Klopp’s Lallana drama!
Nine-goal thriller as sub snatches Liverpool win
NORWICH CITY 4
(Mbokani 29, Naismith 41, Hoolahan 54 pen, Bassong 90)
(Firmino 18, 63, Henderson 55, Milner 75, Lallana 90)
Adam Lallana’s last-minute goal gave Liverpool an astonishing first English Premier League win of 2016 in a nine-goal thriller at Norwich. Jurgen Klopp’s men had trailed 3-1 with less than 30 minutes to go, but then led 4-3 before Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong’s stoppage-time goal levelled it at 4-4.
But there was still time for Reds’ substitute Lallana to mis-hit a shot into the ground and secure a 5-4 win as Liverpool’s own defensive failings were eclipsed by Norwich’s.
Klopp celebrated on the pitch with a shirtless Lallana, but there is much work to do if Liverpool are now to advance to the League Cup final at the expense of Stoke City, visitors to Anfield for the semi-final second leg on Tuesday night.
New signing Steven Naismith had looked like being an instant hero for Norwich after striker Dieumerci Mbokani had cancelled out Roberto Firmino’s opener for Liverpool with a brilliant back-heel.
Naismith scored his first Everton goal against Liverpool and, on his Norwich debut following his move from Goodison Park, the Scot struck again to give the Canaries a 2-1 halftime lead.
Poor defending allowed Norwich to further extend their advantage when Alberto Moreno felled Naismith in the box andWes Hoolahan converted the resulting penalty.
Jordan Henderson then reduced the deficit from a gaping hole in the Norwich defence and another gap appeared to let Firmino in equalise with 27 minutes left.
James Milner then converted to make it 4-3 to Liverpool when he capitalised on Russell Martin’s awful back-pass before the late drama.
There was one final twist to come, though, as Norwich failed to clear and Lallana’s shot looped over helpless Norwich keeper Declan Rudd.
Lallana said it was a “massive” result for his side, but admitted he feareditwasnotgoingtohappenwhen Bassong levelled.
He said: “A strange afternoon, but we’re just delighted to get the three points in the end. When they scored in the 92nd or 93rd minute, you think it’s going to be one of those days. But Christian Benteke nodded it down and next thing you know it’s in the back of the net. It’s three points, which is massive for us after a few disappointing results.”
Klopp said: “Unbelievable game. It was not easy. I think we had a lot of problems in the game. I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t enough at the start of the game against a team searching for confidence.
“But we played football, we made it 1-0, we should have made it 2-0. But set-play, set-play, set-play and they got more confidence. Second half, we came back with brilliant goals and at the end when I saw five minutes of stoppage-time I couldn’t understand why. I don’t understand this and I asked, but it was not positive.
“But we were a deserved winner. Four goals from set-plays, that must be a new record, I think you have to make a new list for British football. I think it is crazy what we are doing.”