Injury-hit Liverpool sent a statement of intent to the rest of the Premier League as they demolished Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester 3-0 at Anfield. The Foxes could’ve gone top of the table with a win on Sunday evening, but Liverpool’s triumph sees them go joint top with Tottenham Hotspur.
With as many as seven first choice players out due to injury and Covid-19, this was very much a makeshift Liverpool team. Andy Robertson was the only regular player in the back four to feature here, with James Milner asked to deputise at right back and the pair Fabinho and Joel Matip forming yet another new central defensive partnership.
Naby Keita and Curtis Jones joined Gini Wijnaldum in midfield, while upfront, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane were on either side of Roberto Firmino as the Reds reverted to a 4-3-3.
Leicester had only two changes, with Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes drafted in by Rodgers, and Praet and Luke Thomas dropping to the bench.
This was a glorious chance for the Foxes to take points off a weakened Reds side. Leicester had won four in a row away, including memorable triumphs on the road against both Man City and Arsenal, and the pre-match odds at 888Sport suggested this could be a close clash. Instead Liverpool produced an imperious performance that had everyone swooning and Leicester were simply blown off the park.
Goal 1 (Evans OG)
Jonny Evans passed a late fitness test to take his part in a Leicester back three alongside Fofana and Fuchs, but his unwitting own goal following a Liverpool corner allowed them to go in front in the 21st minute.
Goal 2 (Diogo Jota)
So, so many good things about this goal. The 30 passes played before the goal was a Liverpool record since data began to be kept for this kind of statistic. Andy Robertson’s no-look cross after he had comfortably beaten his opponent and Jota’s header- all absolutely fantastic to watch if you were a Liverpool fan. The team on the park were effectively a B-team, but this goal was one the A-team would’ve been proud of.
Goal 3 (Roberto Firmino)
The Brazilian had several chances to score here, and finally did so with this 86th minute strike as he nodded in Milner’s corner. A just reward for his fine performance, and a deserved goal for the Reds as well. They created enough chances according to xG to score at least four here, if not more, and 3-0 was a pretty emphatic scoreline at the end.
Leicester will be up next against Braga in the Europa League, while Liverpool will square off against Atalanta.