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3 talking points from Liverpool’s loss at Leicester City

Leicester City took one of the biggest scalps in the Premier League as they eked out a 1-0 win over Liverpool at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

After scoring against Manchester City on Boxing Day, Ademola Lookman found the net in his second consecutive Premier League appearance for the first time this season.

The 24-year-old made light work of Joel Matip at the heart of Liverpool’s backline before smashing the ball past Alisson Becker just before the hour mark to decide an exciting match-up.

However, things could have gone in the opposite direction should Mohamed Salah kept his nerve from the spot in the 16th minute. 

After drawing the penalty, the Egyptian superstar dusted himself off to take the shot, but Kasper Schmeichel thwarted his attempt.

Salah’s headed rebound rattled off the crossbar as Leicester survived early drama at the King Power.

Honours were even at half-time mainly thanks to Schmeichel, who came up huge to deny the 29-year-old from point-blank range in the 32nd minute.

Liverpool ramped up the pressure on the back of half-time, but Sadio Mane wasted a golden opportunity to fire his side into the lead, missing the target from close range. 

Spurned chances came back to haunt the Reds when Lookman received Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s perfectly-weighted through-ball before rifling a devastating effort past Alisson.

Brendan Rodgers has done pacesetters Man City a massive favour by beating his former employers as he prevented the Merseysiders from whittling down a six-point deficit on the Cityzens.

Leicester back in defensive shape

It has been a while since Leicester gave the King Power support a reason to cheer about as Rodgers’ men developed a habit of conceding a lot this season.

Coming into this matchday, they have conceded at least twice in five of their six Premier League matches, barring a 4-0 thumping of 19th-placed Newcastle United in mid-December.

Before tonight’s game, Leicester failed to keep a clean sheet in 15 of their 17 Premier League fixtures this term, conceding an average of 1.94 goals per game in that period.

Only a couple of days ago, they fell to an embarrassing 6-3 defeat at the hands of Man City, seeing their defensive woes widely exposed by Pep Guardiola’s high-flyers.

The absence of several key defenders, including Caglar Soyuncu, Jonny Evans, Wesley Fofana, James Justin and Ricardo Pereira, gave Rodgers a sizeable headache in the build-up to this clash.

With almost his entire centre-back department ruled out, the former Liverpool boss went for a bold call as he left Jannik Vestergaard on the bench to pair Daniel Amartey up with Wilfred Ndidi. 

Although the Nigerian primarily operates as a defensive midfielder, he slotted alongside Amartey perfectly.

The duo forged a formidable centre-back partnership against the joint-best Premier League attack.

Ndidi made a rookie mistake by giving away a cheap penalty in the 16th minute, but he was nothing short of outstanding from that moment on, keeping Schmeichel’s goal safe and sound with courage and dignity.

Andy Robertson is essential to Liverpool

Like his partner on the right, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson has been essential to Jurgen Klopp’s tactical set-up during the German’s illustrious tenure at Anfield. 

Know for his bursting runs down the left flank and his unique on-field understanding with Salah and Mane, the 27-year-old left-back has grown increasingly vital to Liverpool’s movements in the opposition’s third.

The Scotland national team captain has racked up one goal and five assists from 14 Premier League appearances this season, establishing himself as one of the most productive defensive players in the league.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, Robertson was unavailable for selection after picking up a straight red card in a 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur last time out.

Kostas Tsimikas, who deputised for his senior colleague earlier in the season, returned to the starting line-up at the King Power.

Although his crossing has been on point, the Greek left-back looks to be lacking pace and energy Robertson has been able to provide throughout his impressive career under Klopp.

Unlike the Scottish star, Tsimikas failed to click with Mane on the left side, often leaving the Senegalese forward to deal with a few Leicester defenders on his own. 

There is no doubt that the ex-Olympiacos man completed his defensive duties with ease, but his attacking exploits kind of let him down tonight.

Liverpool’s 34-match scoring run comes to a halt

Leicester pulled off something no other Premier League or European side have managed to do this season – they kept Liverpool at bay.

The Reds found the back of the net in all 28 fixtures across all competitions this season prior to tonight’s trip to the King Power.

During that 28-game sequence, Klopp’s men have scored 2+ goals on a whopping 25 occasions, averaging a resounding 2.67 goals per match.

Taking last season into account, they were on a 34-game scoring run in all competitions, with all signs pointing to another goal-friendly evening in the East Midlands.

However, it was one of those nights for Liverpool where they had possession and dominated the game but struggled for a finishing touch.

Salah’s rare miss from the spot probably the best illustrates the Reds’ frustrating evening at Leicester.

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