Norwich City 1
There is no point in messing around so I might as well cut to the quick on this and say that this was a game that we should have won. No, this is a game that should have been won by half time. Actually it should have been won after the first fifteen minutes!
It’s all very well me bleating on like this, and any Norwich fans reading his will see it differently, however given the number of chances we created it is hard to believe that we didn’t come away from this game with three points. On any other day we would have surpassed Manchester City’s efforts twenty fours later, however, we misfired. Bad luck or bad finishing or just the lack of a cool head at the vital moment? Perhaps it was all three there were enough chances for it to be so – fifteen on target and ten off target according to the BBC website?
Kenny made two changes from the Mancs game. In came Glen Johnson for Martin Kelly. Lucas was suspended so Bellamy was given a go Gerrard dropped back to covering role. It was very attacking line up and it showed throughout the first half.
Skrtel’s robust header, from Adams corner, clouted the crossbar after only two minutes or so and heralded a string of chances. Luis Suarez was at the heart of them showing no ill effects from the accusations that were flung at him last week. How the Uruguayan didn’t increase his tally this season I’ll never know. I wasn’t counting but one of the Sunday papers thought he had eleven attempts on goal. There was the chance were, with one tight turn, he left Barnett and Noughton for dead but opted to blast it with the outside of his right foot instead of placing it across the goals with his left. The next chance he did try to place however, his, effort from Bellamy’s cross hit the post via Ruddy in the Norwich goal. Next he fired across the face of the goal after sharply latching no to Johnson’s through ball. Then there was a header from Downing’s cross that … it seems to just go on and on….
Reading this perhaps one could be forgiven for thinking that I’m leading up to saying that Suarez is a poor finisher and than he couldn’t hit the proverbial donkey’s backside with a banjo but, no. Suarez is still great value and has done enough since he joined to suggest that this was simply bad luck, one of those days and the technique he displayed to carve those chances and even the finishing was second to none. However, overall there is perhaps a creeping concern about our ability to make the most of the opportunities we create? This isn’t the first time it’s happened we created plenty of chances against Stoke and The Mancs didn’t get our full reward from those games it also doesn’t help that we haven’t kept a clean sheet at home this season. Perhaps, at this early stage, I’m being churlish. At least we are creating chances? If we keep on doing that the goals will come? Won’t they?
It was down to Bellamy, just before the break, to bring some form of appropriateness to the score line. Enrique’s long ball, thanks to Suarez being a nuisance, wasn’t properly dealt with by the Norwich defence. Bellamy collected and his shot went in off Tierney. However, it was not all one way traffic, Norwich occasionally managed to extricate themselves from the ropes and, through Hoolahan (do his teammates call him “hotlips” or are they too young to remember?) created there own chances. As they trudged in for the oranges perhaps, here thought they had weathered the storm and, at only 1-0 down must have still felt fairly positive.
In the second half Suarez continued in the same vain hitting the post, via Martin this time, after brilliant take and turn. Then the inevitable happened all those chances spurned so, as the script would dictate, Pilkington crossed from the right, Carragher, Johnson and Reina tied themselves in knots leaving Holt free to head home.
At the end both sides had chances to win it. Holt produced a great point blank save from Reina after Pilkington, on the left this time, easily outwitted Johnson. Suarez fried across the goal and then Carroll, on for Bellamy, headed inches wide. Then at the death Suarez produced another superb point blank stop from Ruddy.
So nothing doing this time but if we keep creating as much as we on Saturday surely some team somewhere is going to suffer?
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Carragher, Skrtel, Gerrard, Downing, Carroll 80), Adam, Suarez, Kuyt (Agger 90+1), Bellamy (Henderson 69) Substitutes: Doni, Agger, Flanagan, Maxi, Henderson, Spearing, Carroll
Norwich: Ruddy, R Martin, Barnett, Tierney, Naughton, Johnson, Pilkington, (Crofts 90+2), Hoolahan, Fox, Bennett (Holt 57), Morison Substitutes: Rudd, De Laet, Crofts, Surman, Holt, Jackson, Wilbraham