League leaders Leicester City is defeated and denied to score by Liverpool in the Boxing Day battle.
Leicester fielded the same squad that defeated Everton last week except Robert Huth. The big German returned to the defense replacing Marcin Wasilewski following a one-match suspension.
Liverpool started in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet returned in place of injured Martin Skrtel and back up goalkeeper Adam Bogdan following a week out of injury. The Belgian international Divock Origi started the match and Lucas Leiva was dropped from the last match day squad. Origi had to leave the pitch early after suffering a hamstring pull and was replaced by his fellow countryman Christian Benteke whose solitary goal (63′) proved to be the match winner for Liverpool. Though he, shockingly, failed to put the ball in an open net in the injury time of the second half.
Dejan Lovren proved to be the standout performer for the Reds. The Croatian has been a different player under Jurgen Klopp and finally started showing what he is capable off. He kept the highest scorer of the league Jamie Vardy quiet through out. The number 6 of Liverpool attempted more passes & had more touches than any other player on the pitch this afternoon. The defender also had the highest passing accuracy (90.5%) on the Anfield pitch this afternoon.
Captain Jordan Henderson was a tireless runner in the midfield. No player attempted more passes in the opposition’s half than the Liverpool captain (41) this afternoon.
The overlap runs of Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne kept the dangerous Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton busy and stopped them from creating attacking opportunities. Coutinho and Can were mobile in the midfield and caused pressure on Leicester’s holding midfield duo of Andy King and N’golo Kante.
Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino under performed once again, though Firmino showed his touch of class as he set the ball perfectly for Benteke who neatly finished to give Liverpool the decisive lead. Simon Mignolet had a good game and earned a well deserved clean sheet against the Foxes who failed to score for the first time in a match in this year’s campaign.
Simon Mignolet- Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho, Alberto Moreno- Emre Can, Jordan Henderson- Adam Lallana( Joe Allen 90’+), Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho( Lucas Leiva 90′)- Divock Origi(Christian Benteke 38′)
Leicester City: (4-4-2)
Kasper Schmeichel- Danny Simpson,Wes Morgan, Robert Huth, Christian Fuchs- Andy King,N’golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez( Andrej Kramaric 80′), Marc Albrighton- Shinji Okazaki( Leo Ulloa 69′), Jamie Vardy(Nathan Dyer 69′)
Liverpool vs Leicester City Match Statistics:
|Shots (on target)||4||3|
|Fouls conceded (Bookings)||11(2)||8(1)|