How Leicester rated as they fell to battling defeat in a compelling encounter against Liverpool
Philippe Coutinho scored a sensational free-kick as Liverpool returned to winning ways in the Premier League with an entertaining victory over Leicester City at the King Power on Saturday night.
There was more than just a small sense of déjà vu reverberating around the King Power after the two sides met during the week in the Carabao Cup, with the hosts running out gritty 2-0 winners.
However, there was to be no repeat result on Saturday evening as Liverpool learnt from their mistakes in front of goal, with Mohamed Salah scoring his sixth of the season with a powerful back-post header.
It took just seven minutes for Coutinho to double the visitor’s lead with a pinpoint free-kick past Kasper Schmeichel’s reach, before Shinji Okazaki controversially pulled one back right on half-time.
Jordan Henderson looked to have put the game beyond the hosts but Jamie Vardy hit straight back, and the England striker missed a golden chance to level when Simon Mignolet denied him from the spot.
The Foxes arguably should have had another spot-kick just seconds later when Emre Can appeared to handle inside the box but Liverpool held out to record a first win in five matches in all competitions.
See below for how Craig Shakespeare’s side rated on a compelling encounter against Liverpool.
Kasper Schmeichel – Arguably could have done a lot more for Salah’s opener, being beaten far too easily at his front post, but there was nothing he could do about Coutinho’s sublime free-kick seven minutes later. Made two or three solid stops late on to keep his side in the hunt for an equaliser. 7.
Danny Simpson – Remained alive to the threat of Moreno well all match, putting in a number of important blocks in his own area, and he was one of Leicester’s better players. Offered himself as a useful outlet out wide as the game went on and anticipated Liverpool’s attempted counters well. 8.
Wes Morgan – Found it tough to keep his defence disciplined at times as Klopp’s side looked to stretch the Leicester back-line and open gaps but, on an individual front, he put in a solid display. 7.
Harry Maguire – Returned to the defence after being rested during the week and he cut a confident and composed figure once again, dealing well with anything in the air. Was at fault for Liverpool’s third though, losing the ball in possession 70-yards from his own goal and failing to keep Henderson on his weak foot. 6.
Ben Chilwell – Rewarded for his exceptional display in the week with a start on Saturday ahead of Fuchs but found the test of Salah a much more challenging proposition, losing the winger’s run for the opener. To his credit he stuck to the task well, and gave little away down the right-hand side. 7.
Riyad Mahrez – Had very few opportunities throughout the match to drive at Liverpool’s weak defence, with the visitors getting men behind the ball after their early double. Showed a few neat touches and some quick feet but on the whole he wasn’t in possession enough to have a telling impact. 6.
Andy King – Boss Shakespeare turned to him after utilising Iborra in a central role during the week and the former Chelsea man had an efficient, if unspectacular, match. Got his foot in well more than once to poke the ball away from danger and played a superb ball through to Vardy for the penalty. 7.
Wilfried Ndidi – Picked up an early booking for a needless foul and it was from the resulting free-kick that Coutinho scored Liverpool’s second. The 20-year-old struggled against Can and Wijnaldum in midfield all evening, finding himself second to everything, and it wasn’t his finest Leicester display. 5.
Marc Albrighton – Offered very little in an attacking sense during the first-half but he was always on hand to help Chilwell out with defensive duties, tracking back exceptionally well. Pushed on as Leicester looked to equalise and he floated a delightful ball into the box to create Vardy’s opening. 8.
Shinji Okazaki – It was his display in the week that turned the game in Leicester’s favour and he deservedly started, picking up where he left off with exemplary work-rate. Put himself about to try and make things happen and he – controversially – gave Leicester hope seconds before half-time. 7.
Jamie Vardy – Passed fit in time to feature, he looked to attack Matip and Lovren with his pace from the word go. Forced Mignolet into a superb reaction save in the build-up to Okazaki’s goal before grabbing his sixth goal in four games against the Reds, yet his missed penalty proved to be costly. 8.
Demarai Gray – Brought on to try and take the game to Liverpool for the final 30 minutes and he did exactly that, forcing Mignolet to parry a shot straight into Vardy’s path. Looked lively down the right-hand side and should have earnt a penalty when his cross hit Can’s arm. Impressive cameo from him. 7.
Kelechi Iheanacho – Came on as Leicester threw the kitchen sink at Liverpool. Had little impact. N/A.
Islam Slimani – Barely had a touch of the ball in the final ten minutes. N/A.
You may also like…
- Newcastle reportedly in talks for player Alan Shearer labelled ‘very reliable’
- Leicester fans react as Newcastle reportedly open talks to sign Wesley Fofana
- Report: Newcastle open talks to sign Leicester defender
- Report: Newcastle eye Europa League manager as Bruce replacement, Premier League legend ‘intrigued’