Liverpool: Giving us the feelings again

You didn’t want it to end up this way, but you knew it would. We all knew it would. Not from the offset mind; you don’t go for a few drinks then wake up the next day expecting a hangover, but after being up for five to ten minutes you get the feelings. The feelings that say you’re in for a rough one. You start off in limbo, a bit groggy sure, maybe even tired, but mildly surprised at how well you seem to have handled last night’s overindulgence.

Then you get a couple of warning signs: the dull aching in your head that seems to be sharpening, considering breakfast but your stomach politely, but firmly, declines. After five to ten minutes you sense all is not well. How do you know? Because you’ve been here before. You do your best to get through it, with the only solace and light at the end of the tunnel being that you know at some point it will be over. You tell yourself that next time it will be better. You’re convinced that next time, you’ll know exactly what to do to avoid the feelings. Then next time comes, and the feelings are back…

Truth be told when it comes to watching the Reds, we love the feelings. We wouldn’t do it all if it wasn’t for the feelings. Many of us will have gone into Tuesday night with mainly the good feelings – optimism, excitement, perhaps even confidence. Some possibly will have practised other feelings – caution, calmness, and a reluctance to get ahead of ourselves. With one foot in the final after an away win (albeit a slim one) we all felt fairly sure that the home leg at Anfield would give us the best opportunity for a smooth passage. But not these Reds. Not our Reds. They love a scenic route do our Reds. An adventurous way round. These reds love giving us the feelings.

In fairness to our lads, they had a particularly heavy one at the weekend trading knocking back shot after shot in Norfolk. Against Stoke we knew something was up after the first few minutes. One too many misplaced passes from the midfield trio of an ever committed but always inconsistent Lucas, the classy but clumsy Emre Can, and our new captain-not-quite-yet-fantastic-but-maybe-one-day who seems to not quite have shaken off his never ending pins and needles (or something to that effect). The defence seemed sure enough, but there was something in the pre-match water Sakho’s drinking again that seems to have taken away his decisiveness post-injury. Moreno will always be mad, I don’t think we’re going to escape that, and Flanno (who to his credit performed admirably considering his lengthy lay-off rivalling Sturridge’s) seemed rustier in the pass than the Titanic’s anchor.

Then the rest of the game happened and we got all the feelings. We got frustration, confusion (why can’t these lads pass to each other, at all?) rage, depression, fear, and desperation. We made it through the ninety. Now we have a new set of feelings. Angst, determination, the feeling that surely we’re going to play better at some point, aren’t we? Firmino hits the post, Van Ginkel hits the same post, and the Reds give us more feelings. In truth we control extra time, but in the weakest sense. We get to penalties, and we don’t feel angry, we feel pissed off. Pissed off that we’ve let it get this far, when all we had to do was score one goal in 120 minutes at home in a semi-final playing for a trip to Wembley. But we didn’t, so we get another (un)healthy dose of feelings.

Penalties are a hotbed of feelings – nerves, anguish, joy, grit, pleading to whichever deity fits the bill, despair, and unbridled happiness. The Reds managed it. The Welsh Xavi/Pirlo/Iniesta/Figo/Pele/Tiger woods (or whatever his nickname is this week) smashes one in right out of the top draw. Anfield goes into raptures, we’re off for a jolly down south, it doesn’t matter how we did it at this point, we’ve got ourselves all the good feelings and nothing’s going to ruin that!

The post-match we can afford to reflect, safe in the knowledge that we now have our place guaranteed for the 28th of February. Reflecting brings about some of the bad feelings though. Why did the Reds do that to us? Don’t they understand? Don’t they see? The critics come out in full force, but for the majority of us we’ve come to the end of our grieving process for the Reds form this season, and rested finally at acceptance. Acceptance that following the reds means a bucket load of feelings every single game. Acceptance that Jürgen and co. are not quite there yet. Acceptance that some games we’re going to play shite. For now maybe that’s OK, because one things guaranteed: when we watch the reds, we get ALL the feelings.

