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Match Reports

Liverpool v Norwich City

20 September 2015


RUSSELL Martin scored his third goal of the season to earn the Canaries an excellent 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.

City's captain finished calmly when the ball dropped to him in the box from Robbie Brady's corner, cancelling out Danny Ings' opener from earlier in the second half.

The hosts carried the biggest threat throughout the game, with John Ruddy forced into a number of impressive stops, but Alex Neil's team carried a threat on the counter-attack.

Matt Jarvis had an opportunity to win it soon after Martin's leveller only to be denied by Simon Mignolet, but the visitors will have been happy with a point to extend their promising start to life back in the Premier League.

Neil made two alterations to the team that beat Bournemouth last Saturday. The first was enforced with Steven Whittaker returning in place of the ineligible Andre Wisdom, the second was tactical as Wes Hoolahan made way for Graham Dorrans.

Daniel Sturridge made his return from a long-term injury lay-off for Liverpool and was thrown straight into their starting line-up by Brendan Rodgers. The England frontman joined Christian Benteke in attack for his first appearance of the campaign.

It was their skipper James Milner who was heavily involved in the opening exchanges, first receiving a booking for a foul on Cameron Jerome and then slipping in the area, encouraging the home crowd to appeal for a penalty that didn't come.

City were passing the ball around with confidence, however, already showing more promising signs than in their previous match away from home against Southampton - though Dorrans' speculative effort was their only attempt in the opening quarter of an hour.

Robbie Brady was in the right place to block James Milner's goalbound effort on 18 minutes before Nathaniel Clyne tried his luck for the Reds, seeing his 25-yard effort edge past John Ruddy's post.

Canaries' captain Martin then gifted Sturridge the opportunity to open the scoring, losing the ball in a key position but Ruddy dived to his right to make the save.

Liverpool were looking the more likely as half-time approached and Ruddy was called into action again when Milner struck a volley sweetly from 20 yards out, though it was straight at City's goalkeeper.

HALF-TIME: Liverpool 0-0 Norwich City

City will have emerged for the second half hoping to stop the hosts' late monopoly of the ball - they, meanwhile, introduced Ings for Benteke at the break.

It took three minutes for Ings to then notch his first Liverpool goal as Rodgers' team pounced on a sloppy pass from Martin.

Moreno picked up the loose ball and lofted a fine pass into the path of the former Burnley man, who slid his finish beneath Ruddy in front of the Kop.

Sebastien Bassong blocked Sturridge's effort as City were pushed further on the back foot before Philippe Coutinho curled narrowly over from Sturridge's pass.

Neil's team began counter-attacking with intent themselves, however, and when they earned their first corner of the game on 62 minutes, it yielded the equaliser.

Brady's delivery fell to Martin, who atoned for his earlier error, lifting the ball over Simon Mignolet with a composed finish before celebrating in front of the City supporters gathered at that end.

Then three minutes later, they could have been ahead when Redmond stretched his legs down the right flank to cross for Jarvis, but this time Mignolet was on hand to make an excellent reaction save.

Lewis Grabban stepped off the bench to replace Jerome but it was Ruddy who came to the fore again as Coutinho raced through one-on-one with City's stopper, who spread himself to make the stop.

As at the end of the first half, Liverpool's pressure on the Canaries' back-line increased but they valiantly held on to claim a valuable Anfield point.

FULL-TIME: Liverpool 1-1 Norwich City

GOALS: Reds: Danny Ings (48) - Canaries: Russell Martin (62)

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas (Firmino 72), Can, Milner (c), Coutinho, Benteke (Ings 45), Sturridge (Lallana 63). Subs not used: Bogdan (GK), Lovren, Gomez, Ibe.

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin (c), Bassong, Brady; Redmond, Tettey, Dorrans (O'Neil 85), Jarvis; Howson; Jerome (Grabban (71). Subs not used: Rudd (GK), Mbokani, Hoolahan, Olsson, R Bennett.

REFEREE: Anthony Taylor


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