Hello, Norwich City Supporters!
What a tremendous performance by City goalkeeper John Ruddy, Grant Holt and the rest of the squad, as they rallied to tie Liverpool 1-1. Watching Saturday's match from George Keeley NYC with fellow Norwich City Supporters, the NY Canaries, was definitely the most intense match we've seen so far this season.
Saturday's match is one of the reasons why I love following Norwich City. Even though Liverpool was the better team statistically, the Canaries demonstrated the heart and passion that City manager Paul Lambert has instituted in the club.
Much to the delight of the supporters at Carrow Road and worldwide, the Canaries continue to play hard against any team in the Premier League.
It was fantastic to see the Canaries build off last week's 3-1 victory over Swansea City, as they rallied to earn one point in a critical 1-1 tie over Liverpool at Anfield. Saturday's tie marked the first time City didn't lose on the road against a top-five Premier League club. Earlier in the season, Norwich had lost to Chelsea and Manchester United by a combined score of 5-1.
After a well-played first half in which City was able to weather Liverpool's attack, the Canaries were fortunate only trailing Liverpool 1-0. Former City player Craig Bellamy's goal in stoppage time obliterated the shutout that Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy had going on.
Despite being down a goal, City responded in the second half with a goal of their own. Coming on as a substitution, Grant Holt headed the equalizer in the 60th minute to tie the match 1-1. Demonstrating that he belongs in the Premier League, Holt hammered home Anthony Pilkington's cross past the out-stretched arms of Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina.
Seeing Liverpool squander their scoring opportunities was out of this world.
Against Norwich, Liverpool had a 10 to three corner-kick advantage and a 29 to 12 shot advantage. Out of those shots, Liverpool had slightly edged Norwich with a nine to seven shots-on-goal advantage. In addition, Liverpool possessed the ball for 55.3 percent of the time while completing 81 percent of their passes, as opposed to Norwich's 44.7-percent and 74.1-percent passing completion.
While Liverpool didn't lose the match, Norwich City clearly disrupted the Red's flow on Saturday.
Canaries goalkeeper John Ruddy was spectacular, as he made eight saves against Liverpool. As Ruddy threw this body around on Saturday, he was also complimented by the defense of Russell Martin, Leon Barnett, Marc Tierney and Kyle Naughton, who combined for 19 out of their team's 25 tackles.
Negating Liverpool's statistical advantage was the excellent ball movement of Norwich midfielders David Fox, Bradley Johnson, Anthony Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan. The group completed 155 out of 185 passes for an 83.8-percent completion rate.
By moving the ball successfully, Norwich had a 51.2- to 48.8-percent territorial advantage over the Reds.
While it's easy to say that the Canaries were blessed with luck on Saturday, I beg to differ. Granted, Liverpool's shots on goal did hit the post numerous times, but the reality is that they were only able to successfully convert one of their 29 shots, a 3.44-percent success rate. With nine of those shots targeted for goal, the Reds had an 11.1-percent completion rate.
Along with their dismal shot completion, they sabotaged themselves on Saturday, as they were called nine times for offsides while collecting six fouls.
Following Saturday's tie, Norwich returns to Carrow Road where they will face the Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, Oct. 29. After beginning the season 0-2-2, the Canaries have gone 3-1-1 over their past five matches. With the season still young and momentum erupting within the Canaries, it'll be fun to see how they match up with the rest of the clubs in the Premier League.
Thanks for reading! OTBC!
Other Premier League Results from Saturday
Wolverhampton Wanderers played Swansea City to a 2-2 draw.
Premier League Standings as of Saturday, October 22, 2011
1. Manchester City (7-1-0, 22 pts); 2. Manchester United (6-2-0, 20 pts); 3. Chelsea (6-1-1, 19 pts); 4. Newcastle United (5-4-0, 19 pts); 5. Liverpool (4-3-2, 15 pts); 6. Tottenham Hotspur (4-1-2, 13 pts); 7. Norwich City (3-3-3, 12 pts); 8. Stoke City (3-3-2, 12 pts); 9. Aston Villa (2-5-2, 11 pts); 10. West Bromwich Albion (3-2-4, 11 pts); 11. Arsenal (3-1-4, 10 pts); 12. Sunderland (2-3-4, 9 pts); 13. Swansea City (2-3-4, 9 pts); 14. Queens Park Rangers (2-3-3, 9 pts); 15. Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-2-5, 8 pts); 16. Fulham (1-4-3, 7 pts); 17. Everton (2-1-4, 7 pts); 18. Bolton Wanderers (2-0-7, 6 pts); 19. Blackburn Rovers (1-2-5, 5 pts); 20. Wigan Athletic (1-2-6, 5 pts).
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for 5 Points Press & USSoccerPlayers.com; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at firstname.lastname@example.org and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.