Salah, Mane let Liverpool down with 4/10 showings

Football

Liverpool were left licking their wounds and wondering what could’ve been on Tuesday as they fell to a 1-0 Premier League loss against Leicester City.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were all over Brenden Rodgers’ stubborn Foxes for long spells of the game, but after a collection of misses, it always felt like the hosts were never truly out it. Eventually, a stunning run and finish from Ademola Lookman condemned the Reds to defeat and handed Manchester City a major boost in the title race.

Positives

The forward pressure was so completely and utterly relentless that Leicester had to pull every rabbit out of the hat just to stay alive. The gas tank on Liverpool’s core players is there for all to see with their passing movements, in particular, keeping their opponents guessing with the back four being particularly alert and astute for most of the evening.

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Negatives

There was a real inability within Liverpool to stifle Leicester down the flanks, and that was especially apparent whenever the hosts cut inside with neat one-two passes. Any balls over the top also served as a real issue and counterattacks were constantly used against them as a way for Leicester to ramp up the pressure — which was especially true after half-time.

Manager rating out of 10

6 — The always-animated Klopp could easily be criticised for not reverting to Plan B when Leicester took the lead, but in reality, he picked a solid starting XI given what he had available and they largely controlled the game. Of course, some of his substitutions and the timing of them could be questioned, which is where he will likely draw some heat.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alisson, 6 — After having nothing to do for most of the game, Alisson couldn’t stop the power of Lookman’s strike from bypassing him at the near post.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 — Tracked back well and was always dangerous in the final third, but probably should’ve been more switched on for Lookman’s goal.

DF Joel Matip, 5 — Showed poor focus for the opener, which was a shame given how well he grew into the game with his precision and decision making.

DF Virgil van Dijk, 6 — Mopped up 95% of the attacks that came his way in another display that showcased why he’s viewed as one of the Premier League‘s best defenders.

DF Kostas Tsimikas, 6 — Needs to be careful about losing his mark but overall, this was a really nice cameo at both ends of the pitch.

MF Jordan Henderson, 5 — Showed confidence going forward, played a role in winning the penalty and blazed numerous shots over the bar on an uneven night.

MF Fabinho, 5 — While he may have done a good job of sweeping up loose balls and conserving his energy, Fabinho couldn’t match Leicester’s pace in the second half.

MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 5 — Wasn’t offered up as an option all too often but did produce a few nice crosses that deserved a better end product.

FW Mohamed Salah, 4 — Aside from the physicality of the fixture consuming him, Salah saw a poor penalty saved with the rebound being equally as disappointing.

FW Diogo Jota, 6 — Broke through Leicester well, was always hungry to win back the ball and provided Liverpool with some real attacking outlets.

FW Sadio Mane, 4 — Consistently questionable passing and finishing was capped off when he missed a golden chance to score in the 55th minute.

Substitutions

MF Naby Keita, 6 — Calmed things down on a few occasions but ultimately couldn’t help turn the tide in the midfield battle.

MF James Milner, 5 — Was frequently caught out in possession and his introduction can be seen as one of the more confusing decisions made by Klopp at the King Power.

FW Roberto Firmino, N/R — Didn’t offer up any major contributions, further highlighting the weaknesses he has when coming off the bench.

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