Liverpool handed Leicester City their second defeat of the season, when a Christian Benetke goal grabbed all three points in a rollercoaster ride of a performance from The Reds.
Goals – Benteke 63′
Simon Mignolet – 7.5
Made a good stop from Riyad Mahrez towards the end of the first half having had little to do before then. Was also alert to stop Nathan Dyer in the second-half, and was on hand to collect a dangerous long throw which caused confusion in the penalty area.
Nathaniel Clyne – 6
More of the same from Clyne who was constantly up and down the right side, joining in with the build-up play in attack, while not being totally convincing in the final third. Performed his defensive duties well, keeping Marc Albrighton fairly quiet.
Dejan Lovren – 7.5
Looked comfortable enough in a relatively unfamiliar right centre-back role. Perhaps should have done better with a cross which Henderson put on his head from a free kick in the first half, but coped well in defence, even though you’d like to see him clear balls away rather than up in the air.
Looked far more composed than we have witnessed previously. A calming presence in the back four.
Mamadou Sakho – 6.5
A poor pass early on gave Leicester ball in dangerous area, and he had a few uncomfortable moments on the ball at the start of each half.
Despite this, he played several good long rang passes forward, and performed his defensive duties well throughout, winning numerous headers.
Coped well with the differing threats of first Vardy, and then Ulloa in the second half.
Alberto Moreno – 6.5
Attacked well down the left and always looked to get into the box when the opportunity arose.
His set pieces were hit and miss (OK mostly miss), but he linked up well with his team-mates in general play and was involved in the build-up to the goal.
Jordan Henderson – 8
Almost back to his best as he orchestrated the team with some excellent play from midfield. Made several key passes throughout the game, setting up chances for Origi, Lallana, and Benteke.
An all-action midfield display from the captain, but he should have done better when clean trough on goal towards the end of the game.
Emre Can – 7.5
Not as neat an tidy as Henderson, but was still effective as part of the midfield two.
Played a good ball through to Origi in first ten minutes, and made a vital block in the last minutes of the game to help Liverpool hang on to the win.
Adam Lallana – 6.5
Found himself in some good positions on the right side of the attack, and is one of few players who can get the crowd on their feet by simply stopping a long, high ball dead on his foot.
Despite this, he lacks the quality and pace where and when it matters, which showed when he fired one good chance into the side netting.
Philippe Coutinho – 6.5
An early shot drifted just wide of the post and a couple of other efforts in the first half failed to trouble Kasper Schmeichel.
Was efficient with his build up play, and skimmed the top of the net with another long range effort in the second half.
Roberto Firmino – 7
At times he looks like the spare part which doesn’t quite fit, but at others he’s the player most likely to provide the spark in the final third.
Set up Benteke’s goal after some good work down the left followed by a low ball into the middle which found the striker.
Ran hard until the end and was ultimately a key part of the victory.
Divock Origi – 7
Involved in an ongoing battle with Wes Morgan which, unfortunately, was interrupted just before half time when the Belgian went off injured.
Before this he’d troubled the Leicester defence with his direct, pacy running, and had a couple of decent attempts on goal.
Christian Benteke (on for Origi 38′) – 7
Can lack awareness when holding the ball up and gave the ball away in a dangerous area shortly after coming on. However, goals are a the currency which strikers deal in, and he gave Liverpool the lead when he stretched to direct Frimino’s cross into the goal.
He went on to set Coutinho up for a good chance later in the game when his hold-up play also improved, but somehow managed to miss an open goal in the dying seconds with Leicester ‘keeper Schmeichel stranded having gone up for a corner.
Lucas Leiva (on for Coutinho 91′) – N/A
Brought on in injury time to help protect the back four.
Joe Allen (on for Lallana 92′) – N/A
Provided fresh legs, and wasted a bit of time as Liverpool looked to closed out the game in a frantic few minutes.
Jurgen Klopp – 7.5
Having set the team up in his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, the manager saw his side hand table toppers Leicester City only their second defeat of the season.
Origi being substituted for Benteke was due to an injury as opposed to tactical, but Belgian striker number two gave Klopp the win.
The manager will be judged on how many points are gathered during this busy period of games, rather than the way in which they are attained, and fans will look back on this game for the three points (and maybe Benteke’s late miss) above anything else.
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[statsfc-player-rater key=2dCG2IPndnJBm4GL141AFJQnx7Wsl6gT3JGGW02u team=Liverpool date=2015-12-26 default_css=false]