Lady luck favours Liverpool as Leicester fall at Anfield: Key Talking Points
Liverpool left it as late as could be, but kept their 100 percent record going in the Premier League with a 2-1 win over third-placed Leicester City.
Eight wins from eight and possessing an almighty spring in their step; and that is how Liverpool find themselves as they enter the second international break of the campaign.
Here are five talking points from the match.
5. Lovren has a field day in defence
The Croatian defender Dejan Loveren slotted in seamlessly as he joined Virgil van Dijk in central defence, with Joel Matip out and Joe Gomez not being selected.
Given Lovren has had several struggles in the past against Leicester and Jamie Vardy, it was an interesting switch from Klopp.
Any concerns about the Croatian’s form and reliability potentially costing Liverpool dear were well-answered in the first half, with the Foxes’ striker isolated and quietened and Lovren himself doing plenty to keep his side in the ascendency.
Lovren was a standout performer against the Foxes as he was composed in possession and made many crucial tackles in key areas of the pitch, and the Leicester attackers were rendered toothless for the majority of the ninety minutes.
4. Vardy disappoints immensely
Jamie Vardy has often been a thorn in Liverpool's side. The 32-year-old has put seven Premier League goals past the Reds.
But the Englishman's influence on proceedings was extremely limited. By the end of the 90 minutes, he had had just 21 touches of the ball.
Adrian did well to snuff out his only real opportunity in front of goal in the 65th minute.
The Leicester midfield was thwarted from feeding Vardy who looked isolated against the pairing of Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk.
It was a job well done for the Liverpool defence and those cutting off the supply lines further up the field, as the smart striker was completely neutralised.
3. Incredible drama in the final minutes
For the third Premier League match in a row, Liverpool emerged victors by a one-goal margin. This was by far the most dramatic out of the three.
The Reds looked set for a frustrating draw as the gamewent into injury time. Although Leicester's midfield and the defence did well for a majority of the game, they failed to track Sadio Mane's run into the penalty box before he was tripped by Marc Albrighton in the penalty box during stoppage time.
James Milner's wait to take the resulting spot-kick was made even longer by a VAR check, but the No.7 displayed nerves of steel to send Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way and secure the victory.
The Leicester players in the box must have done better to hold their nerve and secure a valuable point away from home. This was the fine line that separated both teams.
Jurgen Klopp's satisfaction at the end was more than evident.
2. Leicester's mundane midfield display
Liverpool's midfield trio of Fabinho, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum prevented Leicester's midfielders from linking up with the forwards by cutting off all passing lanes.
They also used their work rate to aid Liverpool's rearguard while Leicester were on the counter. Fabinho played a role in marshalling James Maddison for most parts of the game. The Brazilian broke up several attacking advances by making some crucial interceptions in midfield.
Saturday's performance against Liverpool was one in which the Foxes lacked creativity and did not trouble Liverpool's defence for most of the game.
Coming up against a resolute midfield trio, Dennis Praet, James Maddison and Youri Tielemans found it difficult to operate and this resulted in them being unable to feed the strikers.
It was a performance that was noteworthy for its utter lack of creativity and enterprise, as the midfielders were simply not brave enough to venture forward.
1. Mane, the man for Klopp
Klopp opted to start his No.10 in his old position of right flank, rather than his now-accustomed role down the left.
Just when Liverpool needed it in the first half, up stepped Mane with his 50th Premier League goal for the club to become the 10th different Red to reach that figure in the division.
His relentless tracking-back helped thwart the supply line to Leicester’s attack and as a result, he was the player with the most tackles in the first half.
Late in the half the Reds reverted to their more familiar ploy, and immediately reaped the benefits, with Mane played in by James Milner and duly slotting home in cool fashion.
The willingness of Sadio Mane to drop deep and contribute defensively was there to be seen from certain instances when he prevented Ben Chilwell from delivering some teasing deliveries into the box.