For the second time in 72 hours, Manchester Metropolis might benefit from the consequence in a Leicester recreation. The facet with most to have a good time, nevertheless, have been Leicester themselves. In adversity, in need of gamers or time to put together, fielding a makeshift defence, recent from a hammering, they contrived to inflict simply Liverpool’s second league defeat since March. Metropolis could possibly be 12 factors clear earlier than Liverpool play once more and Jürgen Klopp might rue the rarity of a spurned penalty by Mohamed Salah and an egregious miss by Sadio Mané.
For Brendan Rodgers, nevertheless, there was vindication the second Ademola Lookman, the substitute he solely launched two minutes earlier, struck. It required an excellent efficiency from Kasper Schmeichel, however Leicester secured the best results of their decidedly blended marketing campaign.
Rodgers had deemed the schedule “ridiculous” however was nonetheless ready to make 5 adjustments. Among the culprits in the 6-3 thrashing at Manchester Metropolis have been demoted, the pack reshuffled and a diamond midfield chosen. Even with Youri Tielemans rested, he nonetheless named 5 gamers who’re central midfielders by commerce. Wilfred Ndidi, deemed unfit to function at Manchester Metropolis, lined up in defence, Jannik Vestergaard dropped at the same time as Leicester’s three greatest centre-backs have been all sidelined.
Ndidi and Daniel Amartey have been as a substitute charged with stopping Liverpool and Rodgers’ religion in the defensive midfielder to do a defender’s job appeared misplaced when Leicester, who conceded two penalties on the Etihad on Sunday, gave away a 3rd in as many days.
A slipshod Ndidi saved stretching till he tripped Salah. The Egyptian had not missed a Premier League penalty since 2017, however he handed up a hat-trick of alternatives to put Liverpool forward. Schmeichel parried the penalty again to Salah, whose header looped on to the bar. That additionally rebounded to him however he couldn’t join cleanly.
Whereas that put Schmeichel in a choose band with Huddersfield’s Jonas Lössl, the one different goalkeeper to save a Salah penalty in the Premier League, he had little time to bask in the achievement. He denied the Egyptian once more, arguably with a finer save, when he tipped a rising effort over. Earlier than that, he had to react neatly to forestall Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross from creeping in when Jordan Henderson had tried to apply a crowning glory.
Liverpool had assumed the initiative, however Leicester possessed a counterattacking risk. Unsurprisingly, it revolved round Jamie Vardy. The scorer of two first-half objectives towards Liverpool in final week’s Carabao Cup tie might have repeated the feat. His first alternative was snuffed out in unflustered style by Virgil van Dijk.
Joël Matip then had to produce a last-ditch intervention to block a Vardy shot. The veteran turned supplier on a 3rd swift break, darting previous Kostas Tsimikas and sliding in James Maddison. Trent Alexander-Arnold retreated to hack his shot off the road. However, Leicester, 4-0 down at half-time on Sunday, might savour the feeling of parity on the break right here.
The scoreline was an indication Leicester had develop into higher organised. As Rodgers sought to congest the centre of the pitch, it meant the house was on the flanks. Tsimikas was ready to advance unopposed a few instances, although Liverpool missed the dynamism the suspended Andy Robertson would have supplied and there have been instances when his understudy struggled to present the ultimate ball.
If Liverpool appeared extra reliant on the right-sided trio of Alexander-Arnold, Henderson and Salah to present a risk, it additionally mirrored the drop in Mané’s kind. The Senegalese had a wonderful probability to rating a primary purpose in 9 video games however spurned it. Despatched clear by Diogo Jota, he angled his run to evade Timothy Castagne however blazed his shot over the bar.
The significance of the miss was quickly obvious. Rodgers made a double change, summoning Lookman and Tielemans. The previous Everton winger Lookman scored on Sunday and did so once more right here, accumulating the ball on the midway line, exchanging passes with Kiernan Dewsbury-Corridor and racing ahead to beat Alisson.
Klopp introduced on Roberto Firmino, placing all 4 of his predominant forwards on the pitch on the similar time. Leicester concentrated nonetheless extra on defence, leaving Vardy alone in assault as Marc Albrighton was launched to make it a again 5 whereas Liverpool arrange camp in their territory. They scarcely troubled Leicester in the 20 minutes after Lookman struck as they appeared disjointed.
Then Salah hooked a volley broad of Schmeichel’s purpose. Jota got here nearer with a header from Alexander-Arnold’s nook. Van Dijk drilled a low effort that Schmeichel repelled at his close to submit. The stress felt unrelenting however Leicester have been defiant as they held on. They deserved to.