We’ve been here before, the high of Manchester City, the low(s) of Manchester United, the high of Chelsea, the low(s) of West Ham, the high of Southampton, the low of Watford. Such is the nature of our season and our form, we could continue that list on and on. Instead though let’s just accept that our Reds, these Reds, don’t take the easy route, they don’t let us relax. They keep us on our toes, keep us guessing, and keep giving us the feelings, whether we like it or not. There’s elements of frustration sure, but the elements of excitement make it all worth it. So let’s all shift forward to the edge of our seat and prepare. Jürgen prefers playing with emotion, let’s just hope we see him smashing up his glasses from all the good feelings when we head to Wembley in a months time.

Up the Reds, keep giving us the feelings.

Sheyi Ojo

Sheyi Ojo made his competitive debut for Liverpool FC in the recent 2-2 draw away at Exeter City FC. He looked bright and promising when he came on in the second half, he showcased a glimpse of what he can do. His trickery and speed was instrumental in supplying Brad Smith for Liverpool’s equaliser. However, it is the replay which has earnt him more media attention after he scored with a wonderful finish to seal the game. I have noticed his confidence, pace and willingness to learn on the occasions I have seen him and I hold high hopes for this Liverpool future. Ojo has stood out amongst the current crop of young talent at the club and has made a noticeable difference in his two competitive matches for the club so far. Perhaps he deserves a place in the match day squad for a Premier League game? I do know that Jürgen Klopp will give him every chance to develop and encourages youth development, his quotes recently about wanting young players to remain focused illustrates this.
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Sheyi Ojo signed for Liverpool FC for a fee of £2m in November 2011, when he was just 14 years of age. His signature was fiercely contested and it is understood that Chelsea FC submitted a multi-million pound offer for the teenager. He has had success within the youth set up at Liverpool, being joint top scorer along with Harry Wilson in the 2014 U17 Future Cup. Ojo has had two loan spells at Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ojo was highly rated in his loan spell at Wolverhampton and was recalled to Liverpool in January 2016, likely as a result of both his progress and the decimating injury list at Liverpool. I think the loan spells are crucial to player development, especially considering the players age of only 18. He has performed well in the Championship and has shown signs that he can perform under the pressure that exists at a big club. Of course it is potential at this stage and he has a lot of development to reach his ambitions, but I would say he looks a very promising prospect who is ahead of schedule in terms of high level development.
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Written by Ben Wade

Twitter: brwade123

Interview With Chris Shankly

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In an interview with @theshanklyway18 grandson of the great Bill Shankly @ShanksGrandson talks to us about his hotel that he runs in Liverpool that captures the essence of his grand dad, when he realised how revered Bill was amongst the Liverpool faithful, whether his grand dad made up with the club before his sad passing and what he has in future for the hotel.

We started off by asking Chris at what age did you realise how revered your granddad was in Liverpool?

Probably when I was in Junior school so about 7 or 8. My full name is Christopher William Shankly Carline, as my mum was Bill’s daughter and she of course married my Dad hence the Carline as my surname.  It was in the class register like that and back then in school you had register monitors who would take the register down to the school office after it had been called. One of them looked through the register and saw my names and of course the Shankly and came back and asked me quite excitedly was I related to THE Bill Shankly. I told them it was my granddad and it ended up going round the school by first break! It was then I realised how revered he was!

Did Bill and Liverpool make up before he sadly passed away?

They didn’t exactly fall out to be honest. He states in his book that he felt aggrieved by the way he wasn’t asked to be a director of the club; as this would have given him the fix of football he so desperately missed post retirement at the club he loved. It’s also well documented that he didn’t get on with John Smith also, but in terms of ‘making-up’ he always loved the club and the fans, that never changed.

When did the idea for the hotel come to fruition?

