Lallana’s late winner seals the points in nine goal thriller
NORWICH CITY 4 LIVERPOOL 5
Liverpool took the points in a sea-saw game devoid of quality but full of excitement against Norwich at Carrow Road. Roberto Firmino gave Liverpool the lead after he mishit the shot after being put through by a smart ball from James Milner and it trickled into the net. Norwich fought back and were ahead at half-time, Dieumerci Mbokani back heeled the ball in from six yards after Liverpool failed to clear a corner and Steven Naismith on his debut after being signed from Everton finished from an angle to put the Canaries 2-1 up at the break.
The game looked like it may be all over early in the second half after a stupid challenge from Alberto Moreno gave away a penalty which Wesh Hoolahan put away to make it three. However Norwich switched off and Jordan Henderson got one back within 90 seconds and the Reds were back level after substitute Lallana crossed low for Firmino who was totally free in the box to get his second of the game. Liverpool completed the comeback taking the lead after Russell Martin’s blind back pass was intercepted by Milner who raced clear to give the reds a 4-3 lead.
With five minutes of injury time this was far from over. Liverpool failed to clear another set piece and Sebastien Bassong equalised was a rasping half volley from outside the area. Had Liverpool thrown it away? In a spectacular finish there was still time for one last scramble in the Norwich box which saw Lallana latch on to a loose ball and ht it into the ground and bounce up into the net to complete a fantastic game with a last kick winner and see Liverpool take a desperately needed three points back to Merseyside.
Foxes return to the top after comfortable win
LEICESTER CITY 3 STOKE CITY 0
Leicester City have gone back to the top of the Premier League and answered a lot of critics who wondered if they may be on the slide with a comprehensive victory over Stoke City. Leicester went in ahead after Danny Drinkwater took advantage of a loose ball on the edge of the box to strike home after some poor Stoke defending from a corner. Drinkwater truned provider in the second half putting in Jamie Vardy who rounded the keeper to score in a welcome return to the scoresheet for Leicester’s top striker. Leonardo Ulloa added a third from close range after some good work from Riyad Mahrez. The nucleus of Vardy, Mahrez and Drinkwater were all in great form as Leicester put the pressure on Manchester City and Arsenal to win their games later in the weekend, as of now Leicester are three points clear.
Ward Strike helps Forest down the leaders
MIDDLESBROUGH 0 NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1
Nottingham Forest, who are now on their traditional unbeaten run (They normally have one every so often) extended it to 12 games with a fine three points at Middlesbrough who started the day as league leaders. After a tight first half the game opened up in the second with Ben Osborn hitting the post for Forest and Grant Leadbitter hitting the bar for Boro. The winner came twenty minutes from time when Osborn, who had another fine game, put through Jamie Ward to slot home and score the first goal Middlesbrough have conceded at the Riverside in 921 minutes of football. Leadbitter crossed for David Nugent to bring a fine save from Dorus De Vries but overall Forest despite having less possession, created more and deserved their win. As a result Hull City have taken over from Middlesbrough at the top, Forest need to keep this run going for a little longer yet to get back in the play off race.
Philliskirk earns The Seasiders a point
WALSALL 1 BLACKPOOL 1
Walsall looked on course to move into League 2 top spot until late on against Blackpool. The visitors actually has slightly the better of the first half with Jack Redshaw bringing a good save from Walsall keeper Neil Ethridge. In the second half Walsall started to dominate possession and their superior play got it’s reward when a cross from Anthony Taylor found Jason Demetriou at the back post to score. Blackpool did not really look like finding a leveler until stoppage time. Blackpool were awarded a free kick and Uche Ikpeazu’s strike took a deflection causing chaos in the Walsall defence, the ball found it’s way to Danny Philliskirk to poke the ball home and earn Blackpool an excellent away point which keeps them out of the drop zone. Walsall remain in 3rd place one point behind Gillingham and Burton.
Mansfield lose ground after poor home defeat
MANSFIELD TOWN 0 LUTON TOWN 2
Mansfield Town lost ground in the play-off chase after a disappointing showing at home to Luton Town. The visitors took an early lead on 7 minutes when good work from Pelly Ruddock helped set up Paddy McCourt to give Luton the lead with a right foot shot. Luton could have had a couple more before the break with Cameron McGeehan missing two good chances. McCouty and Ruddock combined again in the second half, this time McCourt setting up Ruddock to make it 2-0. Chris Clemets forced a couple of saves from the Luton keeper but this was a comfortable win for Luton who deserve their three points. Mansfield are four points off the play offs and have played more games than most around them, their challenge is currently looking like it is fading away after an excellent start to the season.
