Liverpool survived a scare against relegation-threatened Norwich at Anfield on Saturday afternoon to keep the pressure on Manchester City in the Premier League title race. The Reds came from 1-0 down to win 3-1 thanks to second-half goals from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz. Express Sport looks at five things we learned from the match.
Reds refuse to give up on title
With the scoreline reading Liverpool 0-1 Norwich after 60 minutes, the Anfield crowd desperately roared on the hosts knowing full well the ramifications of any slip-up.
The Liverpool players responded and refused to be frustrated, making it eight successive Premier League victories and moving at least temporarily six points within leaders Man City.
It was the same character to respond to such setbacks that helped take them to the title in the 2019-20 season and their spirited fightback here showcased that they still believe they can rule supreme this term.
Now the challenge is on for Liverpool to keep pace with City until their April meeting at the Etihad. If the Merseyside outfit can then win that, and the reigning champions will know they’re in for another tense fight to the finish.
Salah continues POTS form
Salah was rather underwhelming at Burnley last weekend in his first start since the Africa Cup of Nations. He was a completely different player here as he made it 150 goals for Liverpool.
The Egyptian embarked on several tantalising dribbles, those that are fast becoming his trademark, and had a header cleared off the line in the first half.
The Premier League’s Player of the Season so far then showed remarkable composure for his goal, bringing down Alisson’s long ball and waiting and waiting until the right moment to roll the ball into the bottom corner with goalkeeper Angus Gunn off his line.
That took him to 17 goals and nine assists in just 23 Premier League matches and he’ll be hungry for more against Leeds on Wednesday as he seeks another Golden Boot and another POTS award.
Luis Diaz off the mark
Liverpool’s latest signing had endured a frustrating first-half with his attacking ventures going unrewarded as he struggled to gel with Kostas Tsimikas.
But Luis Diaz was brighter after the break and the hard-working Colombian, whose work rate was appreciated by the Anfield crowd, got his first goal after lifting over Gunn following a brilliant Jordan Henderson pass.
He almost had an assist a minute later when Mane fired wide after Diaz’s clever flick into his path.
That saw him serenaded by the Kop to the same tune that they once sang Luis Suarez’s name, and they did so again when he was substituted off. This won’t be the last time they do so.
Williams impresses going forward
Twitter was awash with clips of a brilliant Salah dribble in the first half which left Manchester United loanee Brandon Williams in a twist.
The 21-year-old certainly had his work cut out defending Salah. But on the flip side he was impressive offensively. It was he who intercepted the ball to win possession in the build-up to Milot Rashica’s goal.
He should’ve had an assist in the first half when Teemu Pukki fired wide of the far post and also caught the eye with an aesthetically-pleasing cross off the outside of his right foot which Kostas Tsimikas had to poke wide for a corner on the hour mark.
He may have had some struggles up against Salah but the England under-21 international is hinting he can be an option for Manchester United next season.
Gomez can’t replace Alexander-Arnold
This match came 468 days since Joe Gomez’s last Premier League start for Liverpool and the centre-back replaced the rested Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.
By any normal standards, Gomez produced a solid display and his athleticism was encouraging. Yet he’s not being held to normal standards when playing at right-back for Liverpool because of the generational Alexander-Arnold.
Gomez struggled to offer the same impetus as his team-mate in the final third, rarely overlapping, while his crosses did not carry the same pace and accuracy.
The 24-year-old has plenty of competition at centre-back but it’s there, rather than at right-back, where most of his minutes need to come.
Source Link: Read more