverpool continued to create chances as the half wore on, but just as it looked as Norwich would hold until half-time Liverpool took the lead after tussle for the ball involving Suarez broke to Bellamy who ran into the box before shooting past Ruddy via a deflection.
Norwich started the second half sharply and Pilkington was unlucky with a low shot bringing out a save from Reina. A minute later Kuyt couldn’t direct his header on target from a Downing cross as Liverpool responded.
A few minutes later a piece of brilliance on the edge of the box by Suarez left the Norwich defence bewildered but his shot was deflected onto the post as he cursed his luck. Liverpool was still threatening and Gerrard made one of his trademark runs into the box but he shot weakly.
But Norwich drew level on the hour mark when Adam lost possession looking for a foul and Pilkington’s dangerous was headed into the Liverpool by substitute Holt who beat Reina to the ball.
Shortly after Holt could have scored a second with another header but for a great reaction save from Reina. Norwich were certainly encouraged by the goal and Liverpool were struggling to find their first half fluency.
Dalglish brought on Henderson for Bellamy and Carroll for Downing in the latter stages to try and win the game but it wasn’t until stoppage time when the best chances came first a brilliant cross from Gerrard found the head of Carroll but his header went agonisingly wide from 6 yards out. Then with just about the last kick of the ball Suarez smashed a volley on target but Ruddy pulled off an amazing save to earn Norwich a point and leave Liverpool frustrated.
I was expecting nothing less than a win here tonight as I feel we have to win these type of games if we are to challenge this season. I liked the look of the team Kenny selected as it had a very attacking look about it. We started on fire and could have been four up inside 20 minutes but couldn’t get one. I just had a bit of a feeling these missed chances could come back to haunt us and unfortunately it did. We had some great attacking play, especially from Downing and Bellamy on the flanks and Suarez was causing all sorts of problems, the only thing lacking from him was he couldn’t find the net. The referee didn’t give Suarez much as I felt he was constantly fouled, leaving the striker frustrated. We did lose a bad goal as Norwich posed more of a threat second half, with Reina getting caught out. But these things can happen. We were very unlucky right at the end with Carroll and then Suarez’s volley. I’m left very disappointed with the result as both Chelsea and Manchester United have struggled against Norwich this season but managed to win, where we failed to. But I’m very encouraged with the performance and the amount of chances we created and I’m sure the goals will come over a very long season.
Man Of The Match – Suarez – once again, unplayable at time, lost count of the number of attempts he had on goal, only a goal was missing from his night.