Leicester City come from behind to inflict third straight loss on Liverpool


Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson (right) was involved in another defensive calamity following his mistakes against Manchester City last week
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson (second right) was involved in another defensive calamity following his mistakes against Manchester City last week

Leicester City staged an astonishing late comeback to beat Liverpool as the Premier League champions collapsed and paid the price for another defensive calamity involving keeper Alisson.

Liverpool looked to be cementing their top-four aspirations when Mohamed Salah put them ahead after 67 minutes with a clever finish after a piece of individual brilliance in the penalty area by Roberto Firmino.

Leicester – who were not at their best even though Jamie Vardy missed two glorious first-half chances – suddenly bounced off the canvas to sink the champions with three goals in a chaotic seven-minute period.

The Foxes saw a 78th-minute penalty award ruled out by the video assistant referee and even though James Maddison’s resulting free-kick found its way into the net past Alisson it was initially ruled out for an offside against Daniel Amartey before being given after a VAR check.

Leicester’s second three minutes later was another horror show for Liverpool keeper Alisson, whose poor clearances contributed to two goals in Manchester City’s win at Anfield last Sunday. This time the Brazilian recklessly dashed out to clear Youri Tielemans’ long ball, only to farcically crash into debutant defender Ozan Kabak, leaving Vardy to run the ball into an empty net.

And Brendan Rodgers watched the Foxes rub salt in his former side’s wounds as Harvey Barnes applied a composed finish to Wilfred Ndidi’s pass with five minutes left.

Leicester go second while Liverpool’s third successive league defeat means their place in the top four looks in peril.

Liverpool’s slide continues

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah (centre)
Liverpool have failed to win six of their past 11 Premier League games in which Mohamed Salah has scored

Liverpool’s unimpressive defence of their Premier League title suffered more embarrassment as they cast aside a position of relative control at Leicester to capitulate at the first sign of a setback.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are unrecognisable from the overpowering combination of talent and concrete-clad self-belief that swept aside all challengers last season to win their first title in 30 years.

The Reds had plenty of possession, without much punch, until Salah put them ahead – and the warning signs had been posted in the first half when Vardy headed straight at Alisson and struck the bar with two chances he would normally have taken.

There was an element of controversy surrounding Maddison’s equaliser for Leicester but it was the lack of response – a total capitulation, in fact – that will be of huge concern to Klopp as his side lost a third successive league game for the first time since November 2014, when Rodgers was in charge.

The visitors’ slumped body language once they had conceded spoke volumes, and their recent decline was summed up by another Alisson error as he came dashing out and crashed into new loan signing Kabak in an incident that had trouble written all over it from the moment the Brazil keeper left his area.

He then redeemed himself with a magnificent save from Vardy but the game had already gone and Barnes was able to confirm Leicester’s win.

Of course, Liverpool will cite their lengthy injury list but the players currently in action must be doing better, with Thiago Alcantara, on as substitute for the injured James Milner, badly off the pace and losing possession on countless occasions.

This is the worst period of Klopp’s reign but Liverpool will have to pick themselves up instantly with a Champions League game against RB Leipzig and a Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield facing them in the next seven days.

Leicester dig deep for victory

James Maddison
James Maddison (left) has scored more direct free-kick goals for Leicester in the Premier League than any other player

Leicester looked jaded after their midweek FA Cup exertions against Brighton and seemed to be heading for defeat when Salah put Liverpool in front – so it says much for their character that they fought back and cashed in ruthlessly when it counted.

Yes, Liverpool offered them a gift for the second goal but the hosts seemed to sense the champions had been badly hit by Maddison’s leveller and pounced for the three points that put them in second place at the final whistle.

It also meant Rodgers became the first former Liverpool manager to win against them in the Premier League since Roy Hodgson won with West Brom in April 2012.

Vardy proved his importance once more while Barnes, who struggled in the first half, showed his quality and determination in the second to show a touch of class for Leicester’s third.

It was a 4-0 thrashing here by Liverpool that signalled the beginning of the end of the Foxes’ title hopes last season – this victory will bolster their belief that they are very serious top-four contenders after missing out on the Champions League places on the final day of last season.

Leicester City

  1. Squad number9Player nameVardy

  2. Squad number25Player nameNdidi

  3. Squad number15Player nameBarnes

  4. Squad number1Player nameSchmeichel

  5. Squad number10Player nameMaddison

  6. Squad number4Player nameSöyüncü

  7. Squad number21Player nameRicardo Pereira

  8. Squad number8Player nameTielemans

  9. Squad number6Player nameEvans

  10. Squad number18Player nameAmartey

  11. Squad number11Player nameAlbrighton

  12. Squad number20Player nameChoudhury

  13. Squad number24Player nameMendy

  14. Squad number17Player nameAyoze Pérez

Line-ups

Leicester

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 18Amartey
  • 6EvansBooked at 43mins
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 25Ndidi
  • 8TielemansSubstituted forChoudhuryat 87′minutes
  • 11AlbrightonSubstituted forPérezat 74′minutesSubstituted forMendyat 90′minutes
  • 10Maddison
  • 15Barnes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 12Ward
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 17Pérez
  • 19Ünder
  • 20Choudhury
  • 24Mendy
  • 28Fuchs
  • 33Thomas
  • 46Daley-Campbell

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 19KabakBooked at 71mins
  • 14Henderson
  • 26Robertson
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forThiago Alcántaraat 17′minutes
  • 5WijnaldumSubstituted forShaqiriat 87′minutes
  • 17JonesBooked at 24minsSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 75′minutes
  • 11Salah
  • 9Firmino
  • 10Mané

Substitutes

  • 6Thiago Alcántara
  • 13Adrián
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 46R Williams
  • 47Phillips
  • 65Clarkson
  • 76N Williams

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