Liverpool’s title hopes took at serious hit after they lost 1-0 away against a struggling Leicester City on Tuesday night.
Brendan Rodgers Foxes squad have been ravaged by injuries and Covid issues, with the Northern Irish coach forced into fielding a makeshift backline, and right from the off Liverpool began to put the home side’s defence under the cosh.
That pressure would eventually tell in the 15th minute when Wilfried Ndidi – who started at centre-back – took down Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah in the area. However, much to everyone’s surprise the Premier League’s leading scorer would be denied by Kasper Schmeichel from the spot, before the Reds attacker headed the rebound against the crossbar.
Schmeichel would once again be forced to impressively deny Salah from close range before Leicester – roared on by an exuberant home crowd – began to get a foothold in the game, and both Jamie Vardy and James Maddison will have been disappointed they failed to do better when clean through on Alisson’s goal.
Early on in the second half it would be Liverpool duo Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane who would be guilty of missing presentable chances. Just before the hour mark and Jurgen Klopp’s side would be made to rue their wastefulness in front of goal, when substitute Ademola Lookman drove the home crowd wild by firing home.
The 24-year-old English attacker driving into the area from the left flank and powered an effort past Alisson at the Brazilian’s near post.
Liverpool continued to pile on the pressure right until the final whistle, but the Reds were unable to create much in the way of clear cut opportunities and Leicester held on for an unlikely win.
The loss means Liverpool slip six points behind leaders Man City, and Klopp admitted afterwards that Leicester were deserved winners.
“Definitely, it was well deserved [for Leicester]. It was a very strange game. We were just not good enough. We still had enough chances. What we did with the balls was just not right. We played a really bad game, so it was well deserved,” Klopp told Amazon Sport.
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 28, 2021
“Our decision-making [was poor], maybe a little bit of luck [was missing]. That’s how it is. We should have had more of those moments. We had enough to get the win, but if you lose you need more of them.
“I think we started OK, then we completely lost our rhythm and didn’t get it back. From then we forced it, so there’s nothing else to say. The circumstances too – Leicester played two days ago, they deserve it, absolutely.
“You could see it coming a little bit. They had one shot on target. They didn’t have plenty of chances. We should have defended better. We do that usually, why we didn’t do it today is hard to explain. There were so many performances before normal level, there’s no explanation.
“It’s a big gap [to City]. In this moment it is not my problem. If we play our normal football, Liverpool football, we have the chance to win more football games.
“A defeat is a defeat. We have to learn and we will. The first thing is not to do it ever again like this. We lost our rhythm and weren’t calm enough to get it back. That’s our fault.”
Next up for Liverpool is a crunch clash away against title rivals Chelsea.