‘They still cause teams problems’ - Reds skipper ensured City were given full respect
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The Premier League trophy will soon be in Jordan Henderson’s hands and the Liverpool skipper left Carrow Road a happy man, after making sure his team dealt with Norwich City’s threat like true champions.
On the back of a two-week winter break and with the Canaries bottom of the table, the fixture represented a potential banana skin for Jurgen Klopp's side, if they under-estimated the battling hosts.
Yet substitute Sadio Mane made the most of a Henderson long ball into the box to ruthlessly score the game's decisive goal and push the Reds 25 points clear at the summit.
"We had a good break and a good week's training as well," Henderson explained. "That was important, because we knew it was going to be difficult coming here even though they're bottom of the league.
"I think they still cause teams problems, they play football and they caused us one or two problems. But overall I thought it was a good performance in the end and thankfully we got the goal to get the three points."
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Klopp made a double change on the hour, bringing on Mane for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in attack and Fabinho for Georginio Wijnaldum in midfield, a switch which paid off for Henderson.
"When Fab came on he went in the six (position) and I went in the half on the right, in the eight," the England midfielder explained, talking to Sky Sports. "But still, they're dangerous on the counter-attack so you had to be wary of protection as well.
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"I managed to get in the box a couple more times, a few half-chances to either set up a goal or get a shot away, but overall they were tough conditions for both teams and we've got to be delighted with the win."
The champions-in-waiting remain grounded through, refusing to contemplate the Merseyside giants' first title since 1990, with a Champions League last 16 first leg in Atletico Madrid up next on Tuesday.
"One step closer," Henderson added carefully. "You're bored of me saying it but it's just one step closer. Game-by-game, we focus on the next game, another massive game coming up for us in midweek in the Champions League so we've got to recover really quickly.
"But just keep doing what we've been doing all season, no need to change."