How Jurgen Klopp’s experimental side rated as Leicester knocked Liverpool out of the Carabao Cup
Leicester City withstood some immense Liverpool pressure before two second-half goals proved enough to see off Jurgen Klopp’s side and secure their place in the fourth-round of the Carabao Cup.
In a re-match of the fixture that saw Craig Shakespeare begin his remarkable turnaround as caretaker manager of the Foxes, Liverpool dominated the first-half and were unlucky not to score.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain nearly capped his first start with a goal, only to be denied by a last-ditch Ben Chilwell challenge, before Philippe Coutinho and Dominic Solanke went close before the break.
Yet despite Liverpool’s dominance it was the hosts that took a shock lead, with substitute Shinji Okazaki pouncing on a loose ball in the penalty area to tuck into the corner against the run of play.
And Islam Slimani secured Leicester City’s spot in the fourth-round draw when he picked up on Okazaki’s pass and produced a stunning strike into the top corner, leaving Danny Ward helpless.
The Merseyside outfit won’t have to wait long to try and get revenge over the 2015-16 Premier League title winners though, with the two sides set to meet at the King Power on Saturday evening in the league.
See below for how The Boot Room rated Jurgen Klopp’s side as they exited at the third-round stage.
Danny Ward – After helping Huddersfield reach the Premier League during his loan spell last season, he made his first Liverpool appearance since May 2016 but he was only called upon to pick the ball out of his own net twice. Made a diving stop to deny Leicester a third but the damage was done by that point. 6.
Jon Flanagan – Barely saw the ball on his return to Liverpool colours such was his side’s desire to exploit the space Robertson was afforded down the left-hand flank. Found himself in a good battle with Gray during the second-half but he allowed Morgan to ghost in-behind him in the build-up to Leicester’s opener. 6.
Joe Gomez – Would have felt in need of some redemption after his late sending-off in the draw with Sevilla last week and he responded well in a central role, even if it was a much quieter evening for the 20-year-old. Defended well and there wasn’t an awful lot he could have done for either goal. 6.
Ragnar Klavan – Has come under fire in recent weeks for his part in a weak Liverpool back-line and he would have done little to convince Klopp to start him on Saturday. Was out-muscled too easily by Slimani in the build-up to Leicester’s second goal and didn’t push out quick enough for their first. 5.
Andrew Robertson – Staked a claim for a regular first-team role with another promising display, looking to get forward down the left and put cross after cross into the area. His delivery was consistently superb during the first-half – deserving more – but he faded as the match went on. 7.
Marko Grujic – The 21-year-old Serbian made his presence known in the midfield on Tuesday evening, hustling the likes of Ndidi and Iborra well and turning over possession on a number of occasions. Became sloppy as the game went on though, losing concentration as Leicester scored twice. 6.
Jordan Henderson – Re-instated to the starting line-up after missing out against Burnley, it was another customary unspectacular yet efficient display from the Liverpool captain. He was solid in his defensive duties as usual but his final ball was lacking again, often over-cooking his forward pass. 6.
Georginio Wijnaldum – Played the majority of the game from deep, allowing Coutinho room to influence further forward, but every now and then he injected pace into Liverpool’s game with a 20-yard burst on the ball. Might have given Klopp something to think about ahead of Saturday’s fixture. 7.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Making his full Liverpool debut following his £40million deadline day switch from Arsenal, he should have scored inside five minutes but for a superb block from Chilwell. Seemed to roam the opposition third looking for space, having some neat touches, but he faded late on. 7.
Philippe Coutinho – Seemed much more like his usual self on Tuesday night, weaving in between Leicester defenders with relative ease. Pulled the strings in the middle and nobody could get near him, whether on the ball or not, and Klopp brought him off at half-time with Saturday in mind. 8.
Dominic Solanke – There was no shortage of opportunities for the youngster at the King Power, such was Liverpool’s dominance, and he was unlucky not to get on the end of one of Robertson’s many teasing crosses early on. Should have scored moments before the break but he clipped a shot over the bar. 6.
Ben Woodburn – The much-talked about 17-year-old was awarded his first Liverpool appearance of the season, coming on as a half-time substitute, and he nearly got his side an equaliser when his curling effort narrowly nestled over the bar. Showed a lot of endeavour but no end product this time. 6
Danny Ings – Came on for the final 20 minutes for his first Liverpool appearance since last October, much to the delight of the visiting support, but he barely got a sniff in front of goal on his return. 5.
You may also like…
- ‘It’s disappointing’: Klopp confirms bad news regarding £200k-a-week Liverpool star
- ‘Madness’: Klopp says Liverpool have a player whose stats are ‘absolutely completely crazy’
- Liverpool star says Leeds have a top talent in their ranks with ‘very unique’ attributes
- Liverpool fans react as Newcastle reportedly eye Michael Edwards move