Mane, Salah and Diaz strike in comeback win over Norwich

Match reportMane, Salah and Diaz strike in comeback win over Norwich

Published 19th February 2022
By Chris Shaw

Brilliant goals by Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz overturned a deficit and gave Liverpool a 3-1 Premier League win over Norwich City.

Liverpool 3-1 Norwich: Extended highlights

Milot Rashica’s heavily deflected strike three minutes into the second half saw the Canaries edge ahead in Saturday’s clash at Anfield.

But the Reds responded with a rapid double, Mane’s creative volley to equalise being followed by Salah’s cool 150th goal for the club – assisted by Alisson Becker’s quick-thinking pass.

And Diaz slotted in his first for Liverpool to seal a comeback that keeps Jürgen Klopp’s side in the chase of league leaders Manchester City and extended their winning run to eight games in all competitions.

Team news

Klopp made seven changes from the midweek victory at Internazionale, with Diaz deployed in attack and Joe Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas lined up at full-back.

Roberto Firmino missed out with a muscle injury that is being assessed.

Liverpool: Alisson, Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Henderson, Keita (Origi, 62), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Thiago, 62), Salah, Diaz (Minamino, 89), Mane.

Unused substitutes: Kelleher, Fabinho, Konate, Milner, Robertson, Elliott.

First half

The wind and rain brought by Storm Eunice had begun to ease by the time of kick-off at Anfield, but Norwich immediately caused concern in the opening stages.

Alisson had to claw the ball from under his crossbar when Max Aarons’ delivery from the right swerved dangerously towards his goal.

Rashica then had the ball in the Kop-end net in the third minute, though he was caught offside as he collected Mathias Normann’s through ball and rolled a finish past Alisson.

Liverpool steadily started to exert themselves and Salah deftly created space to hoist a cross from right to left that narrowly evaded Mane and was eventually sent over by the sliding Tsimikas at the back post.

Angus Gunn got firm enough hands on Virgil van Dijk’s header down across goal to prevent Naby Keita or Diaz from a simple tap-in and the latter then whistled a drive just over.

These chances came either side of a golden one for the visitors.

A Norwich free-kick was only partially cleared by the Reds and Teemu Pukki was sprung into a shooting position in the left channel, only to direct his low strike the wrong side of the opposite post.

The hosts came closest to a breakthrough on 20 minutes. Tsimikas’ swinging corner was misjudged by Gunn and Salah nodded the loose ball at goal – where Normann got back to clear off the line.

As the frequency of chances dipped approaching half-time, Tsimikas drove an effort too close to Gunn and from the resulting corner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s blast clattered Jordan Henderson inside the box and the flag was raised as Van Dijk nudged the ball home.

Second half

Norwich repeated their fast start of the first half when the action resumed – but this time they scored.

From a breakaway in the 48th minute, possession was worked back to Rashica, who stepped inside from the left corner of the Liverpool box and cracked a shot that took a heavy deflection off Joel Matip and sailed into the net with Alisson wrongfooted.

The Reds tried to turn up the pressure but were being stubbornly kept out by a Canaries side who maintained a persistent threat on the counter-attack.

Klopp shuffled his pack for the final half-hour by introducing Divock Origi and Thiago Alcantara from the bench, with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita making way.

And by the 67th minute Liverpool were in front.

The equaliser was provided in stunning fashion by Mane, who acrobatically slammed a finish beyond Gunn after Tsimikas met Henderson’s crossfield knock with a first-time pass into the six-yard box.

Within moments, Alisson spotted the chance to launch a long kick over the top for Salah, who deftly brought down the goalkeeper’s delivery, unerringly stepped around Gunn and Norwich’s recovering defenders and then calmly placed the ball into the net.

It made the Egyptian just the 10th man to score 150 goals for Liverpool and he was inches away from 151 with a trademark cut inside and curling finish from an angled Thiago set-up.

But the final word instead went to a delighted Diaz, who sprinted onto Henderson’s outstanding forward ball to the box and clipped over Gunn to wrap up a victory the Reds had to work hard for.

Attendance: 53,135

Published 19th February 2022