Leicester 3-1 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool could not extend their winning streak for 2017 beyond the win against Tottenham unfortunately. Leicester claimed three points against Liverpool in their latest Premier League fixture.
Liverpool starting lineup: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lucas, Milner, Lallana, Can, Wijnaldum, Mane, Firmino, Coutinho.
Subs: Karius, Klavan, Moreno, Origi, Stewart, Woodburn, Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool would use a 4-3-3 formation which isn’t completely unfamiliar, though the fact we had some key players missing was why we didn’t go with 4 in the midfield, with something we know more well like 4-4-2.
Jordan Henderson had been ruled out of the squad completely with news that he had picked up a bruised ankle in a training session. There was speculation for a while that he had actually broken his ankle, but it was later revealed that it was not altogether broken, just bruised which is certainly less serious and will see Hendo back in a short while rather seeing him out for a larger part of the season.
This season, some games that we’ve had certain key players out for have seen a regular occurrence of Lucas Leiva being used as a central defender. Of course, his natural position is actually Defensive Midfielder and while he is very capable at defensive duties, he is still not really a defender. Some fans have become a little concerned that Jurgen Klopp is adamant that he can do with Lucas what he did with James Milner (bring them from midfield to defence). Is Lucas really as versatile as Milner? If not, this could be a serious mistake to play someone regularly out of their natural position. It would probably be smarter to change the formation to something like 3-4-3 than have 4 at the back, with a player out of position. Sure, you’d certainly have less defenders at the back line but at least your players would feel more comfortable in their position. I know I’m not the only one who would do things a little differently than Klopp has been doing. That doesn’t mean I don’t support him though. I stick by our manager and feel he has much more to contribute to the club. I would not wish for him to be removed from his position this season.
Anyway, lets talk about Leicester now. First of all, Claudio Ranieri – the manager who had taken them to winning the Premier League title last season – was recently fired. Crazy, right? Liverpool haven’t won the Premier League since it began in the early 90s (though we did win 18 League titles before then) but if Liverpool’s manager had won the Premier League, I certainly would never approve of them being fired even in the season after their success. They deserve better treatment than that for what they already achieved. Ranieri’s current replacement is just caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare, though I think we can assume that he’ll also be replaced with someone more suited to a long term position at the club.
Part of the reason Leicester let Ranieri go surely was that they have been spending a lot of this season down at the bottom end of the table. The threat of relegation certainly must have factored into the decision made by Leicester’s owners as they considered what to do about the club’s future only the season after winning the Premier League. Liverpool’s fans and players and manager had a right to be confident going into this fixture, given that we’ve been right up to the top of the league and largely spending our time in the top 5 positions.
Our fans had waited patiently for over two weeks to come to this fixture. Since our game against Tottenham on 11th February, other competitions including FA Cup, League Cup, Europa League and Champions League had been going on for various European clubs but Liverpool were not involved in them at this point in the season, so it left our fixture list empty until Premier League clubs were due to play other league fixtures again. Jurgen Klopp actually had time enough to take the squad to Spain and train overseas in the last fortnight. This also, was partly why I and many other Liverpool fans were so confident that we could achieve a good result against Leicester, drawing or winning even.
Liverpool started quite well, with consistent attacking from players like Wijnaldum, Lallana and Mané though it was end to end really. Mignolet was making some vital saves early on in the first half.
Leicester certainly wanted to impress their own fans and started trying to give them what they have been wanting for much of this season, but not getting.
The first goal of the game would come in under a half hour. Marc Albrighton put a long ball over to Jamie Vardy, and he had to beat Simon Mignolet, who had come rushing off his line to meet him. A swift shot under the arms of Mignolet and he would put the ball in the net before it could be saved.
I don’t think it was major error from Mignolet or our defence that caused the goal. It just seems Vardy has found some of the form he had last season again and unfortunately, he would score twice against Liverpool as he found it.
Drinkwater would also try his luck and fire home a volley that was unstoppable to add a third. Liverpool would reply with a goal of their own eventually, but it was nothing more than a consolation as Liverpool didn’t have time to pull back more goals late in the 2nd half.
Man of the Match
Coutinho spent almost the entire game attempting to score and would succeed at this endeavor eventually. He was our best man on the pitch and could have two or three goals, though Leicester stopped his attacks and shots from turning into goals on multiple occasions. Credit deserved for the Brazilian who made this defeat far less embarrassing for us than it could have been. Sometimes it’s possible to even enjoy not winning and watching Coutinho play was enjoyable, even if we lost.
Liverpool face Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday. 5:30 PM kickoff.
Don’t lose hope, Anfield Family. Walk on with hope in your hearts. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.