Liverpool 3-1 Norwich: Salah's landmark strike secures the points for the Reds
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Mohamed Salah celebrates with Jordan Henderson of Liverpool after scoring their team's second goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Norwich City at Anfield on February 19, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Mohamed Salah fired his 150th goal for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp's men staged a remarkable second-half fightback to come from a goal behind to beat Norwich 3-1.

After a lacklustre first 45 minutes, Dean Smith's side took a shock lead thanks to Milot Rashica's deflected strike, which looked like one that could condone the Reds to their first defeat with a crowd at Anfield since 2017.

However, Sadio Mane and Salah's quick-fire goals in the space of three second-half minutes turned the game on its head, before January mega-money buy Luis Diaz announced his arrival on Merseyside with a delicate dinked finish in front of the Kop.

The victory leaves Liverpool just six points behind Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola's side not in action until later on when they host Tottenham Hotspur


The story of the match

It’s been a busy month for Liverpool and Klopp thus far having played five games already, and after beating Inter Milan on Wednesday evening - and opting to travel back on Thursday morning - it’s been a quick turnaround for the Reds.

With that firmly in the mind, Klopp made seven changes to the side that defeated the reigning Serie A champions just three days ago. Kostas Tsimikas, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson, Diaz, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all came into the side.

Norwich, having had a full seven days to dissect their 4-0 thrashing by Manchester City last weekend, made just the one change to their eleven as midfielder Pierre Lees-Melou was replaced by Mathias Normann.

It was in fact the away side that had the game’s first attempt straight from the kick-off when a long ball forward found its way into the path of full-back, Max Aarons. His cross nearly looped over Alisson at the back post as the Brazilian just about managed to tip it behind for a corner.

The game continued how it started as Norwich had the ball in the back of the net after less than five minutes when Milot Rashica broke beyond the Reds backline before coolly slotting past Alisson. Though, the linesman immediately raised his flag for offside as the Kosovo international had his first strike in English football chalked off. 

With the League Cup final against Chelsea on the horizon, Tsimikas wasted no time in planting his name in the mind of his manager as he nearly broke the deadlock from close range, after a darting run into the box.

Mane and Salah combined superbly on the edge of the box as the Senegalese man fed Salah the ball on the right and his cross hung perfectly for the Greek but he was unable to turn it home.

In place of Liverpool’s midweek hero - Roberto Firmino - Mane was tasked with leading the attack down the middle, with Diaz and Salah either side of him. It was through the Colombian, on the left, that Klopp’s men nearly edged themselves ahead after 17 minutes when his effort narrowly flew over Angus Gunn’s crossbar. 

Liverpool’s fatigue from a gruelling week was evident after a string of sloppy passages of play - which the Anfield crowd and Virgil van Dijk were visibly furious with - as Alisson invited further pressure upon him and his teammates before slicing his pass over the head of the Dutch defender and out of play.

Smith’s side seem to somewhat capitalise on that frustrating energy as they notched themselves ahead just after three minutes after the restart, thanks to Rashica’s strike from the left-hand corner of the box. When Alisson was wrong-footed due to the hopeful strike from outside the box deflecting off Joel Matip.

That was perhaps the worst thing the Canaries could have done as the atmosphere inside Anfield seemed to crank up a notch with the home crowd looking to rally their title-chasing troops. 

Just like earlier this week, Klopp’s substitutions seem to change the tide of the game as both Divock Origi and Thiago Alcantara were introduced, with the Reds facing their first home loss with supporters since 2017.

Just five minutes after his introduction, Mane fired the Reds level with an acrobatic effort from close-range after being teed up by Tsimikas. A man who certainly made his mark on the game in the second half.

Only 180 seconds later did Liverpool complete the quick-fire turnaround as Salah scored a goal reminiscent of his strike vs Manchester United in January 2020.

Alisson's inch-perfect ball caught the Norwich defenders unaware as he played Salah through. The Egyptian cast the ball under his spell with an immense first touch, before taking it around Gunn and rolling it into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. 

It was his 150th of in Liverpool colours in just his 233rd game. Only Rodger Hunt has reached the milestone at a quick rate.

Salah and Mane came close to putting the icing on the cake as their efforts flashed wide of either post from close range, leaving Diaz to settle it with his first strike since signing from Porto last month.

Henderson played a perfectly-weighted ball between the Canaries' backline which left the Colombian with the simple task of dinking it over the helpless Gunn, in the Norwich goal, and ensuring the Reds secured a huge three points at Anfield.

Starting XI's

Liverpool: Alisson, Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Henderson, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mane, Diaz, Salah.

Norwich: Gunn, Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Williams; Normann, Gilmour, McLean; Rashica, Sargent, Pukki

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