Jamie Vardy

City Register Brilliant Comeback Victory Over Liverpool

A trio of quick-fire strikes saw Leicester City bounce back from a one-goal deficit to beat current Premier League champions Liverpool 3-1 at King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
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Following City’s Emirates FA Cup win against Brighton & Hove Albion, manager Brendan Rodgers made six changes to his side, with full-back James Justin missing his first game after sustaining an ACL injury on Wednesday.

Right-back Vontae Daley-Campbell, after impressing on his senior debut for the Football Club, made way for Portugal star Ricardo Pereira, while Daniel Amartey started in the top flight for the first time since December and Kasper Schmeichel made his 100th consecutive appearance in the Premier League - the first player in the Club's history to do so.

With only one minute and 15 seconds showing on King Power Stadium's giant screens, an error on the halfway line from Liverpool presented James Maddison with the opportunity to catch Alisson off his line, however the well-struck, ambitious effort, was eventually collected by the Reds stopper.

On 10 minutes, following a sustained spell of pressure from the visitors, Mo Salah worked his way into a one-on-one situation with Schmeichel, however Ricardo did enough to put the Egypt forward off, and he couldn't hit the target with his attempt.

A lovely, floated pass from Academy graduate Harvey Barnes then found the run of Jamie Vardy, who beat debutant Ozan Kabak - international team-mate of Çağlar Söyüncü and Cengiz Ünder - to the ball, but he could only lift his lob onto the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Salah sent a half-volley wide shortly after, and then City came forward through Maddison, who couldn't get a shot off, before a last-ditch challenge from Amartey prevented Sadio Mané from rounding off a swift counter-attack from Liverpool.

Another forward move from the Reds saw Schmeichel spread himself well at the near post to deny Roberto Firmino, before a sensational stop from the Dane again denied the Liverpool striker, this time from point-blank range, just moments later.

City continued to work hard defensively, with Wilfred Ndidi getting in the way of a Firmino curler on 28 minutes, and then Kabak got a boot in the way of Maddison's drive after Ndidi had won the ball off substitute Thiago Alcântara, before the No.25 nodded wide from the resulting corner. 

Some fine play from Barnes saw him work a cross into the box while under pressure from Trent Alexander-Arnold, and while his delivery found the head of Vardy, the Foxes No.9 could only flick the ball into the arms of Alisson, who was positioned well on his line.

With three minutes of the first half to play, a golden opportunity for City to take the lead fell to Vardy, who collected Maddison's flick after a slip from Kabak and set himself before slamming his strike onto the crossbar.

The 2019/20 Premier League Golden Boot winner was through again on the stroke of half-time, latching onto Henderson's defensive header, but Alisson raced out to collect and Leicester couldn't capitalise on two huge chances at the end of the opening 45 minutes.

Early on in the second period, Youri Tielemans got in the path of Curtis Jones' drive from distance, before Alisson smothered a Maddison pass at the other end of the pitch to prevent Vardy from connecting with the ball in the six-yard box.

The Merseyside outfit struck the woodwork themselves on 57 minutes, with Alexander-Arnold's free-kick flicking Vardy's head and onto the bar from 30 yards out, before Firmino nodded off target at the front post while being marked by Ndidi not long after. 

Liverpool's pressure told on 67 minutes, though, when Salah curled into the far corner after some good hold-up play from Firmino saw the Brazilian flick the ball into the feet of the Premier League's current top scorer. 

Rodgers made his first change of the game on 74 minutes, when Ayoze Pérez replaced Albrighton and took up a central role in attack in behind a front two of Barnes and Vardy.

Barnes' position was much more advanced, and that led to a direct drive that eventually saw him win a free-kick following a VAR check for a penalty, as contact took place outside the box.

From the resulting free-kick, Maddison curled the ball into the box and past Alisson, and while the goal was initially ruled out for offside against Amartey in the build-up, VAR intervened and replays showed he was onside. 

An incredible few minutes of action then saw City take a 2-1 lead after Alisson raced out and completely missed the ball, allowing Vardy to run it into the net to bag his 14th strike of the season in all competitions.

A superb double save from Alisson then prevented Leicester from extending their advantage, as the Brazil stopper tipped Barnes' low effort into the path of Vardy before denying the No.9 on the follow-up with a spectacular goal-line stop.

Barnes did not stop there, though, and his determination shone through as he latched onto an Ndidi pass before slotting beyond Alisson to make it 3-1 to the hosts at King Power Stadium with just five minutes remaining.

A second substitution of the afternoon followed, with Hamza Choudhury coming on in place of Tielemans, whose battling performance in the heart of midfield earned a round of applause from the City bench as he made his way off the pitch.

Substitute Pérez then took a knock and had to be replaced by Papy Mendy for the remaining few minutes, however Liverpool were unable to conjure up any chances in added time, and Leicester claimed a memorable win over the champions.

Major moment

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Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

The Leicester striker wheels away after putting the home side in front for the first time in the game.

James Maddison's leveller on 78 minutes gave City a foundation to build on, however it was Jamie Vardy's strike, only three minutes later, that ultimately proved to be a huge blow to Liverpool's confidence.

Leicester were in full control from that moment on, and added to the scoreline via the right foot of Harvey Barnes, as three goals in seven minutes won it for the hosts in dramatic fashion.

Who impressed?

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Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

Harvey Barnes rounded off the scoring in the 3-1 triumph at King Power Stadium.

Speaking on LCFC Radio at full-time, Matt Elliott said: “Harvey Barnes was instrumental in Leicester turning things round. Leicester’s main dangerman was Harvey Barnes. He was hugely influential and slotted in late on. The defenders had given up on him! All match, I thought Wilfred Ndidi was monumental in midfield, but for me, in terms of being a game changer, I’ve got to pick Harvey Barnes."

Where do we stand?

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James Maddison
James Maddison

The City No.10's free-kick evaded everyone before finding the net to level matters.

The Foxes move up to second in the Premier League table, one point above Manchester United, who have a game in hand, and now have 46 points after 24 matches.

Coming up…

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Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

The Academy graduate celebrates his 12th goal of the season in all competitions.

The first leg of Leicester’s UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie with Slavia Prague will take place on Thursday at the Sinobo Stadium in Czech Republic’s capital, while City then travel to Villa Park on Sunday to face Aston Villa in the Premier League.

All times GMT.

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