Liverpool lost 3 – 1 to relegation strugglers Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in what can only be described as a lack lustre performance from Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Liverpool, who haven’t played a competitive game since beating fellow top four challengers, Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 0 at Anfield sixteen days previous were favourites to come away from managerless Leicester with 3 points.
Leicester put the Liverpool defence under pressure right from the kick off as they looked to play us at our own game by pressing high up the field and the tactic looked to be working as Liverpool failed to maintain any sort of possession in the opening ten minutes.
Mignolet was called upon twice in the first six minutes to make saves from Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy who look nailed on to score from close range but scuffed his shot.
It took 10 minutes for Liverpool to register a shot as Joel Matip narrowly missed out on getting on the end of Sadio Mane’s low cross into the six yard box.
Leicester created more chances in the following minutes calling for Mignolet to to be alert to keep Liverpool in the game.
Leicester took the lead on 27 minutes as sloppy passing from Liverpool allowed Mark Albrighton to play a first time ball through to Jamie Vardy to put him one on one with Simon Mignolet. Vardy coolly drove the ball under Mignolet and in to the net to give Leicester a deserved lead.
The goal looked to have spurred the reds on and they threatened briefly after conceding but it took just nine minutes for Leicester to double their advantage after Danny Drinkwater pounced on a poor clearance to fire home a long range effort from all of 25 yards on 38 minutes.
Liverpool looked to claw one back before half time and came closest through an Emre Can effort from 20 yards out which Kasper Schmeichel dealt with.
The second half saw a change to Liverpool’s formation as we switched to three at the back with Emre Can drop into the left side of defence as Milner and Clyne operated as wing backs and we looked more dangerous going forward in the opening ten minutes of the half.
Coutinho forced a save from Schmeichel in the 54th minute and Mane sprinted into the area in the 56th minute only to have his shot blocked by Robert Huth.
Leicester made it 3 – 0 in the 59th minute as Jamie Vardy beat Emre Can to get on the end of Fuchs’ cross to head past Mignolet from six yards.
Liverpool created two chances in the following five minutes to allow shots from Matip who fired into the side netting and Lallana who forced a save from Schmeichel.
Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana were replaced by Divock Origi and Alberto Moreno in the 65 minute and 2 minutes later, Philippe Coutinho was put through by Emre Can to score from 15 yards.
Ben Woodburn replaced Lucas Leiva in the 83rd minute but the reds failed to add the Philippe Coutinho’s goal and Leicester took all three points for their first victory of 2017.
Jurgen Klopp’s men looked a shadow of the team who beat Spurs 2 weeks ago and put in a very half hearted performance to come away with nothing from a bottom half of the table side for the fifth time this season.
Liverpool failed to adapt to a counter attacking Leicester side who used similar tactics against us last season when they won the Premier League.
Speaking after the match, Klopp said, “It’s getting more serious now. We all play for our future, myself included. We get judged every day, especially on match days.
“Of course, performances have influences on things.”
“I don’t think they aren’t as good as I thought,” said Klopp. “But I think they need my help more to show it every week.”
“I feel maximum responsibility because I am. I hope I use the word ‘we’ and not ‘they’ because I’m involved in this.”
“It doesn’t get better. It was not good enough in the beginning, not good enough in the middle and in the end. It was 100 per cent clear what happened with Leicester tonight. Back to their roots, their line-up was clear.”
“It was clear how emotional the game was because if Leicester didn’t show emotion it would be really strange. It wasn’t that intense but we weren’t ready for this.”
“15 or 16 days to prepare is not perfect, because of the rhythm. But for defending you don’t need rhythm, you need organisation.”
“Maybe it looked like at the end that a few players struggled with rhythm, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse or an explanation,” said Klopp.