Leicester City 1-2 Liverpool: Five things we learned

Liverpool escaped from the King Power Stadium with all three points after a very strong showing from the home side.

Here are five things we learned.

Leicester play Liverpool at their own game

Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool has become synonymous with relentlessly pressing high up the pitch. In this match though it was Leicester who gave Liverpool a taste of their own medicine.

After a period of difficulty for Leicester in the opening 20 minutes, they shifted up the gears afterwards. Gini Wijnaldum giving the ball away in the midpoint of the first half provided a catalyst for Leicester as they continuously hunted Liverpool down for the rest of the match.

Had Claude Puel not shown Liverpool so much respect by setting his team up defensively in the opening period they could’ve gained more from the match. The belief in the stadium and with the players caused a nightmare for Liverpool.

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Mistake after Mistake for Liverpool

The style of play that Leicester adopted for the majority of the match caused huge problems for Liverpool. The relentless pressure they faced from the Foxes caused the Reds to continuously rush the pass and panic with the ball.

That sense of panic was obvious as Virgil van Dijk played a poor pass back to Alisson whilst under pressure. The Liverpool ‘keeper, who had exhumed confidence until then, tried to trick his way past Iheanacho, but it was the wrong time and place to try that sort of thing. His overconfidence cost Liverpool dearly as they conceded their first goal of the season.

It was a new challenge for Liverpool so far this season. Neither West Ham, Crystal Palace or Brighton had been anywhere near as forthcoming as Leicester and Liverpool struggled as a result in this match. Jurgen Klopp’s side need to seriously up their game in the future as they were very fortunate to come away with all three points.

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Striker-less Pros and Cons

With Jamie Vardy suspended, Leicester decided to operate without a recognised striker. Instead, they went with Demarai Gray up front.

In some ways that helped Leicester tremendously. The Foxes were able to flood the midfield area with players which formed the foundations for the pressing game. With Liverpool outnumbered vastly in midfield they struggled to play their own game and continuously gifted the ball to Leicester.

However, once Leicester had won the ball back though they faced some immediate problems. Demarai Gray struggled to influence the game in terms of his positioning in front of goal. When Leicester had won the ball back they were bereft of options in front of them and struggled to create clear cut chances. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were able to deal with everything Leicester threw at them.

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Same Midfield, Same Problems

Despite Liverpool signing two quality midfield players in Fabinho and Naby Keïta over the summer neither started against Leicester. Klopp instead decided to go with a midfield three that played for much of last season. Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner were not at their best.

Milner was the pick of the three Liverpool midfielders but he was often isolated. Henderson and Wijnaldum not providing him with any support meant that Milner struggled to get the front three involved regularly.

This disconnection in midfield provided Leicester with a chance to take advantage and dominate that area which they did superbly. That problem resonates with Liverpool as they regularly had the same problem last season. The Reds need to seriously improve the cooperation in midfield or they face the risk of losing all the key midfield battles again.

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Foxes Unlucky in Defeat

It was a match short of game management as both teams struggled to take control. The result was a game which Leicester will be disappointed to have lost and rightly so.

Liverpool epitomised the phrase ‘you have to score when you’re on top’. The Anfield outfits only chances came in the early portion of the game and just before half time – they scored in both these periods. Meanwhile, Leicester dominated the rest of the match but struggled to find the back of the net.

Despite Leicester’s determination they struggled to create many clear-cut chances. Their biggest chances came as Alisson gifted the Foxes a goal and Liverpool recovered well after almost gifting Leicester a goal. Had it not been for the excellent recovery tackles of van Dijk and Gomez, Leicester would have been through on goal multiple occassions and would have almost definitely won the match.

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Both sides now have two weeks to wait for their next game, as the Premier League takes a break due to the upcoming internationals.

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