I had the idea for the hotel going back maybe six or seven years. Like with any idea you go through the motions as to whether it really is a good idea or not and whether you can make it happen. I go home and away with Liverpool and I’d stand and look at the support Liverpool have on a global scale and then look at the ‘offer’ for the these fans when they came to Liverpool, and my opinion was that it was poor in terms of things for them to do, see or go on their visit. I’d then see clubs like Chelsea, clubs that aren’t even half the size of Liverpool globally; yet they had bars, hotels and restaurants etc for fans to go to and I just thought that we should have something like that. Additionally, the memorabilia we had as a family belonging to my granddad was quite astounding. My nan, Nessie had literally kept everything and I just thought we needed to have a place to display it where fans could come and see it. Things like handwritten scout notes and tactics, telegrams including one from the Beatles wishing him good luck for the 1965 FA Cup Final, and of course his medals. The list is endless. People needed to see it. All those factors combined made me think the hotel was a great option. I searched for a while to find the right partner to do the project with. It was important for me and the family that the hotel was about HIM. His achievements and what he stood for and that it didn’t turn into a Liverpool FC hotel. He was renowned for being a socialist and a man of the people and was friendly with all clubs, managers and players. With that in mind the hotel HAD to reflect this and be welcoming for fans of all teams and importantly, somewhere that non-football fans also felt happy staying. I was introduced to the owners of Signature Living; Lawrence and Katie Kenwright about three years ago. I’d heard what they were doing in Liverpool with their Signature brand and accommodation. It is unique and special and tailored round the guest and the guest experience. To me, that was completely ‘Shankly-esque’ and when I met with them; I knew straight away that they were the people to do the project with. I’d had offers from countless developers and hoteliers but nothing that was as right for the project as Signature and Katie and Lawrence. We were literally finishing each others sentences and we pretty much agreed in that first meeting we were going to do it. Three years on, here we are with a the number one rated hotel in Liverpool!

Does having a famous surname help when it comes to attracting ex –players to the hotel?

It doesn’t hinder! Many of the players have a huge respect for my granddad and they absolutely love what we have done with the hotel. We really look after them when they come in as we do every guest that stays here so they have been more than willing to come along to support events. I was sat with Kenny Dalglish last week and he said to me; “There wouldn’t be a Liverpool Football Club without your granddad.” When the King says that it pretty much sums it all up.

Whats the plan for the hotel for the future?

To retain our number one rating and to keep improving. To keep offering guests a unique experience when they stay in our amazing City and quite simply, to make our guests come back. We’ve got loads of exciting additions to come, including more memorabilia; we’re about to launch a really exciting Shankly Tour of the City; merchandise and much more. The hotel will also have another two floors to come online with another bar and restaurant and conferencing and wedding facilities. It is so exciting. You can keep up to date with it all on shanklyhotel.com or our Facebook page (search The Shankly Hotel) or Twitter @ShanklyHotel

McManaman, youngsters and the future

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What happens now?

Steve McManaman on BT Sport is fantastic. He was my hero on the field and having his experience and honesty on our screens is wonderful to behold. Many Man U fans will similarly enjoy Scholesy when he joins and enhances Fletch and Sav’s frippery; in fact everyone is grateful for Paul’s words of wisdom, especially in comparison to the hosts’ contribution. But he’s dour and doesn’t have the magnetism, class and impishness that Macca oozes.

I know many Liverpool fans feel he betrayed the club by leaving for Real Madrid on a Bosman ruling. He also managed to ostracise himself from the England squad at a time when he was just a superb footballer who made decisions that the powers that be didn’t like. I consider his omission from the national setup to be a major contributing factor in England’s lack of tangible success at that time.

He left Liverpool under the cloud of the Spice Boys tag, a free transfer and off pitch notoriety. But he left to join the Galacticos! He won the Champion’s League, twice. And two La Liga titles. He didn’t join the Galacticos, he WAS a Galactico! An England player excelling overseas for a manager who didn’t buy him – this did catch up with him the end though. Even with this unique experience and quality, England barely used him. Preposterous.

