LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 26, 2019: Liverpool's James Milner (C) celebrates scoring the second goal, from a penalty kick, with team-mate Georginio Wijnaldum (L), captain Jordan Henderson (R) and Roberto Firmino (top) during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Leicester 0-4 Liverpool: Reds 13 points clear with brilliant Boxing Day win

Liverpool showed just how big the gap is between the top and the rest with a thumping 4-0 win away to second-place Leicester on Boxing Day.

Leicester 0-4 Liverpool

Premier League
King Power Stadium, 26 December 2019

Goals: Firmino 30′ 74′, Milner pen 71′, Alexander-Arnold 78′

Jurgen Klopp named a strongest-possible lineup for the Reds’ first match back in the Premier League after being crowned world champions in Doha before Christmas.

The big front three were all selected, both key full-backs starting and Naby Keita starting once more in midfield, where Gini Wijnaldum replaced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Away from home we might have been, but the Reds almost scored twice in the opening minute – Trent Alexander-Arnold seeing a shot saved from 25 yards, before Sadio Mane side-footed one wide after a Mo Salah cross.

Salah was next with a big chance after the Reds broke from a Leicester corner, but after rounding Kasper Schmeichel who came racing out of his box, the No. 11 opted to shoot from a narrow angle instead of squaring to Mane, and only hit the side-netting.

On the half-hour mark, the Reds made their pressure tell; after a corner, Trent delivered from deep on the left, Bobby Firmino made his run to the far post and planted a brilliant header down into the bottom corner.

Mane should have immediately made it two, but drilled a shot straight at Schmeichel and the Reds had to settle for a one-goal lead at the break.

Half time: Leicester 0-1 Liverpool

  • Gini replaces Ox in starting lineup
  • Reds dominate first 45′ against second-placed Foxes
  • Trent, Salah and Mane all spurn chances
  • Firmino heads opener on the half-hour mark

The second half started with Leicester finally managing their first shot of the game—Gomez blocking Tielemans’ speculative effort—before the Reds resumed their absolute dominance.

Keita, Henderson and Alexander-Arnold were relentless in helping the Reds quickly win back possession and spread play wide, and Firmino almost scored a second from close-range after an Andy Robertson cross.

Gomez was booked for an apparent foul on Jamie Vardy in a rare Leicester attack, but the possession and the chances in the opening hour had only come one way.

Even so, a spell of Leicester pressure would have reminded Jurgen Klopp that the Foxes scored with a single chance at Anfield, and the boss made a double sub on 68 minutes: Origi and Milner on for Keita and Salah.

And the vice-captain’s first touch was a big one: a penalty awarded for a handball by Soyuncu, which Milner put straight down the middle to make it 2-0 to the Reds.

Within a few minutes it was game over for sure; a lovely passing move cut the home side open, Trent crossed low and Firmino took a touch before curling a side-footed strike into the top corner from eight yards.

The Reds were rampant and intent on showing just how big the gap from first to second was; our No. 66 provided the fourth just minutes after his second assist, racing half the length of the pitch to sweetly fire in after Mane teed him up.

A massive display on Boxing Day from the imperious Reds—and this one took the team a big step closer toward celebrating the Premier League title in May—or sooner, at this rate!

Full time: Leicester 0-4 Liverpool

  • Milner scores penalty seconds after coming on
  • Firmino scores his second to seal the win
  • Trent adds a fourth goal to his two earlier assists
  • Liverpool 13 points clear at the top, City to play tomorrow

TIA Man of the Match: Trent Alexander-Arnold

Referee: Michael Oliver

Leicester: Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Ndidi; Barnes (Albrighton), Praet (Perez), Tielemans, Maddison (Choudhury); Vardy

Subs: Ward, Justin, Morgan, Gray

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson (Lallana), Wijnaldum, Keita (Milner); Salah (Origi), Firmino, Mane

Subs: Adrian, N. Williams, Jones, Shaqiri

Next match: Wolves (home, Sunday 29 December, 4.30pm)