Mon, Jan 25, 2016 - Page 18 News List

City held, Reds win nine-goal thriller

CLOSING IN:Adam Lallana’s last-gasp winner at Carrow Road moved Liverpool to within three points of their archrivals Manchester United, who were beaten at home

AFP, LONDON

Liverpool’s Adam Lallana, obscured, scores the winning goal against Norwich City in their Premier League match at Carrow Road in Norwich, England, on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

A day that began with an astonishing game at Carrow Road that finished Norwich City 4, Liverpool 5 ended with Sergio Aguero scoring twice as Manchester City drew 2-2 at West Ham United, taking them above Arsenal on goal-difference, while Manchester United’s season took another downward lurch in a 1-0 home defeat by Southampton.

West Ham took the lead inside a minute at Upton Park as Enner Valencia drilled home after Cheikhou Kouyate’s cross was deflected into his path.

Aguero hit the post with an audacious lob from wide on the left, before equalizing with a ninth-minute penalty after he had been tripped by Carl Jenkinson.

West Ham regained the lead in the 56th minute when Nicolas Otamendi allowed a long throw to bounce over him and Valencia prodded home, but Aguero coolly converted a second equalizer with nine minutes left.

“It was not what we wanted before the game,” Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini told Sky Sports. “It was a difficult game. I was not happy with the way we conceded the second goal.”

Aguero’s second goal prevented West Ham from knocking Manchester United out of the top five, but there was little for under-fire United manager Louis van Gaal to cheer after his side were booed off at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal sympathized with United’s fans.

“They are right, I cannot deny that. I have seen the match also. In better or for worse, we have to stick together,” Van Gaal said.

Charlie Austin gave Southampton the victory in the 87th minute, meeting James Ward-Prowse’s right-wing free-kick with an unerring header in his first appearance since signing from Queens Park Rangers.

“It does not get any better than that,” a beaming Austin said.

In a further blow to Van Gaal, rightback Matteo Darmian was forced off after a second-half collision with Shane Long, exacerbating United’s defensive injury crisis.

United are now 10 points behind leaders Leicester City, five points off the UEFA Champions League places and only three points above Liverpool, who saw off Norwich in a dizzying game thanks to a 95th-minute winner by Adam Lallana.

After Roberto Firmino had put Liverpool ahead from James Milner’s pass in the 18th minute, Norwich hit back with a clever Dieumerci Mbokani back-heel, a goal by debutant Steven Naismith and a Wes Hoolahan penalty.

However, goals from captain Jordan Henderson and Firmino drew Liverpool level and although Milner’s 75th-minute effort was canceled out by Sebastien Bassong’s drive in the 91st minute, Lallana had the final word.

“At the end we can be really happy with nearly everything, especially with the three points,” said Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, who lost his glasses in the touchline celebrations after Lallana’s winner. “I usually have a second pair of glasses, but I can’t find them because it’s hard to find glasses without glasses.”

Tottenham Hotspur tightened their grip on fourth place by coming from behind to beat London rivals Crystal Palace 3-1 thanks to a magnificent Dele Alli goal.

Palace took a 30th-minute lead when Jan Vertonghen turned Wilfried Zaha’s cross into his own net, but Harry Kane equalized in the 63rd minute by heading in Nacer Chadli’s cross.

Alli struck in the 84th minute, flicking the ball over a defender’s head and brilliantly volleying home from outside the penalty area, before Chadli added a third from long range in stoppage-time.

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