Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Martin sees his baby boy born before delivering draw for Norwich at Liverpool

Published 20/09/2015

Liverpool's Danny Ings scored his first goal for the club in the 1-1 draw with Norwich
Liverpool's Danny Ings scored his first goal for the club in the 1-1 draw with Norwich

Liverpool striker Danny Ings eclipsed the return of Daniel Sturridge by coming off the bench to score against Norwich - but Russell Martin trumped both with the equaliser just hours after the birth of his son.

It emerged after the final whistle of the 1-1 draw at Anfield that Martin had made an overnight dash from Liverpool to Norwich, and had been at the birth this morning before catching a flight back north to score for the Canaries.

Martin's brother, actor Jamie Martin, wrote on Twitter: " My bro is my hero today. No sleep. And he still scores! Go Russ"

The heroics put the efforts of others into perspective, although it remained a day to remember for half-time substitute Ings who needed just three minutes to coolly slot home his first goal for Liverpool in front of the Kop.

However, when Simon Mignolet flapped at a corner, Martin flicked home to make it 1-1.

It was a familiar story of not being able to hold onto a lead - a much-changed side did exactly the same in the Europa League against Bordeaux in midweek - and while goals are still at a premium it is proving costly.

After seven points from their opening three matches Liverpool have taken one from the last three and are 13th in the table, seven adrift of leaders Manchester City.

It may have been premature for Norwich fans to sing 'Getting sacked in the morning' to Brendan Rodgers but there is no doubt the Reds boss is coming under increasing scrutiny.

Sturridge's return, having not appeared since April 8 after hip surgery, was supposed to provide some relief from that but he will take time to rediscover his old self, although an hour's play will have helped.

But it was his fellow striker Ings who injected some much-needed dynamism into an attack which had scored just three times in five previous league matches.

His busy play and relentless running is rapidly winning him plenty of admirers and if he can ally regular goals to that there will be greater adulation to follow.

Ings' style has been referred to as 'Suarez-lite' and while he may have a long way to go to match the brilliance of the Uruguay international's time at Anfield he is at least on the road to matching one record of the South American, who scored 12 times in just six appearances against the Canaries - including three hat-tricks.

Ings took his goal well and could have won it late on but could not quite get his foot around the ball having squeezed through a couple of tackles.

The 23-year-old arrived at Anfield in the summer - for a fee still to be decided by a tribunal - as fourth-choice forward but has already overtaken £10million Divock Origi and if he can form anything like the devastating partnership Sturridge had with Suarez then there could be further promotion to follow.

Rodgers jettisoned his 4-3-3 formation in favour of 3-4-1-2 a full three months earlier than he made the change last season which sparked a marked upturn in results.

Now, as then, it did not get off to the best start with a 3-0 defeat at Manchester United but if it is a way to get two strikers into the team then Rodgers may have to persevere with it.

It also brought the best out of Alberto Moreno, starting his first league match of the season, who was a bundle of pace and energy from left wing-back.

But familiar frailties were exposed as Martin punished a weakness at set-pieces and Philippe Coutinho, who squandered a one-on-one with John Ruddy, and Ings could not retrieve the situation.

Mignolet partly redeemed himself with a good save from Jarvis but it was another two points dropped at home after being beaten 3-0 by West Ham on their last outing here.

Norwich played a compact game and did not create much but having been presented with a gift they gratefully accepted.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

@chazaustin9

"Congratulations @IngsDanny first of many lad" - QPR striker Charlie Austin is pleased for his former Burnley team-mate.

PLAYER RATINGS

Liverpool

SIMON MIGNOLET: 5

NATHANIEL CLYNE: 6

MARTIN SKRTEL: 6

MAMADOU SAKHO: 6

ALBERTO MORENO: 7

LUCAS LEIVA: 6

JAME MILNER: 5

EMRE CAN: 5

PHILIPPE COUTINHHO: 5

CHRISTIAN BENTEKE: 5

DANIEL STURRIDGE: 5

Substitutes

ROBERTO FIRMINO (on for Lucas, 72): 5

ADAM LALLANA (on for Sturridge, 63): 5

DANNY INGS (on for Benteke, 46): 8

Norwich

JOHN RUDDY: 6

STEVEN WHITTAKER: 6

RUSSELL MARTIN: 7

SEBASTIEN BASSONG: 6

JONNY HOWSON: 6

ALEXANDER TETTEY: 5

GRAHAM DORRENS: 6

CAMERON JEROME: 6

ROBBIE BRADY: 5

MATT JARVIS: 6

NATHAN REDMOND: 6

Substitutes

LEWIS GRABBAN (on for Jerome, 71): 6

GARY O'NEIL (on for Dorrans, 85) 5

STAR PLAYER

Danny Ings: Injected some much-needed attacking bite at half-time. Took his goal well and his constant running and pestering were a constant problem for Norwich.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Simon Mignolet's weak punch at a 61st-minute corner presented Norwich with their equaliser.

VIEW FROM THE BENCH

Brendan Rodgers changed his formation for the game, tinkered with it during the game but his most influential substitution - that of Ings - was enforced because of Christian Benteke's tight hamstring.

MOAN OF THE MATCH

Another shot-shy performance from a team with ambitions of rejoining the top four. Set-up of the Liverpool side looked more balanced but they still struggled to break down Norwich.

WHO'S UP NEXT

Liverpool v Carlisle (Capital One Cup, Wednesday September 23)

Norwich v West Brom (Capital One Cup, Wednesday September 23)

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph