We’re just like you, we can’t believe what we just saw. While the northeast is under a blizzard, we were entertained to an early game of the year contender. Liverpool defeated Norwich City 5-4 in an incredibly entertaining game that threw defending and goalkeeping to the wind.
May as well just go down the list and show you the goals because they all were things of beauty. Liverpool got on the board as Roberto Firmino, playing the forward in a false nine again, trickled the ball into the goal from a James Milner pass.
Norwich would then equalize in the 29th minute. Dieumerci Mbokani scored on a back heel off of a corner kick. Set piece defending was really Liverpool’s achilles heel and it really reared its head today.
Norwich wasn’t satisfied with just equalizing. They wanted to take the lead and they did just that. Steven Naismith, newly signed by Norwich, kept the fire going against his long time Merseyside rival and scored on an almost impossible angle to put Norwich up 2-1 in the 41st minute.
Norwich would go even further. In the second half, Norwich won a penalty after Alberto Moreno takes down Naismith twice. The first should’ve been a penalty and wasn’t called. Then he tried his luck again and got called. While Simon Mignolet guessed right, Wes Hoolahan was still able to score and put Norwich up 3-1 after 54 minutes.
That 3-1 lead was short lived though. On the ensuing play, just a minute later, Jordan Henderson found himself all alone in the box. And after Firmino sent the ball in, Henderson calmly volleyed the shot into the back of the net and cut the margin to 3-2.
Then, just seven minutes after Henderson’s goal. In the 63rd minute, Firmino found himself alone like Henderson and was so open, he was able to take a heavy touch and still have time to control the ball enough to poke the shot into the net. In just 10 minutes after Norwich went up 3-1, Liverpool equalized.
Then just when you thought the defending was dreadful enough, this was the worst. A botched back pass by Norwich was intercepted by James Milner and after beating Declan Rudd, put Liverpool back into the lead 4-3 after 75 minutes.
But after all that, the five minutes of stoppage time took things to an even other level. Another set piece disaster for Liverpool resulted in the equalizer in the 92nd minute. Norwich sent the long kick into the top of the box as three Liverpool defenders let the ball fall to Cameron Jerome’s foot. Nobody challenged him or tried to head the ball or clear out the ball or anything. Jerome then passed to Sebastien Bassong and scored a terrific goal to put Norwich level 4-4.
But in the end, Liverpool used all five minutes of stoppage time and were rewarded with all three points. With just 45 seconds left in the allotted five minutes, Adam Lallana bounced a rather difficult shot into the right corner of the goal to give Liverpool an unbelievable 5-4 win.
Now despite this being a highly entertaining game, particularly for those waking up at 4:45 AM on the West coast and those trapped in a blizzard on the East coast, but this doesn’t absolve the comical defending and goalkeeping both teams displayed. This was some “amateur hour” defending and goalkeeping that we saw and those players should be ashamed of themselves. It did result in a memorable game and early candidate for best game of 2016 so maybe these two teams are onto something. If every team signed terrible defenders and goalkeepers, maybe we would see a lot more games like this.