Liverpool 2-0 Leicester
Premier League (23), Anfield
February 10, 2022
Jota 34′ (assist – Van Dijk)
Jota 87′ (assist – Matip)
Back in Premier League action after a 17-day break, there was a real sense of excitement ahead of kickoff as Luis Diaz was handed his first start for Liverpool, and the Colombian was bright from the off.
Though the Reds dominated, it took a while for them to begin to test Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester goal, and it was Trent Alexander-Arnold, on his 150th league outing for the club, who went closest in the first 20 minutes with a left-footed effort.
It was the invention of Liverpool’s right-back that led to the opener just after the half-hour mark, his arrowed corner headed on target by Virgil van Dijk and then, after it was parried out, Diogo Jota was there to tuck home.
An outstanding Thiago nearly produced a stunning goal to cap the opening 45, but his scissor kick from outside the area trailed just wide as the Reds went into the break 1-0 up.
HT: Liverpool 1-0 Leicester
Liverpool’s fluid, suffocating forward line caused Leicester problems throughout, and an interchange that saw Jota end up on the left and both Diaz and Roberto Firmino in the box saw a cross-turned-shot tipped wide from Schmeichel.
Another corner almost led to another goal for Jota, but the Portuguese was unable to hook Van Dijk’s downward header on target, instead scooping it over the bar.
Cue a rapturous chorus as Mo Salah took off his tracksuit on the touchline and geared up to replace Roberto Firmino, with Harvey Elliott also coming on for his first league appearance in five months as Curtis Jones made way.
Salah, fired up from his Africa Cup of Nations heartache, squeezed into space in a ridiculously tight area on the edge of the six-yard box to drill an effort into Schmeichel’s chest, then soon after bent a stunning strike onto the crossbar.
Anger Mo Salah at your peril.
It wasn’t the Egyptian who put the gloss on the win, though, with Liverpool’s dominance capped by Jota and his brace-clinching strike, drifting onto Matip’s pass and firing in for a 2-0 victory.
TIA Man of the Match: Thiago
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Tsimikas, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Leicester: Schmeichel; Justin, Amartey, Ndidi, Thomas; Albrighton, Dewsbury-Hall, Soumare (Tielemans 60′), Maddison; Lookman (Barnes 79′), Daka (Iheanacho 60′)
Subs not used: Ward, Soyuncu, Vestergaard, Choudhury, Pereira, Perez