Luke Thomas

Battling Foxes Beaten At Anfield

A brace from Diogo Jota saw Leicester City suffer a 2-0 Premier League loss to Liverpool at Anfield on Thursday night.
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For City's 21st Premier League match of the season, manager Brendan Rodgers made five changes to his side, with captain Kasper Schmeichel, Marc Albrighton, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Boubakary Soumaré and Patson Daka all returning for a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Seeking a reaction to Sunday's defeat by Nottingham Forest, City had to do some early defending after Dan Amartey was called into action inside 20 seconds. The Ghana defender managed to stick a foot out to repel the advances of new Reds signing Luis Díaz, who worked a position deep into the Leicester area. Amartey was there again on four minutes to cut out Roberto Firmino's through-ball, while the Brazilian later headed over the crossbar.

The hosts enjoyed much of the ball in the opening period, however Leicester were a threat and, when James Maddison weaved past Fabinho in midfield, he played a one-two with Ademola Lookman before his left-footed attempt, aimed at the top corner, was diverted over by the body of Alisson. Soumaré glanced a header off target from the resulting corner.

In the space of a few minutes, two stoppages of play occurred. The first came after Andy Robertson collided with the post, and the second when Thiago clashed with Daka, the injured party, in the air. Both, thankfully, emerged unharmed and were able to continue.

Albrighton did well to get in the way of Firmino's attempt with just over 10 minutes of the first half to play, however City's so far sturdy defence was eventually breached just moments later when Jota swept home the rebound after Schmeichel had initially parried away Virgil Van Dijk's goal-bound header.

After Schmeichel was forced into punching away Robertson's cross, Thiago hooked wide with an acrobatic effort and City's stopper twice denied Firmino as Liverpool looked for a second before the interval. The Foxes, though, kept themselves in the game, heading into the break a goal down.

The fingertips of Schmeichel prevented Jota from arrowing a shot into the far corner not long after the match resumed on Merseyside. Not long after, a driving run from Dewsbury-Hall led to him being hauled down 25 yards from goal - Firmino receiving the first booking of the encounter.

Maddison stepped up, however his curler clipped the wall. His next attempt saw him bring the ball down and strike a half-volley wide of the mark - Leicester searching for a leveller away to the 2019/20 champions.

Schmeichel had to be alert again on 56 minutes as he turned Robertson's delivery to the feet of Wilfred Ndidi, operating at centre-back on the night. Amartey then stood in the way of Díaz's drive before Jota lifted Van Dijk's knock-down up and over the bar.

On the hour mark, both sides made a double change. Kelechi Iheanacho and Youri Tielemans - who made his Leicester debut exactly three years to the day - were on for the Foxes, with Daka and Soumaré making way. Mo Salah and Harvey Elliott entered the action for Jürgen Klopp's men.

Leicester began to stamp their authority on the game after the hour mark, mustering up attacks, albeit not yet fruitful, through the lively forward line. They were limiting Liverpool and creating a foundation to build upon heading into the final 20 minutes of the fixture.

Substitute Salah worked an opening on 74 minutes, however Schmeichel was equal to his strike at the near post before gathering Joël Matip's header from the resulting corner. The Egyptian went close again a minute later, only to find the Dane in his way again while in a one-on-one situation.

Amidst a spell of Liverpool pressure, Salah bent a strike onto the woodwork and then Díaz smashed a strike towards goal, however Schmeichel was there. In a bid to claim something from the game, a third switch for City, with just over 10 minutes to play, saw Academy graduate Harvey Barnes add fresh legs to the forward line, with Lookman coming off. 

After a wayward attempt from Alexander-Arnold sailed into the Kop, Barnes' first involvement was to locate Iheanacho, who took a touch before slamming his shot towards the top corner, but it flew into the crowd. At the other end, Díaz could not beat Schmeichel once again, as the 'keeper saved with his legs before James Justin raced into clear the danger from two yards out.

For all of City's resilience, a second goal for the Reds arrived with little time remaining, when Jota applied enough power to Matip's pass for 2-0. 

Major moment

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Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans came off the bench in a game that fell exactly three years to the day that he made his debut for the Club.

Although City were able to forge opportunities of their own, it was Diogo Jota's second strike that ultimately put the game beyond the visiting side.

Who impressed?

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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall impressed Gerry Taggart with his performance against Liverpool.

Speaking as co-commentator on LCFC Radio's Matchday Live, Gerry Taggart said: "James Maddison at times was excellent tonight and Ademola Lookman had a good game and caused some problems down that left-hand side. Marc Albrighton did everything he could to affect the game, but for me there was one stand-out performer and that was Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. I thought it was a coming-of-age game for him. He stood out for me as Leicester's most confident, composed and fruitful player on the pitch. I have to give mentions to Dan Amartey, Wilfred Ndidi and Kasper Schmeichel, too."

Where do we stand?

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Ademola Lookman

Ademola Lookman was a bright spark for the Foxes.

City are 12th in the Premier League table ahead of matchday 22 in England's top flight. 

Coming up...

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Daniel Amartey

The Ghana international partnered Wilfred Ndidi at centre-back.

Leicester City host West Ham United in the Premier League on Sunday (4:30pm kick-off). Then, the Foxes tackle Randers in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday on Filbert Way (8pm kick-off)

All times GMT.

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