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Mane’s goal secures win for Liverpool over Norwich City

Saturday, 15 February 2020


Sadio Mane came off the bench to score his 100th goal in English football and secure a 1-0 win for Liverpool over Norwich City.

In the midst of swirling winds and a fervorous Carrow Road crowd, the Premier League leaders were forced to break down a stubborn Canaries defence.

But the game against the division’s basement boys was far from simple, with Alisson forced into a remarkable save as he clawed the ball from the feet of Teemu Pukki in the first half.

And, with 17 minutes remaining, Alex Tettey saw his right-footed shot cannon off the bottom of the post as the Canaries pushed for a shock opener.

But the game was decided when Mane controlled a long ball from Jordan Henderson and spun magnificently in the box to fire a left-footed volley past Tim Krul at the Netherland international’s near post.

Although defending champions Manchester City still have a game in hand against West Ham after Storm Ciara forced off their fixture last week, the gap at the top is still seemingly insurmountable as Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Reds close in on a first ever Premier League crown.

The ever-increasing wind ruined anything remotely approaching beautiful football. The conditions always threatened eye-catching moments for the wrong reasons, but both sides just about avoided any kind of catastrophe in an underwhelming first-half.

Virgil Van Dijk provided a collector’s item of a misplaced pass, Mohamed Salah struggled for time and space drifting in off the right – and Liverpool generally were uncomfortable against the wind.

So much so that the Canaries had the chance of the half, but they were denied by Alisson Becker. Lukas Rupp latched on to a ball over the top and found himself one on one with Alisson, only to attempt a pass to Teemu Pukki when he should have struck on goal and the goalkeeper quickly palmed away the pass to remove the danger.

Liverpool pressed and probed for the remainder of the half but not just without success – with precious little threat.

Alisson is the first keeper in the league to make 10 clean sheets, despite playing 18 games.

The Reds hoped the change of ends would boost their control of the conditions, but after the interval the mediocrity continued for both teams.

A miscued Jordan Henderson pass even let Pukki cut away down the left, before the Liverpool skipper was able to head away the danger.

Naby Keita drew a solid save from Tim Krul with a 20-yard drive after patient build-up, before Van Dijk could not muster any power on a header from a corner.

Salah spun away from three defenders for some rare space in the area, but Krul parried his low drive – and was then able to deny Keita on the follow-up.

Max Aarons’ blushes were spared when his deflection of Andrew Robertson’s cross flew wide of the net.

An unanticipated problem was encountered, check back soon and try againSimon Jordan believes Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool as soon as a better option comes along.

Liverpool kept pressing and pressing, and Norwich somehow scrambled clear from Salah’s probing cutback.

A rare Norwich break was capped with Alex Tettey striking the base of the right post with Alisson stranded, and suddenly the Reds had to fend off the pressure of two Canaries corners.

But just when Liverpool appeared set to drop points, Mane delivered with a lovely touch to control Henderson’s ball over the top and then prod past Krul.
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