Mohamed Salah’s 150th goal for Liverpool led the club to extend their Premier League winning streak to five games.
The sun beamed down into the fortress of Anfield on Saturday as Liverpool hosted relegation-threatened Norwich City. Unfortunately, the first half of the game was not much to write home about for either team, with both squads wasting opportunities and playing rather poorly in general.
The most egregious error for the Reds came early on after kickoff, with Mohamed Salah serving a stellar cross to Konstantinos Tsimikas just in front of Norwich keeper Angus Gunn. Instead of the easy tap-in for an early lead, Tsimikas volleyed the ball over the crossbar. This was far from the only misplay for Liverpool before the break, but it was easily their best chance to get up early instead of going into the half scoreless.
And the Reds were forced to face the consequences of those missed chances shortly after the halftime break. Norwich forward Milot Rashica scored the opener by virtue of a drastic deflection off of Joel Matip to fly out of Alisson Becker’s reach for just the seventh goal the Reds have conceded at Anfield this Premier League season.
From there, there was a notable shift in aggression from Jurgen Klopp’s squad, feeling the pressure of being down at home to a team with less than 20 goals the entire season. After several threatening opportunities and a few substitutions, the Reds finally broke through with two goals in just 55 seconds to go from facing a horrendous defeat to grabbing three points on Saturday.
The first game off a header from Tsimikas to Sadio Mane just outside the six-yard box, who made the most of an awkward angle with a beautiful overhead kick to even the score in the 64th minute. Less than a minute later, Salah found himself with just two Norwich defenders between him and the opposing net off a long ball from Alisson, maintaining composure outside the box to calmly slot his 150th goal for the club and take the lead for the Reds. Salah and Mane’s goals mark the 30th time the pair have scored in the exact league match, the most by any pair of teammates in the competition’s history.
Luiz Diaz joined the party in the 80th minute to secure the victory at Anfield for the Reds, courtesy of a goal apiece from each starting forward.
With five wins in a row and counting, Liverpool is now just six points behind Manchester City in the Premier League table. The Reds will continue their title chase on Wednesday evening when Leeds United travels to Anfield.
Alisson – 8
Alisson was pressured early on with many corner kicks for Norwich City but was ready for everything that came his way. Conceded in the second half, though the shot from Rashica had taken a nasty deflection off of Joel Matip, leaving Alisson no realistic chance to make the save. Instead, he decided to take matters into his hands-on offense, finding Salah way down the field with a long ball to assist on the Egyptian King’s 150th goal for Liverpool.
Joe Gomez – 6
Gomez seemed to struggle a bit in the right-back position, playing for the resting Trent Alexander-Arnold. However, since November of last year, Gomez held his own, considering it’s his first league start. He finished the match with one tackle, clearance, and interception apiece, an excellent 91% pass success, and won two of three aerials.
Joel Matip – 6
Matip made a few trips into enemy territory but mainly was held back because of the repeated counterattacks from Norwich. Though there was not too much he could have done, Matip gave an unfortunate deflection to Rashica’s shot to put it past Alisson and give Norwich the lead. He finished the game with 89% pass success, one key pass, two of three tackles won, and three of seven aerial duels won.
Virgil Van Dijk – 7
On Saturday, Van Dijk was his typical solid defensive self, especially in the first half when Norwich had many threatening possessions, finishing with four clearances and one interception. He went a perfect five for five on aerial duels and had one shot on net off a header early on. Van Dijk is still undefeated in the Premier League at Anfield.