James Maddison

First Away Loss Of 2020/21 For City

Leicester City's perfect away record in 2020/21 came to an end on Sunday evening, when they were beaten 3-0 in the Premier League by Liverpool at a chilly Anfield.
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Following the third international break of 2020/21, manager Brendan Rodgers made two changes to the side that beat Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes returning to the starting XI for the clash on Merseyside.

Inside the opening two minutes, Naby Keita saw a strike deflect wide before Sadio Mané flicked the resulting corner into the side-netting as City had to absorb some early Liverpool pressure.

Then, two saves in quick succession from Kasper Schmeichel first saw the Denmark international deny Curtis Jones with a fine stop at the near post, before he collected a long-range effort from Keita with ease.

While Leicester looked a threat on the counter-attack, Liverpool continued to flow forward early on, and it was Schmeichel who pulled off another excellent stop on 13 minutes, parrying away Diogo Jota’s fearsome drive with a two-handed save.

It was in unfortunate circumstances that the Reds eventually found an opener, which came via a Jonny Evans own goal after the Northern Ireland centre-back headed James Milner’s corner into his own net.

Liverpool thought they had a second when Jota bundled the ball over the line immediately after the restart, but Schmeichel was clearly fouled by the former Wolverhampton Wanderers attacker and City were awarded a free-kick.

An opportunity for an instant reply for the Foxes fell to England international Barnes, who miscued wide from Jamie Vardy’s pull-back midway through the first period, while at the other end Joël Matip nodded off target while under pressure from Wesley Fofana.

The versatile James Justin, who scored for England Under-21s over the international break, nearly found the net for the Foxes with just over 10 minutes of the first half to go, but he bent his curling effort around the post, instead of inside it.

However, it was Liverpool who would strike next, doubling their advantage just before the interval. Andy Robertson’s cross from the left was met by the head of Jota, who guided the ball into the back of the net for 2-0.

Having scored for Belgium twice over the international break, midfielder Youri Tielemans then looked to get on the scoresheet for the Foxes on the stroke of half-time, but his 25-yard drive was pushed away by Alisson, and Liverpool headed into the break with a 2-0 lead.

Just three minutes into the second half, a neat run from Barnes saw him force Alisson into a low save as City sought out a much-needed route back into the game.

At the other end, meanwhile, Schmeichel got a hand to a Mané strike before Christian Fuchs headed the loose ball off the line with Jota for company.

Liverpool’s pressure continued and Schmeichel had to pull off another save, this time from Jota, before the Reds No.20’s follow-up delivery deflected off the head of Evans and onto the post.

City were much improved in the second 45 minutes and when James Maddison clipped a free-kick into the box on 62 minutes, Vardy looked to be in, but he couldn’t force it over the line and Tielemans was blocked off on the follow-up.

Shortly after, Rodgers changed formation and introduced Cengiz Ünder and Dennis Praet in an attempt to claim a positive result from the game, providing fresh legs in midfield for the remaining 30 minutes at Anfield.

A third goal for Liverpool nearly arrived on 77 minutes, though. First, Roberto Firmino hit the inside of the post, and then his follow-up was cleared off the line by Albrighton, before Mané flicked onto the woodwork by Schmeichel, who eventually collected.

Schmeichel continued to thwart Mané's threat, saving from the Reds No.10 on 84 minutes, but he could do nothing about their next effort, as Firmino headed in from Milner's corner to wrap up the points.

Major moment

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

The City No.9 had a golden opportunity to halve the deficit just after the hour mark.

After an own goal from Jonny Evans and Diogo Jota’s header, Liverpool arrived at half-time with a 2-0 advantage, and that meant a goal early on in the second half would be crucial for Leicester City.

Their best chance to claim that goal came on 62 minutes, when James Maddison lifted a free-kick into Jamie Vardy, but, frustratingly, the City striker couldn’t convert as Alisson raced out to meet him.

Who impressed?

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel made a series of excellent saves in the 3-0 defeat by Liverpool.

Speaking on LCFC Radio, summariser Gerry Taggart said: “I’m going to give it to Kasper Schmeichel. He made some important saves tonight to try and keep Liverpool at bay. There was nothing he could do about either of their goals."

Where do we stand?

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Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

Harvey Barnes returned to the starting XI for the clash with Liverpool.

After nine matches, Leicester City sit fourth in the Premier League table having collected 18 points from nine outings this term.

Coming up…

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James Justin
James Justin

James Justin operated at left wing-back for the Foxes at Anfield.

Attentions now turn to City’s UEFA Europa League Group G encounter with SC Braga at Estádio Municipal de Braga on Thursday (5:55pm kick-off), before a Premier League clash with Fulham at King Power Stadium follows on Monday (8pm kick-off).

All times GMT.

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