Liverpool: Reds Return To Winning Ways Against Leicester
A frantic and contentious game at the King Power Stadium ends 3-2 in favour of the visitors...
Liverpool ended a run of four consecutive games without a win on Saturday evening by extracting revenge on their League Cup adversaries Leicester City.
Four days on from a 2-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium the Reds returned with arguably their strongest available side to record a deserved, if unnecessarily nervous, 3-2 victory.
The visitors, inspired by the incisive Philippe Coutinho, who was one of only four players to retain his place, were quick out of the blocks and raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of a Mohamed Salah header and a stunning Coutinho free-kick.
More could and should have followed before Leicester hauled themselves back into the contest on the stroke of half-time when Shinji Okazaki poked home from close range at a corner.
Although messy from a defensive perspective, Liverpool could rightly feel aggrieved that the goal was allowed to stand, not least due to the original awarding of a free-kick for a Jamie Vardy dive that proceeded the corner.
Unperturbed the Merseysiders remained positive after the break and they restored their two-goal lead in the 68th minute when captain Jordan Henderson finished off a fine team move.
Any thoughts that the goal would put the game to bed were dashed a minute later when Vardy nodded home following a Demarai Gray effort that Simon Mignolet could only palm back into the danger zone.
Vardy and Mignolet were in the thick of the action again moments later when the latter was adjudged to have fouled the former inside the area.
Mignolet, who did get a faint touch on the ball before taking out the Leicester man, was arguably fortunate to stay on the pitch once referee Anthony Taylor had awarded against him and it was to prove crucial as the Belgium shot-stopper dived to his right to repel Vardy's powerful spot-kick.
Thankfully for those of a nervous disposition the final 15 minutes were less chaotic and Liverpool made it to the final whistle with their lead intact without too much in the way of further difficulties.
Summarising his first win in three attempts away to Leicester, Kop boss Jürgen Klopp told his post-match press conference: "Usually I sit here and say congratulations to Leicester - It feels a big difference, to be honest.
"We really think we are on a good way but we are absolutely aware that we have to show it with results, so everybody can see it. We know that. After these two or three, not performance-wise but the results, not too good games, you could see at 2-0 up the game then looked a little bit different; we wanted to manage it a little bit too early and actually in the wrong spaces. But nothing happened really, it was just a little bit more of an open game.
"The goal we conceded, everybody knows it was not a foul on Jamie, it was just smart. A striker maybe has to do that but it was not a foul. Then it was a foul on Simon and then we conceded a goal, not too cool.
"You go in at half-time and they obviously feel a little bit better because they think 'we changed the game' and for the other team it's a little bit different. So I wanted us to have the right mood in the second half and that we immediately found the style of play...
"We got the control back and then we scored the third goal. We conceded for 3-2; we have to win the challenge before the cross, we didn't and the cross came in and it was a goal. The penalty, Simon saved it. I'm not sure, maybe it was a penalty, he touched the ball, if it's enough or not I don't know...
"I actually thought we were deserved winners. That was the only thing I wanted to say after the game today. And so it's a good day."
Victory moves Liverpool up to fifth in the Premier League standings and they are next in action on Tuesday night against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League.
So that's what both us and Klopp thought about the game, how about you? Let us know your views below...
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