Outstanding Salah, Poor Can – The Best And The Worst Rated Liverpool Players From The 2-1 Win vs Leicester

Final Score: Liverpool 2 – 1 Leicester City

We can’t remember the last occasion when Liverpool came from behind and clinched a victory this season. But their Anfield outing against Leicester City proved to be that rare encounter when the Reds conceded within two minutes but scored twice in the second-half via the incredible Mohamed Salah to secure all three points in a highly competitive outing.

Leicester have been a much-improved side under Claude Puel, the ex-Saints boss who wasn’t beaten by Jurgen Klopp last season and grabbed a win in a League Cup semi-final tie at Anfield. Puel was pretty clear with his tactics as he directed his side to sit back deep and use their pace up front to hit on the counter.

However, they got an unexpected favour in early minutes when Joel Matip and Emre Can’s erroneous display allowed the visitors to grab an early lead through hitman Jamie Vardy. Liverpool looked purposeful and desperate for an equaliser but failed to find one in the first-half. Mohamed Salah missed a couple of golden opportunities whereas Sadio Mane’s goal was rightly ruled out as off-side.

However, the Egyptian overcame the first-half shambles and continued his great scoring run by pulling off an equaliser after picking up Mane’s back-heel early in the second half. A draw was not good enough to keep pushing for a ‘top four’ finish and the ex-Chelsea winger hit the target again by outmuscling Harry Maguire and did superbly to turn the centre-back on the edge of the box.

The Reds had to defend their lead for the last 15 minutes but their defensive record had the crowd tensed for the remainder of the game. They somehow dealt with Leicester’s long-balls and crosses and clinched a narrow 2-1 win to end 2017 in the ‘top four’ of the league table.

Liverpool Player Ratings

Loris Karius: 7

Karius could have done little to defend Jamie Vardy’s opener as the defence got badly exposed following Joel Matip’s howler. Made some routine stops and did well to deal with Leicester’s long-balls and set-pieces through punches and clearances.

Joe Gomez: 8.5

The youngster’s defensive lapse instigated an Arsenal comeback last Friday night, but the Englishman came back stronger and delivered one remarkable defensive display in his right-back slot.

Joel Matip: 5

Made a defensive howler within a couple of minutes into the game that led to Vardy’s early opener. Improved later though and maintained composure towards the end to defend the lead.

Dejan Lovren: 8

The arrival of Virgil Van Dijk might jeopardise his slot, but the Croatian was exceptional in the heart of Liverpool defence as he took command of the defensive line following that early mishap. A good enough performance to pile pressure on his centre-back partner Matip to keep the first-team slot.

Andrew Robertson: 7

Was great going forward and troubled the Foxes’ defence with his intriguing crossing traits. But the Scot had a low-key second-half where his crosses let him down the most. However, he concentrated on his defensive duties and showed tremendous resilience to keep hold of the narrow lead.

Emre Can: 5.5

Can was lethargic to clear Matip’s miscued pass and the visitors took full advantage of it by grabbing an early opener. His touches were heavy, misplaced a few passes but made some decent forward runs too. Not so decent outing for the German midfielder.

James Milner: 7.5

Worked his socks off as he always does, assisted Salah’s second that proved to be the winner. Another consistent outing by the veteran Englishman.

Sadio Mane: 6.5

Mane is yet to rediscover his rhythm and although he assisted Salah’s equaliser with a sublime back-heel, the Senegalese international’s touches were heavy at times that let him down. He looked off-paced before being taken off to be replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Mohamed Salah: 9

The Egyptian proved to be the saviour once more despite missing a couple of glaring opportunities. He scored two spectacular goals, which showed his sensational skills and sealed all three points for the Reds before being replaced by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Philippe Coutinho: 7

Coutinho had his part in the build-up of most of the movements and his smart one-twos and passes often troubled the resilient Leicester City backline. Was taken off in the closing moments to be replaced by Ragnar Klavan.

Roberto Firmino: 7

Scored a brace against Swansea City on the Boxing day but failed to test Kasper Schmeichel tonight. However, he was excellent once again due to his high work ethics as he helped his defence thoroughly towards the end, against immense pressure from the visitors in search of an equaliser.

Substitutes

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 6

Didn’t have enough opportunities in the attack but helped his side defensively to keep hold of the lead.

Georginio Wijnaldum: N/A

Replaced Salah in the 83rd minute.

Ragnar Klavan: N/A

Replaced Coutinho in the 89th minute.

Written by Pratyay Maitra

A sports enthusiast and football fanatic.

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