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Match Reports

Norwich City v Liverpool

23 January 2016


LIVERPOOL stunned the Canaries with a second half comeback to win 5-4 in an extraordinary game of football at Carrow Road.

Adam Lallana's last-gasp winner settled a contest that swung in both teams favour at various points - Sebastien Bassong had levelled for the Canaries just moments earlier in second half stoppage time.

When Wes Hoolahan converted from the penalty spot on 54 minutes, City held a 3-1 lead after Dieumerci Mbokani's backheel and Steven Naismith's debut strike had cancelled out Roberto Firmino's opener.

Jordan Henderson's strike less than a minute after Hoolahan's spot-kick sparked a remarkable passage of play, however, that left the home crowd stunned.

Firmino brought his team level before James Milner capitalised on Russell Martin's error to put Liverpool 4-3 ahead.

The stoppage time drama was a fitting end to a game that flowed from end-to-end throughout, but the Canaries will be gutted to come away with nothing as they fell to their third Premier League defeat on the spin.

City handed debuts to two of their new signings as Ivo Pinto and Naismith pulled on the yellow and green for the very first time.

In total, Alex Neil made four changes from the 3-0 defeat at Bournemouth with Nathan Redmond and Graham Dorrans returning to the side.

Ryan Bennett and Alex Tettey were missing from the 18, while Matt Jarvis and Vadis Odjidja joined Timm Klose among the Canaries' substitutes.

The home side made a lively start in front of an excitable crowd at Carrow Road, but after failing to create any clearcut chances Liverpool took the lead on 18 minutes.

Firmino stayed just onside the pick up James Milner's through ball, and he managed to squeeze his shot beyond Declan Rudd and in off the inside of the far post.

City responded well but Liverpool could have added a second three minutes later when Firmino managed to play Milner through on goal - thankfully Robbie Brady made an excellent and crucial last-gasp challenge.

Jurgen Klopp's team had shown a vulnerability from set-pieces this season, however, and Norwich capitalised to bring themselves level on 29 minutes.

After the Reds failed to successfully clear Brady's deep corner, the ball came to Mbokani with his back to goal in the area, and he stunned Simon Mignolet with a smart backheel into the net.

That rejuvenated the home supporters and four minutes before the break they had even more reason to cheer as their new man grabbed himself a debut goal.

The move was excellent - Dorrans played a one-two with Naismith before finishing Hoolahan, who waited for the Scotland international's run before sliding in the perfect pass.

There was still a lot to do for Naismith, but his finish from a narrow angle was clinical across Mignolet and put his team in the driving seat at half-time.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 2-1 Liverpool

City started the second half positively and nine minutes into it, they were given a golden chance to extend their lead when Alberto Moreno hauled Naismith down in the area.

Lee Mason pointed to penalty spot, and Hoolahan converted from 12 yards to put a cushion between the Canaries and their opponents.

Their two-goal advantage didn't last a minute, however - Liverpool piled forward and Henderson was left free in the box to sweep home from Firmino's flick and immediately bring Klopp's men back into it.

City continued to look a threat going forward but their defensive frailties were exposed on 63 minutes when Liverpool levelled.

Milner played in substitute Lallana on the left, and Firmino was left in the acres of space in the middle to control his pass and finish calmly past Rudd.

Neil made two changes: Martin Olsson came on for Hoolahan, and Jarvis was introduced in place of Nathan Redmond, but with 15 minutes left Liverpool took the lead.

Norwich captain Russell Martin was culpable, his short backpass was pounced on by Milner, who composed himself to find the net and complete an incredible turnaround.

Cameron Jerome replaced Naismith in the Canaries' final change, but it was defender Bassong who looked to have scored the game's last goal when he levelled with a driven shot in stoppage time.

But Liverpool and Lallana had the last laugh as the former Southampton man volleyed home in the final seconds after City failed to clear, clinching a remarkable win for his team.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 4-5 Liverpool

GOALS: Canaries: Dieumerci Mbokani (29), Steven Naismith (41), Wes Hoolahan (pen 54), Sebastien Bassong (90) - Reds: Roberto Firmino (18, 63), Jordan Henderson (55), James Milner (75), Adam Lallana (90).

NORWICH CITY: Rudd; Pinto, Martin (c), Bassong, Brady; Redmond (Jarvis 70), Dorrans, Howson, Hoolahan (Olsson 70); Naismith (Jerome 82); Mbokani. Subs not used: Ruddy (GK), Klose, Mulumbu, Odjidja.

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet; Clyne, Toure, Sakho, Moreno (Caulker 90); Lucas, Henderson (c) (Benteke 76); Milner, Can, Ibe (Lallana 59); Firmino. Subs not used: Ward (GK), Allen, Flanagan, Teixeira.

REFEREE: Lee Mason


GOLDEN GOAL TIMES: 17:50, 28:05, 40:36, 53:07, 54:44, 62:38, 74:05, 90:00, 90:00

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