One of Liverpool’s poorest performances of the season saw them defeated at Leicester, with Jurgen Klopp saying post-match that “so many individual performances were below the normal level”.
Leicester City 1-0 Liverpool
Premier League, King Power Stadium
December 28, 2021
Goals: Lookman 59′
Alisson – 6 (out of 10)
Had nothing to do except pick the ball out of the back of the net once.
Got forward for a corner in the final minutes of the game but the ball from Trent came nowhere near him.
The goal was Leicester‘s only shot on target, and he wasn’t as involved in possession as usual.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 4
Regularly involved as usual, but struggled to create anything against Leicester‘s packed defence.
Couldn’t keep up with Ademola Lookman despite having a headstart as the winger sprinted from midfield to get on the end of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s pass for the Leicester goal.
Joel Matip – 7 – Man of the Match
There are few better sights in football than Matip in full flow, charging forward with the ball at his feet. He got as far as the area on one occasion but lost control at the final moment.
Shortly before that, he’d made an important block on a Vardy shot. But he was easily beaten when Lookman turned inside him for the goal.
Played a great ball through to Tsimikas, showing his skills as a playmaker.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
Perhaps could have done more for the goal once Lookman had came his way, but the winger had already gone past a number of players by this point.
Had a well-hit shot late on saved by Schmeichel.
Kostas Tsimikas – 7
Swings in some dangerous crosses from the left, and is more like Alexander-Arnold in this respect than Robertson.
At times it might have been the case that the ball needed working into the box rather than lofted in, but he was still effective at causing problems for the opposition defence with his delivery.
A great bit of covering defence to get something on a Leicester cross with Vardy waiting to pounce.
Fabinho – 6
Was reasonably good, which is better than most of his teammates, but it was the type of game difficult to judge him on, especially with him being subbed on the hour mark.
Made a few good defensive contributions as Liverpool limited Leicester to few quality chances.
Jordan Henderson – 4
His attempts on goal became a running joke with the commentators. Two volleys and one half-volley never looked like going in.
Watched and admired Dewsbury-Hall as he fed Lookman for the goal, and was as slow as Trent in terms of trying to cover for the defence in this key moment.
Was subbed midway through the second half as Liverpool chased a goal.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5
Played a nice cross from deep to Henderson which almost sneaked in at Schmeichel’s near post despite the captain not being able to reach it.
Was withdrawn before the hour mark to his annoyance, having not been able to influence the game as he would have liked.
Mohamed Salah – 4
Wins a penalty in the first half but goes on to miss it with a poor spot-kick. It was a decent save, but it wasn’t in the corner and it was a good height for the keeper. Also didn’t wait long enough for the ball to drop to finish the rebound.
Had some other good chances, but was regularly thwarted by Schmeichel, and volleyed one over late in the game.
Diogo Jota – 6
Had a few half chances but couldn’t find the space he needed to show his finishing ability.
Regularly in areas to worry opposition defenders, but they generally stuck to him well.
Rose well to meet a Tsimikas corner but headed just wide.
Sadio Mane – 4
Made a great run for one of Liverpool’s best chances but his finish was really poor, to say the least.
Had several loose touches and though he was very direct and always worries defenders, he was unable to provide anything close to a cutting edge.
Naby Keita (on for Oxlade-Chamberlain, 55′) – 6
Couldn’t get into the pace of the game off the bench, though the same could be said for many of those in the starting XI.
Despite that, he was still Liverpool’s best midfielder in this game (not saying much) and their only outfield player to have a pass success of more than 90%.
James Milner (on for Fabinho, 64′) – 6
Ended up playing in a double-pivot with Keita as Liverpool searched for a goal, which doesn’t seem ideal. But he was better defensively than Henderson.
Roberto Firmino (on for Henderson, 70′) – 5
Barely touched the ball which isn’t ideal for a player brought on to try to produce a goal.
Subs not used: Caiomihin Kelleher, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones, Owen Beck, Neco Williams
Jurgen Klopp – 6
Commented before the game on the rare week’s worth of training in preparation for this game, but it didn’t seem to help as his side struggled against a team Man City had dispatched with ease just over 48 hours earlier.
None of his subs worked, with Milner and Firmino both unable to bring Liverpool back into the game when needed. If anything, it made Liverpool worse.
To be fair, his side created a lot of good chances, they just didn’t finish them. This one should really be on the players who failed to produce anything remotely close to a performance good enough for Liverpool.