Nowadays we bemoan the lack of talent coming through the ranks and complain about the plethora of foreign signings across the Premier League. Rightfully so perhaps. English players certainly aren’t being snapped up by the big European clubs. Who is there out there? I can’t think of many high profile English footballer who plies his trade overseas…Wales have one in Bale, England? No sir. Not one from the current England squad plays outside England, in fact we’ve even had Championship players in the squad this last year. Brazil, by contrast, has players in many major leagues and at least three continents.

Would Harry Kane thrive at Bayern, Barca or PSG? Do they need him? Vardy? I can’t see it happening. And they are effective players for their clubs in the vaunted Premier League. Where are our superstars? Certainly our captain no longer fits that description.

It wasn’t always like this, there used to be a few players who had left England’s green and pleasant land. David Beckham arrived at Real as Macca left and was a true superstar, beyond Galactico even. Yes he was Man U but he was loved in an England shirt and, in some ways, he paved the way for Stevie at LA Galaxy.

Is the lack of overseas England players their own fault, is the ambition to venture away not there? The disruption of relocating their families too prohibitive? Perhaps life is too good in the EPL? Much as LFC are grateful Gerrard stayed loyal, few would disagree that he would have excelled at Real, Barca, Bayern, etc. Imagine these powerhouse collections of world class players with Steven Gerrard in the heart of midfield – what a prospect (one that many managers would’ve loved and probably tried to engineer).

What am I saying? Does England need to buck its ideas up? A huge money injection next year from the TV rights deals is not going to improve matters. Quite the opposite I fear.

EPL teams are bereft of genuine English talent (and by this, I mean flair) and many fans seem to laud hard work over skill and panache all too often. Paradoxically we are all mesmerised by Messi; everyone adored Ronaldinho; Ronaldo (R9) performed weekly magic; and Kaka was sublime. I’m glad they never came to England as they would’ve been condemned for anything short of perfection. But they certainly traveled with their football. EPL: best league in the world? For making money and then leaving to play proper football for fun again, maybe. Dele Alli looks to be breaking the mould it must be said.

There is no panacea. Despite all of the above, I still want Liverpool to sign Alex Teixeira. I also want us to play our current Teixeira! But more than this I want Ibe to have the freedom to terrorise defences; Ojo, Kent, Brannagan and Smith to get a proper run of games; our FA Cup youngsters to win the Cup; and Liverpool to show the world what England has got, inspired by our irrepressible German!

In My Defence

Seems like a long time ago a team has scored a really special goal against us where our defence hasn’t at least contributed due to poor clearance or not closing down the second ball. The problems with our defence are evident to see, but what is equally evident is the changing in personal due to injuries etc. However we can’t kid ourselves either, these defensive problems have blighted the Brendan Rodgers reign, and was none too evident in that spectacular collapse at Selhurst Park when we were coasting 3-0, and our defence collapsed allowing palace to claim an unlikely point.

In fact the back four (five counting the goalkeeper situation) for Liverpool you could argue has been a problem since the reign of Rafa Benitez came to an end. I think Rafa was the last tactician, who got the balance just right, and who presided to a new defensive record that surpassed our great defenders of the 80’s marshaled by the excellent Alan Hansen. I believe that record was broken in the World Club Championships where we ended up losing finalists. Rafa arguably had a superior spine throughout the team than this current team, but don’t forget money has been made available for each Liverpool manager (okay not enough to compete with the Manchester City’s, Chelsea, and Arsenal’s), but this money is just wasted.

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We have arguably better wing backs than we had under Rafa Benitez, Nataniel Clyne looks to be a level above Steve Finnan (who was a great defender for us by the way, shame we didn’t sign him earlier), Alberto Moreno looks on a par with John Arne Riise, time will tell of course, but Moreno needs to add defensive stability to his game, but we can all see now why we bought him. Maybe in the future he can be utilized in the left wing position with Jon Flanagan in behind. Really delighted to see him back. Perhaps Joe Gomez will eventually fit in as center back to allocate room for Jon “Cafu” Flanagan. Joe really impressed at the start of the season, and big things will be expected of him when he comes back next season.

