Christian Benteke’s Future At Anfield Looks Bleak
BT Sport were keen to stress that their two pundits of choice, Michael Owen and Chris Sutton, thought that it was madness that Jurgen Klopp had opted to ignore Christian Benteke. Their reasoning? Norwich have conceded more goals from crosses than any other team this term.
The German manager went with Roberto Firmino again up top, which does not bode well for the big Belgian. The Brazilian netted the opener and grabbed the third, further denting the former Villa man’s hopes of getting on from the first whistle any time soon.
If Benteke can’t get a start in a game suited to him more than any other, then t appears clear that his future may lie away from Anfield. With rumours of more attacking options to be added before the window closes, his £32.5m move may turn into a nightmare.
Naismith Could Be The Norwich Catalyst
It’s not long ago that Steven Naismith was destroying Chelsea as he hit a hat-trick for Everton in a superb win. However, that wasn’t enough to keep himself in the Toffees side this season, such is the quality of the options at Roberto Martinez’s disposal.
The Scot made the switch to Carrow Road for £8.5m and he could be the difference between the Canaries staying up or going down. In all honesty the move is a little below him and it Is an excellent bit of business for the East Anglian side.
He scored his first Everton goal against Liverpool and he did exactly the same here with an excellent finish across Mignolet. He was lively in the number 10 role here but his team-mates shot themselves in the foot. His energy and directness had Norwich on the front foot early and his positive style of play will be pivotal if they are to survive.
New Contract, Same Mignolet
The Liverpool stopper had little to do until the 27th minute when he came and flapped at a cross that appeared bound for Naisimith. That resulted in a Norwich corner, which ultimately the hosts scored from.
It may seem a little harsh on the Belgian but his inability to command his area is one of the main reasons most people think he is not good enough to be the custodian of the number one shirt at Anfield. A top class keeper would have taken control of that situation. He was also questionable for the second goal.
His manager and the club seem to have backed him with a new deal until 2021 but it is errors such as this that will mean he is never the reassuring presence the Reds need if they are to challenge at the top end of the division.
Lack of Liverpool Pressing
Liverpool have been dire on the road recently. Yes, they have beaten both Manchester City and Chelsea but they have lost to the likes of Newcastle, Watford and they were lucky Norwich was not added to that list. It is a real worry for Klopp.
What stood out here, and it did against West Ham, was how they seemed not to adopt the gergenpressing style that their manager is renowned for, instead sitting off the Canaries and allowing them to play.
This did not see to work at all, the goals conceded are testament to that. Only three teams have been breached more times in the Premier League since Klopp took charge and their gameplan away from Anfield has some real holes in it. It seemed to take an hour before their energy levels peaked.
Canaries Defence Can Self Destruct
Norwich were 3-1 up here and they should have shut up shop and ended any hopes Liverpool had of taking anything away from Carrow Road. Even at 4-4 they should not be conceding again in stoppage time.
Instead new man Ivo Pinto switched off and allowed Jordan Henderson to hit back almost instantly, before his desire to attack left plenty of space for Adam Lallana to lay on a second for Firmino.
Keeping teams out has been a problem for Alex Neil all season and while Pinto is an experienced player he was given a brutal introduction to the English top-flight here. Russell Martin’s awful backpass then nearly handed Liverpool the three points before Bassong seemingly saved the day and the Lallana condemned them to anothe rloss. The sooner they can get Timm Klose fit and in their starting line-up, the better.