Wasteful Liverpool pay the price against Norwich

Liverpool 1 Norwich 1

Liverpool lost ground on the top four as their leaky defence and a failure to capitalise on numerous opportunities cost them victory at Anfield.

Kenny Dalglish's side hit the woodwork three times among several other chances but had only Craig Bellamy's late first-half goal against his former club to show for their efforts.

And a side which has kept only two clean sheets all season should have known what was coming as a result

They were punished on the hour when Grant Holt headed home just three minutes after coming off the bench to spoil what would have been perfect story for Bellamy on his first Liverpool start since May 2007.

The Wales international left Carrow Road 11 years ago and on his travels around various clubs in the Premier League spent one season at Anfield.

He admits he returned this summer with unfinished business and appeared to have resumed his mission in ideal fashion with his first league goal of his second spell.

However, what he could not count on was a defence which has so far only kept clean sheets against Arsenal and Everton, both of whom had been reduced to 10 men, and neither of which has been at Anfield.

Norwich were undoubtedly encouraged by this statistic and looked much more of a threat once they had drawn level.

The omens were good for Liverpool before kick-off as they had won their previous four meetings against the Canaries, although the last of those was in January 2005.

Had it not been for the woodwork the Reds would have enjoyed a much more comfortable evening as twice within the opening 12 minutes they came within inches of scoring.

With less than two minutes gone Martin Skrtel's glancing header from Charlie Adam's right-wing corner crashed against the crossbar.

Luis Suarez's first sight of goal saw him uncharacteristically miss the target from the left side of the penalty area with an ambitious shot with the outside of his right foot.

But the Uruguay international's next effort required the combined efforts of John Ruddy and the frame of his goal to prevent him breaking the deadlock.

The Canaries goalkeeper had to be at full stretch to get his fingertips to the shot and deflect the ball onto his left-hand post.

Norwich briefly threatened when Wes Hoolahan's shot and Steve Morison's header were both fumbled by Jose Reina, although in between that Suarez had fired across goal in front of the Kop.

Apart from that brief spell Norwich, who had won three of their last four matches, had to play second fiddle to a Liverpool side who dominated but came up just short in the final third.

But just when it seemed the hosts had failed to take advantage Bellamy struck in first-half added time.

Suarez's nuisance factor in the Norwich defence saw him tussle with Russell Martin, allowing the ball drop to Bellamy on the edge of the area and his low shot took a deflection off Tierney on its way past Ruddy.

The woodwork denied Liverpool for a third time in the 51st minute when Suarez's run left Leon Barnett baffled but the Uruguay international's shot deflected off Martin and onto the post.

However, within three minutes of Holt coming off the bench he had punished the Reds for failing to take their chances.

The striker powered home a 60th-minute header after Reina came for - and missed - Anthony Pilkington's cross with Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson in close attendance.

Holt almost doubled his tally six minutes later but this time Reina dealt with his far-post header and, as the game opened up, Ruddy was relieved to see Suarez's toe-poke roll behind after squirming through his fingers.

Suarez's 78th-minute shot was turned past the far post by Ruddy with Gerrard lurking outside the six-yard box as the hosts tried to make up for missed opportunities.

Substitute Andy Carroll's header in the fourth minute of added time summed up Liverpool's match as he powered wide from six yards.

As if to rub salt into the wounds Ruddy produced a brilliant save to tip over Suarez's volley even later.

But like against Sunderland on the opening day of the season and - to a lesser extent - Manchester United last weekend a failure to take their chances cost them the win.

Such dropped points could dearly cost Liverpool's bid to regain Champions League status.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Sport
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album