LIVERPOOL 2-1 Leicester
Leicester City came to Anfield and left with no points to show for it, for our last game of 2017. Liverpool claim a victory to end the year with.
Jurgen Klopp is a manager who likes to keep things rather fresh by shaking up the squad, rotating and changing players around systematically. It’s a fine system that promotes and encourages strength in a whole squad, rather than just 11 men. This time around, the team saw Karius brought in to replace Mignolet, who’s been the number 1 choice for most Premier League fixtures this season. We’re not playing more Champions League games until well into 2018 so Karius needs some Premier League action to keep him at his peak before we get into the European fixtures once more.
Mané, Milner, Lovren and Gomez also would get their places in the starting 11 ahead of Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Klavan and Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool may have been at home but it was Leicester who impressed the fans first with an early lead that took just three minutes to claim. Jamie Vardy is a key player who was a major goalscorer and all round contributor when Leicester won their Premier League title in the 2015-2016 season. There was no shame in seeing Vardy score, sometimes he’s just unstoppable. Liverpool 0-1 Leicester
Watching this from the stands at Anfield was (soon to be) Liverpool player Virgil Van Dijk. He seemed to have a moment of realisation as to why Liverpool need him so badly in the back line of defence as he got a good view of us conceding first and rather quickly in this fixture. Van Dijk is due to sign for Liverpool as soon as the January Transfer Window opens (on New Year’s Day) so all he could do is sit back instead of pulling on a red shirt just yet. Don’t worry fans, it’s a done deal though. December just can’t end soon enough so that we can start making preparations for moving this defender from the stands directly into our team. Then he’ll be the one showing the rest of the defence how it’s done. Melwood Training Ground should be classed as a place of “higher education” with all the lessons that are going to be learned from Virgil.
Liverpool had plenty of time to make a comeback at least. We’d keep an extra close eye on Vardy now and start to make sure he wouldn’t increase Leicester’s lead. Liverpool had their moments of attack and counter attack also but it would be the 2nd half before we’d get a goal of our own. Just keeping from not conceding again was enough hard work for the first 45 minutes apparently.
So, out of the dressing rooms and back onto the pitch. I’m sure our manager would have made it clear that losing was going to be unacceptable in front of your own fans and that we had to work harder to claim at least 1 goal and 1 point. We’d do this and more, with enough hard work shown eventually for not just drawing but winning thankfully.
Liverpool would get 7 minutes into the 2nd half before claiming their first goal. A Mané backheel that could not have been predicted by any of the Leicester players saw Salah unleashed for a wonderful chance of scoring. I love these unexpected moments of football. Such spontaneous play that ended in a goal. The whole of Anfield erupted with joy and excitement. Liverpool 1-1 Leicester
Liverpool had equalised but were not content with playing for a draw, it seemed. The attacks would continue and it would be 24 minutes later when we’d score again. Almost a half hour of consistently wearing down Leicester’s defence paid off for Liverpool.
Did you have to guess the goalscorer? Of course it was Salah again. Though many of Liverpool’s attackers had been involved in our attempts to wear down Leicester the man who’d get the second goal was the King of Egypt himself. King Salah, we bow to you. Your hard working attitude and determination for never giving up was part of why we’d get to win instead of drawing or losing this game. From the 76th minute to the full time whistle, it’d be quite hushed around Anfield as our nervous fans held on just as the team held on keep their lead and claim all three points.
Man of the Match
Though it was much a team effort in making our comeback from being a goal down to equalising and eventually winning, it was one man’s goals who put us ahead of our opponents and that man was Salah.
Firmino’s been a key player of late and I’d expected him to possibly contribute with a goal in this game but Bobby took a bit of a back seat in this game regarding goalscoring as Salah scored twice within a half hour in the 2nd half. Nobody wanted to lose and to be honest, even a 1-1 draw would have upset some Liverpool fans who expect nothing but victory from their beloved team. Salah saved the day as he made sure we’d claim all the points. We know or at least believe Liverpool have the strength and potential for beating anybody and it’s just magnificent when the fans get to see that happen.
The next fortnight will be very interesting with a mixture of Premier League and FA Cup fixtures on the way for the start of the new year.
It’s about turn into 2018 so, i’ll wish you all a Happy New Year!
You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.
[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.