Liverpool moved to within one point of the top four on Monday night as they defeated Leicester City 3-0 in the Premier League at the King Power Stadium.
The hosts began the game on the front foot and had the better of the opening exchanges in the first 10 minutes, but Jurgen Klopp’s side began to dictate proceedings thereafter, and took the lead when Mohamed Salah‘s cross was met by Curtis Jones at the backpost.
It took just three minutes for the Reds to double their lead, and it was Jones linking up with Salah again, with the 22-year-old producing an excellent touch and finish past Daniel Iversen before the break.
Leicester had an opportunity to pull one back in the second half when Harvey Barnes forced Alisson to tip the ball past the post from range, and that was the last of the Foxes chances before Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s sublime effort from a free-kick put the game out of reach.
An important three points for Liverpool, who continue their quest in the charge for the top four.
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After a bright opening 10 minutes from the hosts, Liverpool soon established control of the match, and were in cruise control after taking a two-goal lead before the break. They are now just one point behind both Manchester United and Newcastle United in the race for Champions League competition next season.
There aren’t any notable negatives from this one, with Liverpool getting the job done in style against a Leicester club that staring at relegation.
Manager rating (1-10; 10 = best)
Jurgen Klopp, 8 — His strategy worked perfectly at the King Power Stadium as Liverpool controlled the game without ever really conceding chances of too much danger. The Reds didn’t get complacent after the two-goal lead, and showed patience to avoid giving away too many counter-attacks.
Player ratings (players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 7 — Rushed off his line quick to meet Jamie Vardy to stop Leicester’s best chance of the first half, closing down the angle before making the stop and recovering the ball. A strong hand denied a well-hit strike by Harvey Barnes. Showed his distribution ability with an excellent pass in the build up to Liverpool’s first goal.
DF Andy Robertson, 7 — Utilised the inside runs of Luis Diaz on the left-flank by moving into advanced areas, and was a constant reset option in moments where defenders were pressuring Liverpool midfielders. Almost won a penalty with a marauding run into the Leicester box late in the second half.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 7 –– Anticipated play to cut-off runs which slowed down the opposition on counter-attacks, and always looked favourable when winning his aerial duels. An assured display at the back from van Dijk.
DF Ibrahima Konate, 7 — Dealt excellently in situations where he was isolated with Jamie Vardy, with the centre-back decisive and often coming out on top. Looked unphased during counter-attacks, where he was quick to cover spaces in behind.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 9 –– Alexander-Arnold was back to haunt the King Power Stadium with a performance defined by his wonder effort from a set-piece that was curled into the far corner. Almost picked up an assist when playing through Cody Gakpo in the first half.
MF Fabinho, 7 — The Brazil international was aggressive in the challenge, and that saw him give away a couple of free-kicks at times, though it was an overall solid display from Fabinho in his role anchoring the defence. Had an effort from range that was skied over the bar.
MF Curtis Jones, 9 — An excellent performance by Curtis Jones saw him score two goals in the space of three minutes, with the second coming after an elegant first touch and emphatic finish into the far corner.
MF Jordan Henderson, 7 — Conducted play well in the middle of the pitch and linked up well with Salah, helping get him onto the ball in advanced areas. Worked hard when tracking back defensively. A positive run towards the penalty box helped win a dangerous free-kick in the 70th minute.
FW Luis Diaz, 7 — The left-winger battled well in his duels and that helped offset the opponents defensive shape when cutting in on his right-foot. Beat Ricardo Pereira in the second half and cut the ball back across goal but no Liverpool player could take advantage.
FW Cody Gakpo, 7 — Picked his moments to run into space with the ball and was unfortunate not to earn a free-kick early on in the game. Drifted into deeper areas and helped link plays together, proving difficult to pick up for Leicester City defenders who also struggled to dispossess him.
FW Mohamed Salah, 9 — The Egypt international was confident with his runs on the ball, but the most impressive part of his game tonight was his link-up play, producing two exquisite passes to register both assists for Jones’ brace, before securing his hat-trick of assists while laying the ball off for Alexander-Arnold. Should have scored but put his one on one opportunity wide of the left post.
Substitutes (players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
James Milner (Henderson, 74′) — Introduced for Jordan Henderson after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s goal that made it 3-0.
Diogo Jota (Diaz, 74′) — Maintained pressure on the Leicester back-line and played positive one-touch play when linking up with Andy Robertson.
Fabio Carvalho (Jones, 84′) –– Brought on for Curtis Jones for the final spell of the game, with his second appearance since the March international break.
Harvey Elliott (Salah, 87′) — A straight swap for Salah. Cut inside on his left foot well to create space, but his effort was blocked by the defence.