Debutants late goals rescue Newport a point
NEWPORT COUNTY 2 DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE 2
Two new strikers that were signed this week by Newport County saved a vital point for the Welsh side against Dagenham & Redbridge at Rodney Parade. The Londoner side took a fast two goal lead within the first seven minutes. Christian Doidge has them ahead with in sixty seconds volleying home a lofted pass from Oliver Muldoon. Joe Worrall added a second with a header from a corner taken by Ashley Hemmings. However after scoring two early goals, the visitors were hit by two late goals. John-Christophe Ayina, signed on a free transfer earlier this week got his first goal for the club with a deflected strike eight minutes from time to give Newport hope, and Conor Wilkinson, on loan from Bolton, tapped in the equaliser after Keeper Mark Cousins could only parry a shot from Alex Rodman. defeat could have seen Newport dragged back into the relegation zone, the point keeps them four points clear of today’s opponents who remain in the drop zone.
Magpies fail to take flight as they are well beaten by impressive Dons
NOTTS COUNTY 0 WIMBLEDON 2
Notts County were completely outplayed by Wimbledon are stretch their unbeaten away record to games and move into the play off zone to boot. The Dons followed up their win over Mansfield last week restricting the home side to only two shots on target. Wimbledon nearly took an early lead when Blair Adams hit the bar, they were ahead at the break however through an excellent long range strike from Tom Eliott who got his second in two games after scoring against Mansfield last week. Andy Barcham had a fine second half for the Dons, hitting the bar before finding the net himself after being put in by David Fitzpatrick. Notts are 17th in the table and on this form, are a long way away from being good enough to make a late play off run.
Rovers new full-back seals the points
BROMLEY 0 TRANMERE ROVERS 1
Tranmere got their second away win in two weeks to put themselves right back into the play-off mix with a victory over Bromley at Hayes Lane. Tranmere dominated possession in the first half with James Norwood coming closest to scoring with a header. The winner came in the second half when Lee Vaughan, making his debut after being signed from Cheltenham this week, struck from the right hand side of the box low beyond Bromley keeper Alan Julian. The win moved Tranmere up to eighth, two points off the play-off spots. Others do have games in hand however, Rovers need to turn the two wins into a decent run if they want to sneak in.
All square at the Diva Stadium
CHESTER CITY 0 SOUTHPORT 0
Even the possession stats were exactly 50-50 as mid-table sides Chester City and Southport played out a 0-0 draw at the Diva Stadium. The scoreline is in keeping with the state of the two sides who have little left to play for in the league. The best chances came from Ross Hannah for Chester and Michael Phenix for Southport. On balance the visitors, for whom the draw extends their league unbeaten run to seven games, may have had slightly the better of it, but neither did enough to win in a result that is little use to either side.
Russell strike put the Doonhammers back in play-off hunt
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH 1 ALLOA ATHLETIC 0
Queen Of The South are back level with Raith Rovers in the race for the final Scottish Championship play-off place after a 1-0 win that should have been more against bottoms side Alloa Athletic. Iain Russell got the winner just before half time when he turner in Derek Lyle’s low cross. Alloa Keeper Scott Gallacher was in fine form denying Russell another goal, he also made save from Jack Pickard and Mark Millar as Queens dominated but could not quite put their opponents away. Conor McManus had a shot well saved to almost make Queens pay for not taking their chances, but despite some poor recent form, the Dumfries side got the win and are behind Raith on goal difference having played the same number of games for that fourth up for grabs.
MOON OF LIBERTY SOCCER SCOREBOARD
Norwich City (2) 4 (Mbokani, Naismith, Hoolahan, Bassong) – Liverpool (1) 5 (Firmino 2, Henderson, Milner, Lallana) – At Carrow Road, Norwich
Leicester City (1) 3 (Drinkwater, Vardy, Ulloa) – Stoke City (0) 0 – At The King Power Stadium, Leicester
Middlesbrough (0) 0 – Nottingham Forest (0) 1 (Ward) – At The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Walsall (0) 1 (Demetriou) – Blackpool (0) 1 (Philliskirk) – At The Bescot Stadium, Walsall
Mansfield Town (0) 0 – Luton Town (1) 2 (McCourt, Ruddock) – At Field Mill, Mansfield
Newport County (0) 2 (Ayina, Wilkinson) – Dagenham & Redbridge (2) 2 (Doidge, Worrall) – At Rodney Parade, Newport
Notts County (0) 0 – Wimbledon (1) 2 (Eliott, Barcham) – At Meadow Lane, Nottingham
Bromley (0) 0 – Tranmere Rovers (0) 1 (Vaughan) – At Hayes Lane, Bromley
Chester City (0) 0 – Southport (0) 0 – At The Deva Stadium, Chester
Queen Of The South (1) 1 (Russell) – Alloa Athletic (0) 0 – At Palmerstone Park, Dumfries
MOON OF LIBERTY STAR MAN – Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City)