So the full backs are fast, they love to get forward, where is the problem?. Well they’re very fast, but they are physically small especially for defending set pieces. Remembering under Houllier we defended with physically taller full backs in Marcus Babel and Jamie Carragher, the latter who didn’t get forward much, but we were blessed to have Marcus Babel play arguably his best football in that sole season at Anfield when we won the treble, and his contribution was immense. We certainly defended set pieces very well, and then going forward we had Sami Hyppia, Steven Gerrard, Babel, Carra, all guys who like to attack the ball get on the end of so many set pieces. When have we last scored from a corner? It could be a good idea that the ball is played to the edge of the six yard box, and flicked on to an Emre Can, to allow our center backs attack the ball whilst having an Adam Lallana in and around the goalkeeper. I would like us to have more threat in and around set pieces. We’re getting hammered at set pieces whilst offering very little in return. And also keep two players on the posts, it’s this obsession with zonal marking that is hurting us. We had our ex-manager on Sky Sports last week saying he prefers man marking, well why didn’t he do it then, because his team certainly didn’t defend set pieces with man marking.

Okay so the full backs are small, the center backs will take care of it. Well whether it is injury, or loss of form, our center back pairings have changed so much kopites can argue what the best defensive pairing is. No matter what pair you have they are all making individual mistakes. When you are struggling to score goals at the top end of the field then you can’t concede, and we’ve been making mistakes all season in our ability to defend set pieces. Then we have the curious case of Simon Mignolet, who a lot of people claim is a great shot stopper, well so is every keeper in the Premier League, else they wouldn’t be there. Is he a keeper to command his box like a Ray Clemence or Bruce Grobbelaar? Absolutely not, I think he would be okay to have in the squad but not as a number one. And until now we haven’t had a challenger for his position, Adam Bogdan came in and flopped spectacularly. Danny Ward is still an unknown at this level, although reports are refreshing. Individual mistakes at the back has already cost us points now in loads of games, noticeably Crystal Palace, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Southampton at Anfield. Yes it looks like an issue that Klopp has to sort out but I don’t think he will have one hundred percent capacity to do this before the summer.

When I played football as a keeper I was told before the match that organizing the defence was my job at corners, there was never such a thing as zonal marking, you went man for man, and the keeper came and claimed the ball. Nowdays I look at how we defend set pieces, and it looks like we are trying to mark the space. We have to go back to man marking, and by doing so we move with the man. We tried zonal marking and we failed spectacularly. Now we push on.

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I would be very disappointed that if after the summer, and for the start of the new season we don’t find ourselves with a new keeper, center back, attacking midfielder and a striker. The need for a center back like Mats Hummels would be a great coup for Klopp, especially as he has long been targeted by Manchester United. Hopefully Jürgen can use his knowledge and personal experience to bring in the additional quality needed at Anfield. As for a striker, Daniel Sturridge is not dependable, Christian Benteke just doesn’t look a Liverpool player, I do like the movement of Divok Origi, and the energy of Danny Ings, but are these the strikers that can turn us from eighth position into title challengers? I don’t see it anyway. Maybe that striker is already being courted with the news of liverpools interest in Alex Teixera, hopefully we’ll get the deal done, and if that doesn’t encourage sturridge to get and stay fit then we should think about offloading.

An attacking midfielder, someone in the shape of Mkhitaryan, who Brendan was certainly in for but who Jürgen took to Dortmund. I think with the position our club is in now we have to pay that bit extra, to firstly beat the competition and wages on offer in London, and the offer of Champions League football. We may well have to accept as supporters that we are not a top four team, and probably fighting for sixth or seventh is our true position. That hurts, but we have fallen so far behind, and what is frustrating is that the league is wide open this year, Spurs could push through and win it, Leicester are giving it a go. We have to ignore all that, implement the Klopp’s way of football, get rid of the deadwood, invest in quality and not quantity. Prepare to pay big to get Liverpool back to the pinnacle. It’s been a frustrating year and a half, and we deserve more, but we have the right man to bring us forward, just give him a level playing field.

