By 90Min
September 01, 2018

Liverpool were able to keep up their winning streak by grinding out a hard fought 2-1 victory away to Leicester City on Saturday afternoon. 

First half goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino proved to be enough for the reds, who managed to survive a scare midway through the second half when Rachid Ghezzel pulled one back for the hosts, following a mistake from Alisson.

Liverpool got off to a flying start in the tenth minute when Sadio Mane bagged his fourth goal of the season and, after controlling the first half, they doubled their lead when Firmino escaped his marker from a corner to nod home.

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Leicester upped their game in the second half and were given a brief glimmer of hope when Rachid Ghezzal passed the ball into the back of the net following an embarrassing moment for Alisson, who was robbed of the ball by Kelechi Iheanacho. 

However, it wasn't enough and Liverpool managed to hold on for all three points.


LEICESTER


Key Talking Point


The defeat will be hard to take for Leicester, as they controlled large portions of the game but were ultimately found wanting in the final third.

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In hindsight, Claude Puel's decision to field Demarai Gray up top from the start of the match was a tactical oversight. As soon as Kelechi Iheanacho was introduced the Foxes seemed more direct and threatening in the final third and it does make you wonder how Liverpool would have faired dealing with the Nigerian from the start.

There are more positives than negatives to take away from this one, but it is a case of 'what if?' for Claude Puel.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Schmeichel (6); Pereira (5), Morgan (6), Maguire (6), Chilwell (6); Mendy (6), Ndidi (7), Albrighton (6), Maddison (7), Ghezzal (6); Gray (5).


Substitutes: Iheanacho (6), Okazaki (5), Amartey (N/A).


Star Man - He wasn't able to find a spot in Gareth Southgate's most recent England squad, but if he keeps playing like he did today, a call up should be just around the corner for James Maddison.

Every Leicester attack came through the midfielder and he looked as though he was out to prove a point. He linked up well with the likes of Ghezzal and he was clearly trying to make things happen in the final third.




Worst Player - When it comes to a match like this, you cannot be pushed off the ball as easily as Ricardo Pereira was for Liverpool's opener. 

The Portuguese has enjoyed a decent start to life in England, but he has so far demonstrated that he's better going forward than in defence.


Key Talking Point


Despite winning their opening three matches without conceding, there was certainly a sense that Liverpool had a lot more to give prior to this one.

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Again, it was far from perfect for the Reds as they seemed to drift in and out of the game. They were dominant in the first half, but the second half saw them struggle to create anything in the final third.

Four wins from four matches paints a pretty picture, but Liverpool will need to start upping their game before they get found out by better opposition. 


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Alisson (5); Alexander-Arnold (5), Gomez (8), Van Dijk (6), Robertson (7); Wijnaldum (5), Henderson (6), Milner (6); Salah (5), Mane (7), Firmino (6).


Substitutes: Shaqiri (5), Keita (5), Matip (N/A).


Star Man - For once Virgil van Dijk didn't perform spectacularly at the back and was outshone by his partner Joe Gomez. 

Gomez has developed a strong sense for danger and some of his last ditch challenges helped his side earn their fourth consecutive victory.

The youngster has surely nailed down a spot in the starting lineup after his impressive start to the season, even when Dejan Lovren returns to full fitness.




Worst Player -  Alisson looked as though he was going to be imperious this season, but his over-confidence in his ball playing abilities cost him another clean sheet in this one. 

Despite fair warning from his own manager after last weekend's cheeky chip, he needlessly messed about with the ball before being dispossessed far too easily. 


Looking Ahead


Both teams will now have a short break for the international break, but will be returning to domestic action in a fortnight. 

Leicester travel to Bournemouth whilst Liverpool face up against Tottenham in a match that could have serious repercussions at the top of the table.

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