Norwich put Holt to Anfield charge as Carroll counts cost

Liverpool 1 Norwich 1: Striker keeps his head to send Delia Smith home happy but Liverpool rue their missed chances – and a brilliant goalkeeping performance by Ruddy


Delia Smith, Norwich City's owner, once wrote a book called One is Fun. For those taking the not-always obvious road back from Merseyside to Norfolk, this one point would have contained many more emotions than just fun. There would have been relief that they had survived an assault that had seen Liverpool aim 29 shots at John Ruddy's goal and strike the frame of it three times. There would have been pride that a side that had gone through two divisions in as many seasons had shown the resilience to ride out the storm and fight back.

As a game it might have reminded the Norwich manager, Paul Lambert, of one of his finest moments as a footballer when he was part of a Borussia Dortmund side that overcame Manchester United in a European Cup semi-final which saw Sir Alex Ferguson's forward line squander an array of chances.

Right up until almost the last attack of the night that saw Ruddy save astonishingly from Luis Suarez, who might have had at least a hat-trick, it appeared Liverpool would win through. "It is a huge, huge point. Nobody gave us an earthly, here," said Lambert, who added that although they had lost at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, they had proved they could compete. And that is what would have stung Liverpool as the Anfield floodlights were extinguished over Stanley Park. Kenny Dalglish's side had played better than Chelsea or Manchester United and they had come away with less.

"What do we take from this game?" said the Liverpool manager, when asked for the positives of the evening. "A point."

It was a game that turned on many things, not least Pepe Reina's instinctive save from Grant Holt's second header that might have given Norwich victory. Daglish was angered not just by Peter Walton's refusal to award a penalty for what at first appeared a shoulder charge on Charlie Adam by Leon Barnett but by the referee's assumption that Suarez had dived when it seemed he had been hooked back by Marc Tierney.

At Ajax, Suarez had something of a reputation as a diver and following the allegations of racism levelled at him by Patrice Evra after the 1-1 draw with Manchester United, Dalglish was anxious to defend his striker.

"I think the problem is – and I will say something but not add to it – that there are people who question his integrity," he remarked, aiming his comments squarely at Old Trafford. "It is their integrity that needs questioning, not his. I think he is a fantastic footballer and we have 100 per cent faith in Luis Suarez and the way he conducts himself."

Whether Dalglish has total faith in Andy Carroll is another matter. The man upon whom he had spent £35 million did not play at all against Manchester United and here came off the bench 10 minutes from the end to send a header from the six-yard line horribly wide.

It paled beside the header that turned what should have been a routine fixture into the stuff of headlines. Anthony Pilkington, hugging the right touchline, produced a perfect cross that Holt rose above Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson to head home. It was the kind Alan Shearer would have wanted to claim for himself.

This was similar to the opening game of the season, two months ago, when Liverpool had seized Sunderland by the throat and then let them go. That they had to wait until first-half stoppage time to take the lead through Craig Bellamy was one of the evening's less predictable features.

In the first half Norwich had chosen to defend the Kop, who were soon seeing an awful lot of red shirts flooding towards them. The assault began almost immediately with Martin Skrtel, driving to the edge of the six-yard box and sending a header from Adam's corner thundering against the crossbar.

For Liverpool almost everything good revolved around Suarez. Marking him was Leon Barnett, who came through a torrid encounter with his reputation and faculties largely intact.

First the Uruguayan spun Barnett around and the whole stadium was on the edge of rising for the goal when the shot careered into the advertising hoardings. Nobody, not even Paolo Maldini, could have done much to have prevented what might have been one of the goals of the season.

It began with a long, high diagonal ball from Adam to Bellamy. He sprinted down the right flank and pulled back a cross that Suarez met low on the volley. Ruddy, who had spent several years on Everton's books, saved brilliantly with one glove, pushing the ball on to the post. All this before 15 minutes were up.

Early in the second half, Suarez swept past a wrong-footed Barnett once more and drove his shot firmly on to the foot of the post. Again, it would have been a perfect goal but for the fact it did not finish in the net.

Then, as quickly as it had blown up, Liverpool's storm abated and just as Lambert was putting the final touches to his team-talk, everything came unstuck as Bellamy pursued a long ball, took it into the area with his trademark short, quick steps and saw his shot deflect off Tierney's boot and finish in the net.

This was his first goal since returning to Liverpool and there is a tradition that you do not celebrate goals against your former clubs but Bellamy has had so many that it scarcely matters. He was ecstatic.

Liverpool (4-4-2): Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique; Bellamy (Henderson. 69), Gerrard, Adam, Downing (Carroll, 80); Suarez, Kuyt (Agger, 90).

Norwich City (4-5-1) Ruddy; Naughton, Barnett, Martin, Tierney; Bennett (Holt, 57), Fox, Hoolahan, Johnson, Pilkington(Crofts, 90); Morison.

Referee Peter Walton.

Man of the match Ruddy (Norwich).

Match rating 7/10.

people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
Arts and Entertainment
James Dean on the set of 'Rebel without a Cause', 1955
photographyHe brought documentary photojournalism to Tinseltown, and in doing so, changed the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing