Liverpool win deny by Ruddy crucial save

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A marvellous last-gasp save from John Ruddy helped Norwich earn a battling 1-1 draw at Liverpool as the Merseysiders lost ground in the race for English Premier League top four spot Saturday.

Ruddy parried away a well-struck Luis Suarez volley in the fourth minute of injury time to deny Liverpool victory after the Canaries had fought back to level through Grant Holt following Craig Bellamy’s opener.

Norwich also had a lucky escape late on when Liverpool’s 35 million pounds striker Andy Carroll headed wide as Kenny Dalglish’s side pressed for a winner.

“We (goalkeepers) don’t get much to cheer about but when you make a save like that at the end the buzz is massive. It’s like scoring a goal,” Ruddy said. “I was pleased to make the save because I was at fault from a cross just before so thank god for that.

“We were terrific in the second half. We were a different animal and showed what we are about. We don’t fear anybody.”

Liverpool are still looking for a first home clean sheet of the season and have drawn three of their five home matches.

Even more disappointing for Dalglish was the fact that his team had enough chances in the opening quarter to secure a comfortable victory.

The hosts were dominant from the start and could have taken the lead with just a minute gone, when Charlie Adam’s corner was headed on to the bar by Martin Skrtel.

Suarez’s header from the Steven Gerrard corner that followed was also blocked by a crowd of Norwich defenders.

But the Uruguayan went even closer shortly after, when he controlled Jose Enrique’s throw and span past Leon Barnett before shooting into the side-netting.

Liverpool opened the visitors up once again when Bellamy sped past Kyle Naughton and sent over a cross that was headed on to the post by Suarez before Stewart Downing missed with the follow up.

Norwich came through that early spell of pressure and threatened for the first time when Steve Morison headed through for Wes Hoolahan and the Irishman shot straight at Pepe Reina.

But Suarez passed up another opportunity when he hit a shot on the turn just past the post from Glen Johnson’s cross.

Reina had to be alert to hold Morison’s powerful header from David Fox’s corner and the Spanish goalkeeper also denied Elliott Bennett after Jose Enrique had given the ball away.

Suarez should have opened the scoring but could only head straight at Ruddy after rising above Barnett to meet Downing’s looping cross before Bellamy missed with a hopeful effort.

But Liverpool took the lead with a quick breakaway just before the interval.

Martin blocked Suarez but Bellamy pounced on the loose ball and broke into the area before hitting his shot which deflected off Marc Tierney and past Ruddy.

Just after the restart, Anthony Pilkington had a low effort blocked by Reina as Norwich pressed forward.

But after Kuyt glanced a header wide from Downing’s cross, Suarez, who beat Barnett once again on the edge of the box, had a low effort deflected on to the post by Martin.

Gerrard also had a low effort held by Ruddy after he had been played into the area by Suarez before Bellamy headed straight at the Norwich goalkeeper from yet another Downing cross.

Fox’s long range effort was gathered by Reina at the second attempt but just before the hour, the visitors equalised.

Hoolahan fed Pilkington and his cross from the right was met by Holt, who got in ahead of Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson to head in.

He could have added a second when he met Pilkington’s cross only to be denied by Reina’s save.

English Premier League results:

Aston Villa 1 West Bromwich 2
Bolton 0 Sunderland 2
Liverpool 1 Norwich 1
Newcastle 1 Wigan 0
Wolverhampton 2 Swansea 2

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