x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Moses miss a new low in Liverpool’s storied history

Adnan Januzaj and Victor Moses are two of the brightest young talents in English football, but their fortunes on the weekend could hardly have been different.

Liverpool's Victor Moses, left, set a new standard for mind-boggling misses on Saturday, contriving to put the ball over the bar from close range despite facing an open goal. Phil Noble / Reuters
Liverpool's Victor Moses, left, set a new standard for mind-boggling misses on Saturday, contriving to put the ball over the bar from close range despite facing an open goal. Phil Noble / Reuters

Worst miss – Moses

It seems harsh to be critical of any element of Liverpool at present, considering where they are now compared to 12 months ago.

Saturday’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace was good, but it could have been better.

Until Saturday, Ronny Rosenthal held the honour for arguably the worst miss in Liverpool’s history, when he rattled the bar when faced with an open goal in 1992 against Aston Villa.

That baton has now been passed on to Victor Moses.

With Liverpool already leading 3-0, Moses was left unmarked in the middle, with the goal gaping.

Remarkably, the forward managed to ricochet the ball off his left knee onto his right leg, which floated the ball against the bar and away from the goal, leaving the Anfield crowd trying to work out just how the ball had not ended up in the net, and Rosenthal grateful someone else had finally picked up his mantle.

Best impact – Januzaj

It would be too strong to say that Manchester United would have been in meltdown if they had lost at Sunderland on Saturday.

Defeat to a side propping up the rest of the table, without a win in the Premier League this season, though, would have heaped even more pressure on David Moyes as he continues the task of following in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson.

So being 1-0 down at half time was less than ideal. Moyes needed someone to step up for him and Adnan Januzaj, 18, was the man who came to the rescue.

He calmly fired United level soon after the restart, but the best was yet to come, as his volley won the game for United.

Ferguson had a number of players during his long reign capable of doing something special when United were in trouble and it appears Moyes has his first one, too.

Worst defending – Norwich

You go 1-0 down to a quality Chelsea side, battle back into the game, equalise and look like a good shout to win it. And then, with five minutes to go, mayhem.

Norwich City made several summer signings and there was even talk of challenging for a top-eight spot. But they barely improved a defence that conceded 58 goals last season.

If they defend the way they did against Chelsea, a bottom-eight finish will be the outcome. Two errors led to Eden Hazard’s 85th-minute strike that made it 2-1 for Chelsea. First, Alexander Tettey tried to put his foot through a long ball and instead sliced it straight to Hazard.

Then goalkeeper John Ruddy flopped on top of Hazard’s tame shot and let it squirm under him and into the net. It summed up a poor day for Ruddy, who twice almost got caught out trying to play the ball in his penalty area.

This game also saw the best transformation. Willian looked so unfit earlier this season that people wondered why Chelsea signed him, except for keeping him out of Tottenham Hotspur’s clutches. The Brazilian’s screamer for the third goal showed the kind of class he possesses.

sports@thenational.ae