Liverpool -V- Stoke City

Liverpool face Stoke City at Anfield on Tuesday night in the Capital One Cup Semi Final. The Reds won the first leg at the Britannia Stadium, 1-0. Jordon Ibe with the only goal.

Liverpool were involved in a nine goal thriller against Norwich City on Saturday afternoon. Liverpool fought hard and got all three points, after Adam Lallana’s late strike gave Liverpool a 5-4 win.

Roberto Firmino is on top form, and scored two goals again on Saturday. The Brazilian forward has been outstanding in recent weeks and looks set to lead the line again on Tuesday night against Stoke.

Jordan Henderson and James Milner were  also on the scoresheet against Norwich.

Team news for Liverpool:

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is close to full fitness after a 3 week absence, but is unlikely to start.

Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho are both set to start at centre-back.

Martin Skrtel and Philippe Coutinho remain sidelined with a hamstring injury. Origi and Ings also remain sidelined.

Defender Nathaniel Clyne didn’t train with the team on Monday after he picked up a knee injury during Liverpool’s 5-4 win at Norwich on Saturday, he is a doubt for the game. Jürgen Klopp has admitted that young Jon Flanagan could return to the starting line-up after his lengthy lay off.

Opta stats:

Stoke have never beaten Liverpool in six attempts in the League Cup, drawing one and losing five.

Liverpool have never lost a League Cup semi-final leg at Anfield. (W8, D7).

Stoke City have not won at Anfield in any competition since March 1959, going 36 visits without a victory.

Jordon Ibe has scored two goals in the last two League Cup appearances.

Roberto Firmino has scored four goals in three games.

With a slim 1-0 advantage, I think Liverpool will have enough quality to win the game and progress into the final of the Capital One Cup. Jürgen Klopp and his side will be looking to get to Wembley and win some silverware this season.

It would be a massive confidence booster if the Reds can win on Tuesday night. Liverpool will face either Manchester City or next door neighbours Everton. I’d personally love to see a Merseyside Derby Final at Wembley.

Jürgen Klopp has never lost a semi-final as a manager.

I expect Klopp to start with a strong and experienced side against Stoke, although, I think he’ll make a few changes on Saturday against West Ham in the F.A Cup fifth round.

My predicted lineup: Mignolet, Flanagan, Toure, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Henderson, Milner, Ibe, Firmino.

My prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Stoke.

Fancy a bet?
Roberto Firmino to score and Liverpool to win @ 3/1 with SkyBet.

Norwich 4-5 Liverpool – The Shankly Way

Liverpool players celebrate their last minute equaliser

Adam Lallana scored with the last kick of the game, as Liverpool stole the three points from undoubtedly the match of the season. 

The unfinished spectacle at Carrow Road was unmeasurable for any team to live up to this season: and two last minute goals ensured that this was quite a rollercoaster of a match, certainly for the neutral.

Liverpool’s attacking class from when they had battered Norwich in previous seasons may have wilted with the loss of Luis Suarez, but despite a vibrant and promising attacking display, this was undermined by ultimately repetitive defensive frailties, which Liverpool have failed to iron out on several occasions, this season.

The Reds’ came into this game on the back of a potentially damaging derby defeat to bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield, however boss Jurgen Klopp only opted for one change to the squad from that defeat, with Jordon Ibe replacing Adam Lallana in the starting XI.

Norwich, meanwhile had suffered a disappointing defeat to fellow promotion rivals Bournemouth away from home. Unsuprisingly, Alex Neil rang four changes, with Ivo Pinto making his Premier League debut, replacing Ryan Bennett. Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe also failed to make the starting eleven, as didn’t Alexander Tettey and Matt Jarvis. However, Steven Naismith also made his debut for Norwich alongside Pinto.

The game got off to a lively start. Norwich had a gameplan; that was not to soak up the Liverpool pressure, and press Liverpool high up the pitch and get the ball in good positions. That plan worked well until the 18th minute, when the visitors took the lead.

It was instead the Reds’ who successfully exploited the Canaries’ backline, latching onto a James Milner pass, and slotting home, despite the best efforts of Norwich goalkeeper Declan Rudd. Replays showed that the Brazilian attacking midfielder was played onside by Norwich striker Robbie Brady.

Liverpool’s lead only lasted ten minutes, as opposition striker Dieumerci Mbokani cheekily backheeled the ball into the net, and to the Merseysiders’ disbelief, it came from slack defending from a set-piece. The visitors failed to clear their lines, and the ball fell to the Congolese striker who backheeled the ball past Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Dieumerci Mbokan (left, in green and yellow), celebrates his clever equaliser.

And, buoyed by their equalising goal, they pushed for a second, and reaped rewards for their pressure upfield. The hosts’ debutant Steven Naismith was in the right place, at the right time, to receive a clever pass from Irish midfielder Wes Hoolahan to drive an angled shot past Simon Mignolet and into the corner.

Jurgen Klopp would not be a happy man, however watching a replay. Emre Can was clearly seen attempting to man mark Wes Hoolahan, and looked on course to do that. However, when Wes Hoolahan dragged Naismith into the move with the pass, it defensively splits and exposes Emre Can, and he stops moving and from there is ball watching.

As if Liverpool’s task to get a route back into the game was difficult, the task grew in difficulty as the Reds’ were left with a mountain to climb, as they needlessly conceded a penalty in the 51st minute. Alberto Moreno clearly brought Naismith down unfairly in his first attempt in the box, and had another swipe at the Scotsman, tripping him down from behind. It left the referee with ultimately no choice, but to award the penalty to the hosts. Wes Hoolahan sent the penalty just over the despairing dive of Simon Mignolet, to give the Canaries a two-goal cushion.

Despite suffering an early setback, Liverpool were determined not to fall to a disappointing defeat in East Anglia and almost straight away from the kick off pulled a goal back through midfielder Jordan Henderson, who, unmarked, pounced on a loose ball to volley the ball past Declan Rudd.

It gave Liverpool all the impetus to control the holding midfield aspects of the game from there, and took advantage of Norwich’s lack of defensive options from a break, as a crossfield ball from Adam Lallana fell to Roberto Firmino’s feet, who dinked the ball over Rudd for his second of the game.

The Reds’ weren’t done there, and further evidence suggesting the game lacked defensive composure began to leak, as a poor backpass from Russell Martin was latched on by centre midfielder James Milner, who made no mistake in tucking the ball into the back of the net, to complete the comeback and give Liverpool an unlikely lead.

Norwich looked rattled from that goal, and Jurgen Klopp made a tactial change which had proved effective in thwarting Norwich in the Reds’ best spell of the game. James Milner was shifted out wide, to provide further support for left-wing back Alberto Moreno. As the away side comfortably stroked the ball around, disaster seemed a long way away, even with Liverpool’s history of a lack of defensive composure.

To their disbelief, however their defensive weaknesses struck at the worst possible time, from their perspective as Norwich went quick with a pumping ball after Christian Benteke was in an offside position. Sebastian Bassong, the most unlikely source, pounced on a loose ball to volley a crisp strike into the net, which sent Carrow Road into raptures. Jurgen Klopp looked livid from the touchline, as he sought to question Liverpool’s failure defensively as a unit.

The anger aimed from the German boss looked to epitomise Liverpool’s pure frustration, as they were almost certainly left to hang on for a solitary point.

Football, as the case was proved in this occasion, can be a cruel but thrilling ride however, as Adam Lallana’s volley bounced into the left hand corner of the net, as frowns turned to almost artificial ecstasy as Jurgen Klopp ran to celebrate with the whole Liverpool squad, and rather comically shattered his glasses.

It would bother him little however, as Liverpool clung on for the three points in a truly extraordinary game.

Next up for Liverpool and Norwich

The Canaries have a chance to redeem their heartbreak when they make the journey to White Hart Lane on Tuesday. Liverpool will also be in action at Anfield on the same day, for their Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Stoke City, having gained a 1-0 advantage from the first leg.