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Saturday, 23 September 2017

Leicester City 2-3 Liverpool: Coutinho back with a bang as Reds battle for victory


Leicester City 2-3 Liverpool


Goals

Salah 15′ (assist – Coutinho)
Coutinho 23′ (assist – Moreno)
Okazaki 45+2′ (assist – Maguire)
Henderson 65′ (assist – Sturridge)
Vardy 68′ (assist – Gray)

The Reds returned to the King Power just four days after their 2-0 humiliation in the League Cup third round, looking to improve their dismal form.
Having failed to secure victory in their last four outings in all competitions, including a 5-0 loss to Man City and a 1-1 draw with Burnley in the Premier League, Jurgen Klopp‘s side needed a response.
The German made seven changes to his starting lineup from their midweek defeat, with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino returning to the side.
Boasting a stronger selection and looking take revenge for their cup exit, Liverpool will have been desperate for a better result on Saturday, and they fought for a vital win.
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 23, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mate Alberto Moreno during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds enjoyed the majority of the possession in the opening stages, but it could have been 1-1 within the first 15 minutes, as both sides squandered similar opportunities.
Firstly, Riyad Mahrez sent his effort over the bar after Simon Mignolet had denied Jamie Vardy, before Salah skewed a shot wide on the rebound after Emre Can had struck the post from range.
The Egyptian made amends shortly after, however, beating Kasper Schmeichel with an excellent header at the far post, converting Philippe Coutinho‘s inch-perfect cross.

And then, with Alberto Moreno brought down by Wilfred Ndidi 25 yards out, Coutinho stepped up to send a sensational, curling free-kick beyond Schmeichel to put Liverpool 2-0 up.
With the Reds continuing to dominate throughout the first half, Firmino went close to adding a third, but his low effort drifted wide of the post.
While Klopp’s forwards produced a major improvement in the final third, it was more of the same from Liverpool’s defence, with confusing following a set-piece allowing Shinji Okazaki to stab home just before the break.
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 23, 2017: Liverpool's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saves a penalty from Leicester City's Jamie Vardy during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Klopp’s side looked to keep up the pressure after half-time, with Coutinho testing Schmeichel with a volleyed effort from the angle two minutes in.
But the Foxes were able to impose themselves more as the game went on, with Craig Shakespeare shuffling his pack by replacing the quiet Mahrez with a former Reds target in Demarai Gray.
Responding in kind, Klopp brought off Firmino and sent on Daniel Sturridge, with the striker providing a new dimension in the Liverpool forward line.
It was Sturridge who laid on the visitors’ third, with Jordan Henderson firing home after a swift counter-attacking move.
But Liverpool’s two-goal lead lasted just 90 minutes, with Vardy nodding past Mignolet to keep Leicester in the hunt, as the Reds’ defence struggled once again.
Referee Anthony Taylor almost made matters worse when he adjudged Mignolet to have brought down an onrushing Vardy soon after, but the Belgian was on hand to save the penalty and seal the win.

font:  Jack Lusby

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