Lethargic Leicester City bested by reigning champions Liverpool

Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers (R), Jonny Evans (Photo by JON SUPER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers (R), Jonny Evans (Photo by JON SUPER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
Leicester City
Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers (R), Jonny Evans (Photo by JON SUPER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Leicester City suffered a 3-0 defeat at Anfield tonight, as reigning champions Liverpool leapfrogged the Foxes into second place, courtesy of an own goal from Jonny Evans and one a piece for Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino.

It appears Leicester City’s title hopes have been dealt an early blow tonight, as a three-nil defeat at Anfield sent the Foxes hurtling down to fourth place in the Premier League table. Prior to this game week, Leicester sat at the top of the pile but victories from Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool see them chasing the Pensioners on goal difference.

Many believed that a win against England’s dominant force tonight would set them in good stead for the rest of the season and solidify them as possible title challengers. However, the Foxes were far from their best this evening and were dealt a deserved 3-0 loss as a result.

A bizarre own goal from Jonny Evans opened the scoring for the home side, before Diogo Jota made it two for the Reds just before the break. Leicester looked no better in the second half, as Roberto Firmino finally got his goal in the dying embers of the game, after having two attempts cleared off the line and denied by the post.

Poor tactics and lack of fitness

Here at FoL, we’ve spoken recently about how Brendan Rodgers should be credited for all the good work he’s done in the East Midlands, so it’s only fair that he should be criticised when we think he’s got it wrong. Like Leicester, Liverpool are enduring a bit of an injury crisis as of late, but it never looked like the Northern Irishman was really trying to take advantage of that tonight.

Leicester’s approach was far too passive for a side as hungry and dominant as Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, and it really showed tonight. The Foxes barely had a sniff of goal all evening, mustering a meagre four shots on target to the Reds’ 13, with minimal pressing or desire to win the ball back throughout. In truth, Liverpool just wanted it more and the scoreline reflected this.

We can’t lump all the blame on Rodgers however, as not one Foxes player looked up to their usual standard tonight, with the exception of Kasper Schmeichel in net. The Dane pulled off a series of fine saves to keep Leicester in the game, and we really could have been looking at a cricket score without him. Further up the pitch, Youri Tielemans seemed off-kilter, failing to control the tempo of the game at all while looking completely anonymous at times.

It worries me that the effects of playing domestic, European and international football may be starting to take their effects on the Belgian, who seemed absolutely knackered tonight. Europe’s curse of added fixture congestion is a well-documented one, and it seems it may be finally starting to catch up with the Foxes, with their extensive injury crisis making rotation nigh impossible.

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While it’s not all doom and gloom for Leicester City, who remain fourth in the Premier League and top of their Europa League group (perspective, people!), they’ll want to avoid making last season’s mistake of losing momentum after suffering defeat at the hands of the Reds and do all they can to bounce back quickly. In Europe, Leicester take on second place Braga this Thursday, so hopefully it’s back to winning ways by then.