By Harry Ewbank
It’s now more than four years since an added time strike from Adam Lallana won Liverpool the points in arguably one of the most entertaining games of Jürgen Klopp’s tenure — a 5-4 victory at the death against Norwich City.
A lot has changed for the Reds, who revisit Carrow Road this weekend, but their opponents face a relegation struggle once more.
Goals from Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino and James Milner had shown Liverpool’s grit to come back from 3-1 down in this encounter to lead in the latter stages.
Lackadaisical defending throughout cost the reds and they were pegged back in added time after Sébastien Bassong’s volley made it 4-4. The one similarity to today’s crop is that the Reds were relentless — Adam Lallana slotted home five minutes into added time, causing bedlam in the stands and on the touchline.
Such a moment created one of the most iconic images of Klopp’s time at Anfield as he ran to embrace his players. Unfortunately for Christian Benteke, knocking and smashing the manager’s glasses in the celebrations was one of his most revered contributions in the red shirt, except for the stunning bicycle kick at Old Trafford.
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The German may have lost his sight temporarily, nonetheless, he never lost sight of what he came to Merseyside to do — win trophies.
After the match the boss had said his players were “Like Rabbits in the headlights” when it came to defending. In fact, for years prior to, and after, his arrival, the defensive options at the club’s disposal often fell short of what was required to be a successful team.
This let down a title-chasing team in 2014, but it certainly won’t let the current side down in the foreseeable future.
From the starting back four against Norwich, Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne were shifted out the team by world-class full-backs, whilst Kolo Touré was nearing the end of a distinguished career.
Mamadou Sakho’s departure from Anfield in 2017 came as a disappointment after he had rapidly fallen out of favour with Klopp, but the Frenchman is now devoid of any game time at Crystal Palace.
The 2015/16 season was a learning curve, but undoubtedly paved the way for future success. League Cup and Europa League finals ended with disappointment, but three years on Champions League glory would come after three European finals in four seasons.
Those who weren’t up to scratch have gone, whilst those willing to work for the cause remain.
Regulars who remain from that epic encounter with Norwich include goalscorers Firmino, Henderson James Milner — tenacious workaholics who set the standard for Klopp’s vision.
And the biggest superstars are being made at Liverpool, with the signings of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson completing a somewhat unbreakable rearguard.
Saturday’s game could well be yet another Premier League spectacle against Norwich City. Reds across the globe will be hoping for a much less tense game this time around, though, with a win putting Liverpool another step closer to glasses of champagne rather than broken dreams.