Leicester City 3 vs 1 Liverpool
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SubstitutionMarc AlbrightonBen Chilwell
Substitution Marc Albrighton Ben Chilwell
SCHMEICHEL WITH AN ERROR! That could have been so costly for Leicester, but the keeper lets out a smile of relief as he watches the ball roll just wide of the mark after spilling what looked a rather tame effort from Coutinho. Leicester do well to deal with the ensuing corner.
GREAT HUSTLE! An all-out sprint from Fuchs who does brilliantly to get across and slide in with no regard for his body, blocking Clyne’s effort from just inside the area. With time running out that could prove to be huge for the Foxes.
SubstitutionLucas Pezzini-LeivaBen Woodburn
Substitution Lucas Pezzini-Leiva Ben Woodburn
STAT: Leicester’s three goals tonight are as many as they had in 10 Premier League contests before today.
JUST OVER! Lovely running from Mahrez, who we really haven’t heard all that much from tonight, but he skips into the area here and nearly wins a penalty before teeing up Drinkwater at the edge of the box. The midfielder has a go first time, but can’t get his brace as his effort lifts just over the bar.
Substitution Riyad Mahrez >>
Where is Liverpool’s urgency? This is so confusing. They know the task at hand but don’t appear to be in any sort of hurry to try and accomplish it. This has all been very contemplative from the Reds in possession.
Leicester’s focus remains sharp and their organisation strong at the back. Liverpool don’t appear to have the answers as to how they can break this backline down and frustration is starting to set in as a result.
STAT: Liverpool have won more away games against reigning Premier League champions than any other side (8), including at Stamford Bridge in 2015-16. The Reds are also the only side to have done so in consecutive seasons (2000-01 and 2001-02 vs Man Utd).
It’s not particularly probably at this point, but if Liverpool can get a second in the next 10 minutes then it really would be game on at the King Power. Leicester are still in a great position, but this is a crucial period for them.
The arrival of Origi should provide Liverpool with more of a threat in the centre, something that has been so desperately lacking with Firmino in the role of the false nine.
STAT: Jamie Vardy had scored in just one of his last 18 Premier League games before today (a hat-trick v Manchester City in December).
CLEVER IDEA! Good bit of improvisation from Mane who cuts onto his left in the box and quickly fires a strike towards the near post, but Huth did well to block passage and stand his ground, deflecting it behind for a corner.
STAT: Leicester won this exact fixture last season thanks to brace from Jamie Vardy (2-0). They’ve not won back-to-back home league games against Liverpool since August 1972.
Liverpool are leaving themselves exposed a bit as they send bodies forward, not that they have much of a choice in the matter. Leicester have yet to expose the gaps, but you can already see them forming as the full-backs bomb forward.
STAT: Leicester are the only side with a 100 per cent winning record when scoring the first goal in Premier League games this season (5/5 before tonight).
Goal >> Danny Drinkwater
STUNNING HIT! LEICESTER DOUBLE THEIR LEAD! Incredible technique behind that strike from Drinkwater, who latches onto a loose ball and hammers a lightning bolt of a half-volley into the far bottom corner, leaving Mignolet rooted to his spot!
Liverpool look stunned, but in fairness this is how they’ve been for the duration of the first half thus far. Perhaps the two-week break has been more of a hindrance for Klopp’s troops than anything, because motivation appears to be in shockingly short supply right now.
Leicester are back on the front foot and hungry for more. It’s vintage Vardy up top, running after everything and playing off the shoulder. Another good bit of hold up play sees him tee up Ndidi, but the midfielder’s first-time strike is saved comfortably by Mignolet.
The King Power has a renewed energy! These supporters have been rejuvenated! It’s hard to feel bad for them given how last season played out, but 2017 has been nothing short of a disaster for the Foxes, so that goal will feel like a huge weight lifted off their shoulders.
STAT: Leicester’s last four Premier League goals against Liverpool have all been scored by Jamie Vardy. He’s the only Leicester player to score against Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester have a worry here as Simpson goes down in need of attention after seemingly twisting his ankle following a coming together with Coutinho. It looked a bad one for the full-back at first glance, but he’s able to pop back to his feet after a bit of attention and looks fine to continue.
Liverpool’s attacking presence has been sporadic at best in this first half. They have poked and prodded, but consistency has been lacking. There’s really not much pace or urgency about their approach play, either.
The first goal in this game will be crucial, for obvious reasons. Leicester’s confidence is incredibly fragile at the moment and you wouldn’t fancy their ability to keep the door shut at the back should they be forced to press for an equaliser, while Liverpool have not played well from behind this season.
VERY NEARLY! Vardy continues to look lively leading the line and he produces a pair of superb touches to bring down a long ball over the top and get beyond Matip in the area, but his effort from close range is blocked aside by Mignolet, who has been a brick wall in goal thus far!
STAT: Leicester have lost their last five league games – the only other reigning top-flight champion to lose six on the bounce are Everton in 1928/29 (final six games of the season).
There’s a nice, open feel to this match thus far, though the tempo isn’t particularly high. We have had chances at both ends, but it honestly doesn’t seem like it as the periods between these opportunities are often slow and stuttered.
SHOULD HAVE DONE BETTER! Huth buries his head in his hands as he skies his chance from a corner after being left unmarked by Liverpool’s zonal approach to defending the set piece. Had it not been Huth there, Morgan was also unmarked a few feet in front of him.
Leicester’s early wave of momentum seems to have crested already, not even a third of the way into the first half. Liverpool have found their footing and the tides are shifting a bit as possession spends more time with the red shirts from Merseyside.
DELIGHTFUL INTERVENTION! An incredibly crafty one-two between Lallana and Mane carves Leicester apart. The latter plays a square ball across the face of goal for Firmino, but Morgan slides in at the vital moment to deny the Brazilian what would have been a simple tap in!
STAT: Liverpool won the previous encounter 4-1 in September, but they haven’t beaten Leicester home and away in the same season since 2001-02.
The atmosphere inside the King Power is polarising. You can almost feel the conflicted emotions of these supporters, those who want the club to stave off relegation while at the same time are struggling to accept the sacking of boss Claudio Ranieri, who was more than just a cult here, but a god, eight months ago.
A collision between Sadio Mane and Jamie Vardy plagues the tempo of the match early on, as after just 60 seconds the Liverpool forward is down and in need of treatment – though it doesn’t appear to be anything serious for the in-form attacker.