"Coutinho and Salah should be feared" - Three things learnt from Leicester City 2-3 Liverpool
In a compelling Saturday evening clash, Liverpool got revenge for their midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester with a 3-2 win over the same opposition.
It should have been much easier for Jurgen Klopp’s side though, having raced to a two goal lead as Philippe Coutinho set up Mohamed Salah to head home before scoring a free-kick himself.
Then, the Reds allowed the Foxes back in with Shinji Okazaki scoring in controversial circumstances just before the break. Jordan Henderson’s third goal added breathing space but not enough for Liverpool’s calamitous defending as Jamie Vardy headed in a second and then missed from the penalty spot.
Liverpool did hold on though and here is what The Boot Room learnt from the game…
The Coutinho-Salah connection is one that should leave defences trembling
The Egyptian had already scored five goals in eight games since joining without lining up alongside Philippe Coutinho in the starting line-up, but in pre-season the duo combined well to create and score goals for fun. Against Leicester, that link returned with another brilliant move.
In addition, the Brazilian added his 17th goal from outside the box since he move to the Premier League with a beautiful free-kick from distance. With Sadio Mane set to return to the side as well, with Roberto Firmino also enjoying a good start to the season, few sides can match Liverpool’s strength in attack.
Poor refereeing decisions even themselves out for Leicester
Only minutes before half-time, Shinji Okazaki had a strike ruled out for offside. Replays showed that Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was clearly playing him onside. Then, in injury time of the first half, they got that goal in equally as dubious circumstances.
Simon Mignolet was clearly fouled as the corner was delivered into the box but the ball deflected off Joe Gomez and into the path of Okazaki again to score, this time for it to stand. Coming after a dubious free-kick on Jamie Vardy and in the third of two minutes sof stoppage time, Reds fans could feel equally aggrieved.
Simon Mignolet is not a top class goalkeeper
Mignolet is one of the best shot stoppers in the Premier League, a brilliant save from Jamie Vardy shortly before half-time and a penalty save showed as much, but his performance was a poor one and he could easily have cost his side dearly. In Leicester’s goal, he may have been fouled but his lack of strength and command of his box is a concern.
On more than one occasion, Mignolet did his best Loris Karius impression too. Taking too long on the ball, he put himself under unnecessary pressure and at one point almost allowed Okazaki to score from distance after playing the ball right to his feet only 30 yards out. The penalty he conceded came in similar circumstances as he tried to clear the ball.
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