Norwich City 4-5 Liverpool: Drama galore in epic encounter

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  • Norwich led 3-1 on 53 mins
  • 9 goals scored, 10 shots on target
  • Lallana wins it at the death

Liverpool beat Norwich City 5-4 in an epic encounter at Carrow Road on Saturday in an nine-goal thriller thanks to an injury-time winner from Adam Lallana.

[ MORE: Klopp reacts | Lallana, Milner

A truly breathless game saw six goals scored from the first six shots on target as Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool the lead early on but a clever flick from Dieumerci Mbokani and a debut goal from Steven Naismith put Norwich ahead at the break.

[ VIDEO: Lallana’s dramatic late goal

Minutes into the second half Wes Hoolahan scored from the spot to put the Canaries 3-1 up but then came the comeback.

First Jordan Henderson swept home. 3-2. Then Firmino equalized and a horrible defense mistake let in James Milner 15 minutes from time to put Liverpool 4-3 but Sebastien Bassong‘s stunning strike in stoppage made it 4-4. However, there was one final twist as Lallana’s shot bounced in to make it 5-4 with seconds left.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays

We perhaps shouldn’t be too surprised by the fact that this was a goalfest as in the last six encounters between these teams 34 goals have been scored. Also, in a somewhat spooky coincidence Liverpool beat Norwich 5-4 in January, 1962. Yep, that’s exactly 54 years ago.

With the win the Reds are on 34 points, while Norwich remain on 22 points.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Liverpool went ahead in the 19th minute as Firmino after a ball down the left from Alberto Moreno found James Milner in the box and he slotted in the Brazilian to squeeze the ball home. 1-0.

Milner had a glorious chance moments later as he burst through one-on-one on Norwich goalkeeper Declan Rudd but Robbie Brady made a terrific last-ditch tackle to deny him.

Liverpool’s lead didn’t last too long as they failed to clear a high ball into the box and after it bounced around Mbokani sent a clever back heel past Simon Mignolet and in. 1-1.

Liverpool struggled to get going after that equalizer and soon they were behind.

Norwich turned the game on its head just before half time as Naismith picked the ball up 40-yards out and played it to Pinto. The new full back then knocked it into Wes Hoolahan and his slotted ball found the onrushing Naismith and the former Evertonian smashes the ball home emphatically into the far corner.

2-1, and Naismith was an instant hero on his debut.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Eight minutes into the second half Naismith was first fouled and then pushed in the box by Moreno and Norwich were awarded a penalty kick. Hoolahan put the spot kick down the middle as it just evaded Mignolet’s dive. 3-1. Massive mistake from Moreno as an unhappy Klopp had his arms folded on the sidelines.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Moments later Liverpool were right back in the game as a cross from the right found Henderson completely unmarked and the Liverpool skipper swept the ball home into the far corner. 3-2 to Norwich, as five goals had been scored from the game’s opening five shots on target. Remarkable.

In the final third of the game Liverpool pushed hard to go level and in the 64th minute the equalizer arrived with Emre Can flicking the ball around the corner to Milner who played it down the line to Lallana. The substitute then found Firmino with a perfect pass and the Brazilian finished with aplomb. 3-3 as six shots on goal had yielded six goals.

With 15 minutes to go Liverpool took the lead as a misplaced back pass from Russell Martin played in Milner and the Englishman slotted past Rudd to complete the incredible comeback. 4-3 to the Reds.

Bassong then scored a stunning strike in the 91st minute to make it 4-4 and Norwich thought they had nicked a point, but the sub Lallana popped up and smashed a shot into the ground which looped in. 5-4 and cue wild celebrations as Jurgen Klopp ran down the touchline to celebrate with his players.

Madness. Utter madness.

Bilbao’s Williams: ‘I suffered racist insults’ at Espanyol

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams says that he was a victim of racial abuse from fans while playing at Espanyol in a Spanish league game on Saturday.

Williams said after the 1-1 draw that “I suffered racist insults, something that no one wants to hear and has no place here.”

