Liverpool started their campaign with a new manager, Brendan Rodgers and a new philosophy – ‘Rodger that’. He has tried to implement the famous Tiki Taka style of play with Liverpool. Although, Liverpool have done decently implementing this style of play but have fared poorly at the start of the campaign, having secured just 2 points from the first 5 games. Though Liverpool don’t have a world class squad, but still you would expect much more from the Merseysiders. The points table isn’t a true reflection of Liverpool’s performance so far. They’ve have played some good football, only failing to find the back of the net and hence, losing points. They have had 3 out of their 5 games against top 4 sides. Out of the 3, 2 were completely dominated by the Scouse, but gifting Man City a late equalizer and facing referee’s wrath against United cost them dearly.
Liverpool were now to face Norwich away and started clear favourites. Much was expected form them owing to the recent brand of football they have played and they didn’t disappoint one bit. Liverpool started brightly, scoring after just 65 seconds when Johnson, let free on the left, drifted the ball in to Sahin who gave it to Suarez to open the scoring. Liverpool continued with their beautiful brand of football with Suarez proving to be a handful. Suarez was an absolute live wire and went on to score his second goal with a blistering outside foot finish just after missing a sitter, and was a sight to behold. He went on to score a hat-trick with an even better finish from just outside the box, curling it to the low right corner. He was unstoppable, providing an assist for Sahin for Liverpool’s fourth when he took the defenders all by himself and found Sahin who was clear in front of goal. Then the talismanic skipper scored the 5th via deflection after Sterling ran on the right wing and laid it off for Gerrard.
Liverpool conceded 2 goals; the first was scored by Morison who latched on to a missed catch by Reina. The 2nd came when Holt got clear after Skrtel’s lapse in concentration led to his failure to clear the ball. But all in all, it was a stupendous performance by Liverpool. Suarez was booed all throughout the match and it’s a shame that a player of such quality is given such a treatment.
Liverpool managed to complete 734 passes in the game, which is the highest ever by Liverpool in a Premier League game. Are these the signs of Tiki Taka being prevalent in their game?
Now after all the good things, there must be a mention of some talking points in the match. The first would undoubtedly be the Penalty that was never given. Barnett clearly tripped Suarez in the box, but the referee had other ideas. Referees have certain pre-conceived notions against the man, which are not justified and it feels as if defenders can do anything to get Suarez off and get away. Also, it was still not flawless for Liverpool as little work needs to be done on the defending aspect. The way Skrtel let the ball go was alarming. Also, Reina needs to get sharper now or else he would get Liverpool into trouble and could be sold in January.
All in all, it was a terrific performance by the Merseysiders and they will hopefully kick start their season from here. They would also hope Suarez retains his goal scoring form as he would be a handful.
Liverpool: Reina(GK), Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Allen, Sahin, Gerrard(c), Suarez, Sterling, Suso.
Subs: Assaidi for Suso – 60’; Henderson for Sahin – 66’; Carragher for Johnson – 73’
Norwich: Ruddy(GK), Martin, Barnett, Turner, Garrido, Johnson, Howson, Snodgrass, Surman, Morison, Jackson
Subs: Holt for Johnson – 45’; Hoolahan for Surman – 56’; Tettey for Morison – 79’
Norwich 2 Liverpool 5
Pass Accuracy%: 73-90
Final Third Passes: 118-133
Final Third Accuracy%: 60-76
On Target: 4-6
Man of the Match: Luis Suarez (3 goals, 1 assist)Published 30 Sep 2012, 00:55 IST