Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Liverpool return to Anfield with victory over Leicester

Liverpool return to Anfield with victory over Leicester a fourth consecutive Premier League win at Anfield.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall handed the Foxes a fourth-minute lead in Friday’s contest, but Wout Faes conceded a pair of own goals that saw the Reds in front at the interval.

There were chances at both ends during the second half but no further changes to the scoresheet, meaning three points for Jürgen Klopp’s men on their return to home turf.

Team news

Klopp made a single change to his starting XI from the Boxing Day win at Aston Villa, with Harvey Elliott replacing Fabinho in midfield.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold (Gomez, 86), Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson (Tsimikas, 62), Thiago, Henderson, Elliott (Bajcetic, 86), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Keita, 62), Salah, Nunez.

Unused substitutes: Adrian, Konate, Carvalho, Clark, Doak.

First half

Before kick-off, Anfield rose for a period of applause to honour former Liverpool striker David Johnson and Brazil legend Pele following their recent passing.

There was a brisk tempo to the early exchanges when play began and Leicester landed an early blow to dent the Reds’ first home appearance since November 12.

A long goalkick was touched on by Harvey Barnes and then Patson Daka into the forward run of Dewsbury-Hall, who capitalised on space in the centre to run through and finish past Alisson Becker.

The home side set about trying to respond, but needed an important intervention from Trent Alexander-Arnold to prevent a Leicester second.

Jamie Vardy, on as a substitute for the injured Daka, broke free in the right channel and crossed towards the far post and Barnes, only for Alexander-Arnold to slide in and divert the ball out.

The Reds then created their best chance so far, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s clipped pass down the left wing sending Darwin Nunez away.

The Uruguayan powered around the attentions of Faes to the byline and pulled a pass back to Mohamed Salah, who couldn’t quite hook his strike inside the near post.

Salah then saw an effort disallowed after Danny Ward’s kick out hit an offside Oxlade-Chamberlain, before Faes twice put the ball into his own net to give Liverpool a half-time lead.

First, the Foxes defender swiped at an Alexander-Arnold delivery and sent it over Ward and in off the back post, then Faes got an attempted clearance all wrong when Nunez’s dinked shot came back off the woodwork.

Second half

Barnes sent a snapshot from a tight angle on the left over Alisson’s crossbar and the Reds threatened twice in succession amid a frantic resumption.

Jordan Henderson’s deft strike on the bounce from Alexander-Arnold’s quick throw carried wide of the left post, and Salah then dragged off target in the same direction after Nunez had dropped deep and found his fellow forward with a brilliant diagonal pass in behind.

Liverpool needed Alisson to thwart Barnes in a one-on-one inside the area – Andy Robertson eventually clearing away the danger – and Dewsbury-Hall missed with a free header as Leicester rallied.

Nunez fired one chance too high and a low drive from Salah was denied by the legs of Ward, and the Reds next produced a flowing move to create another opportunity.

Swift, direct passing involving Thiago Alcantara, Salah and Naby Keita sent Nunez in on goal but the No.27 lifted his finish too high.

Ward pawed a Salah curler from close range around the post as a third, potentially clinching effort evaded the hosts – but 2-1 proved sufficient for three more Premier League points.

Attendance: 53,343

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