In a poor performance from Liverpool, that Jurgen Klopp later admitted his team deserved to lose, Leicester took all three points. A solitary shot on target by the hosts, in a second-half that saw a glaring miss from out of form Mane, following a Salah penalty miss in the first half, was all it took for an injury and Covid-ravaged Leicester to win the game.
It was on fifteen minutes that Salah, having been tripped in the box, had the opportunity to resume his season’s sensational goal scoring form. Yet his penalty, poorly struck, was comfortably saved by Schmeichel, another one of those keepers who seems to reserve his best form when facing Liverpool. The ball, however, rebounded to the Egyptian, only for his eagerness to get to the ball ahead of a stranded and grounded keeper, saw him hit the bar with a header. It was Liverpool’s first failure from the spot in four league seasons, and that moment seemed to energise the home side. Though Liverpool continued to dominate possession, very little came of it, even when camped outside the Leicester penalty box, as they were for most of the first half.
Indeed, the game was so one-sided, that Alisson remained largely unemployed in the first forty minutes, only to be picking the ball out of the net on the hour. With Leicester’s only shot on target, former Everton player, Lookman, carried the ball comfortably into Liverpool’s penalty box, and unhindered by even a half-hearted tackle, slid the ball to the left of the Brazilian keeper.
Substitutions by Klopp were now inevitable, and with Fabinho, Liverpool’s best player on the night, leaving the field, along with Ox and Henderson, the changes were an all-out attempt to grab the much needed three points. Remarkably though, Liverpool got worse, with both Keita and Milner seemingly incapable of finding a red shirt with a five-yard pass, let alone being able to create a clear opening. They huffed and puffed, once again circling the opposition penalty box, and though half chances, principally from corners were spurned, in truth, very little was created. Little flicks and cute tight passing attempts fell flat, players looked reluctant to shoot, and even with five minutes of added time, Leicester never really looked like buckling.
So Liverpool go into the second half of the league season having had just two defeats, but far too many draws. Manchester City meanwhile, on an eight game-winning run, presently look unlikely to lose the number of games required for Klopp’s men to seriously pressurise them in the months ahead. It will surely take victory at the Etihad, and next week versus Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, for this Liverpool side to have realistic ambitions of lifting another Premier League trophy in 2022.