Williams, who is black, played 82 minutes of the match before being substituted.

“People should come to enjoy themselves, to help their team. This is a sport about friendship,” Williams said.

More AP soccer https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

FA Cup: Chelsea survive trip to Hull, advance to 5th round (video)

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With their 2-1 victory away to EFL Championship side Hull City, Chelsea joined Leicester City, Sheffield United and Norwich City as Premier League sides to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

[ FA CUP ROUNDUP: West Ham bounced; Sheff Utd, Norwich advance ]

Frank Lampard‘s side got off to a flying start courtesy of Michy Batshuayi‘s deflected finish in the 6th minute, and the Blues were well on their way to a first half of total dominance.

Hull looked more prepared for a fight after halftime, but it mattered very little after Fikayo Tomori was gifted a free header two yards off the goal line. Ross Barkley‘s free kick was well placed at the back post and there was nothing that anyone could do to stop it.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Hull pulled the game back to 2-1 in the 78th minute, and they were more than a little fortunate in how they managed to do so. Kamil Grosicki smacked a free kick with plenty of power and got the deflection of all deflections to wrong-foot Willy Caballero and find the back of the net.

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

FA Cup roundup: West Ham bounced; Sheff Utd, Norwich advance (video)

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round (early) action…

[ MORE: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay ]

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

West Ham United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

West Ham were the lone Premier League side to be knocked out by a lower-division side on Saturday, as David Moyes‘ side failed to find the back of the net and were beaten 1-0 by EFL Championship leaders West Brom.

Conor Townsend scored the game’s only goal in the 9th minute, and though the Hammers controlled possession the rest of the way, they created very little in terms of scoring chances and finished the game with just three shots on target. West Brom finished the game with 10 men, but West Ham could do nothing with their 18-minute advantage following Semi Ajayi‘s second yellow card in the 72nd minute.

Millwall 0-2 Sheffield United

Sheffield United’s dream season continued with a comfortable 2-0 victory away to Championship side Millwall. Both goals came inside the final half-hour, but the Blades were unquestionably the better side even before breaking the deadlock.

That came in the 62nd minute, when Muhamed Besic placed a stunning curler inside the far post for 1-0. Not long before full-time, in the 84th, Oliver Norwood drove his effort hard and low and into the corner to make it 2-0.

Burnley 1-2 Norwich City

Norwich and Burnley were largely inseparable for the majority of Saturday’s clash at Turf Moor, save for a four-minute period early in the second half in which Norwich scored twice and booked their place in the fifth round.

Grant Hanley made it 1-0 in the 53rd and Josip Drmic added to the advantage in the 57th minute. Erik Pieters pulled Burnley back to within a goal in the 73rd, but that’s as close as the Clarets would get.

FA Cup fourth-round scoreboard

Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur — FULL RECAP
Newcastle United 0-0 Oxford United
Portsmouth 4-2 Barnsley
Coventry City 0-0 Birmingham City
Reading 1-1 Cardiff City

RB Leipzig beaten, Bundesliga title race thrown wide open

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BERLIN (AP) Eintracht Frankfurt defeated Bundesliga leader RB Leipzig 2-0 to throw the title race wide open on Saturday.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Frankfurt defender Almamy Toure scored a brilliant goal just after the break and Filip Kostic sealed the win in injury time to deal Leipzig its first defeat since a 2-1 loss at home to Freiburg in October.

Borussia Monchengladbach cut the gap at the top to two points with a 3-1 win at home over Mainz, thanks largely to goals in each half from French striker Alassane Plea.

Bayern Munich has the chance to cut the gap to one point with a win at home over Schalke in the late game.

[ FA CUP: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay ]

Borussia Dortmund is just four points off the top after its 5-1 win over Cologne on Friday.

Also Saturday, Union Berlin defeated Augsburg 2-0 at home, Hertha Berlin came from behind to win 2-1 at Wolfsburg, and Paderborn moved off the bottom with a 2-0 win at Freiburg.