Liverpool 1-0 Norwich City: Liverpool Player Ratings
In the end it was inevitable. Liverpool huffed and puffed and Norwich really put up a fight, but there is such an aura about the Reds this season that it was always a matter of time before they scored.
In what was probably the Reds second-toughest away game after Wolves, Jurgen Klopp’s charges had to dig deep. Sadio Mane came off the bench to make the difference. Liverpool are now 25 points clear at the top of the table.
The Reds also equaled their club record for 17 straight wins for the second time this season. They also extended their unbeaten streak to 43 games in the league, overtaking Nigel Clough’s Nottingham Forest side of 1978-79.
Things could have been very different had Norwich taken their chance early on. The Canaries broke and were on a two against one against Alisson Becker. The Liverpool keeper showed excellent agility and decision making to cut out the pass to Teemu Pukki. This is Alisson’s 10th clean sheet in the last 11 games and the Brazilian incredibly leads the golden glove race after missing 10 games this season.
Norwich will rue their missed chances as the Reds made them pay late on. Liverpool now needs just 15 more points to secure their league title in 30 years.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Alisson Becker (7/10)
Did not have much to do in the first half before being called upon to make easy work of a two vs one. The Liverpool goalkeeper is called the Messi of goalkeepers and rightly so. Alexander Tettey hit the post late on from an awkward angle, Alisson, however, looked to have it covered.
Saved well from Pukki’s shot late on as Liverpool held on for a 17th straight win. It is a testament to his ability that he could miss nine games of the season and yet come in and lead the race for the golden glove.
Andrew Robertson (6.5/10)
Hard to work hard as he ran up and down the left. Came out buzzing after the break and put in a number of crosses. Got more support on his flank after the introduction of Mane.
Wasn’t overly troubled defensively and covered his side of the pitch well. Not even close to his best performance, but was enough
Virgil van Dijk (7/10)
Didnt have much to do in the first half. Did well as Norwich pushed up after the break but handled anything thrown at him with ease. Had a shot for a penalty turned down and made it look simple as usual.
Joe Gomez (7/10)
Handled the physical side of the game well and often brought the ball out of defense. Was closed down by Norwich a few times but showed good composure and kept the ball moving.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6/10)
Not a night to remember for the prodigious youngster. Didn’t make much happen from set-pieces and Norwich did not give him space to overlap. Should have grabbed an assist late but the ball was hit a little too quickly for Firmino’s liking.
Jordan Henderson (7.5/10)
A hard-fought contest where the Captain once again showed more guts than technique. Was always available for a pass and made sure to win the second ball.
Pushed higher up the pitch after Fabinho’s introduction. Provided a brilliant pass to Mane as Liverpool finally broke the deadlock in the 78th minute.
Georginio Wijnaldum (6/10)
An excellent one-two with Firmino early on as Liverpool started the brighter of the two. Kept possession well as Liverpool dominated the possession. Taken off at the hour mark for Fabinho.
Naby Keita (6/10)
His 50th appearance for the club.Showed a number of deft touches and ran well with the ball. The midfielder blew hot and cold at times and could do with some consistency. Should have scored in the second half when Tim Krul parried Salah’s shot into Keita’s feet.
Picked up a yellow for a late challenge on Todd Cantwell and taken off for Milner late on as he seemed to tire. An enigmatic player to say the least.
Mohamed Salah (6.5/10)
Didn’t really have much space to run into as Norwich defended deep. Did well to keep hold of the ball in some tricky situations and played well with his back to goal. Forced a good save from Krul in the second half.
Roberto Firmino (6.5/10)
Started off the liveliest of the Liverpool players and was involved in the early exchanges. Showed a number of touches for the highlight reel but couldn’t get the end product. Worked hard all game and should have scored from Alexander-Arnold’s pass late on.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (5/10)
Showed desire but faded as the game went on. Did not provide width on the left as he kept drifting centrally. A disappointing performance by the midfielder and was substituted for Sadio Mane at the hour mark.
Sadio Mane (8/10)
Immediately brought drive and directness to the Liverpool left. The Senegalese superstar made a was the gamechanger as he finished strongly after a superb touch in the 77th minute to put Liverpool 1-0 up in what was a hard-fought contest. The goal marked Mane’s 100th in English football.
Brought another dimension to Liverpool’s midfield and gave Henderson more freedom to move forward. Showed his passing range and sprayed passes all across the field.
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James Milner (NA)
Came on late for Naby Keita as Liverpool sought to give the Guinean a rest. Didn’t have much to do as Liverpool saw out the game.