Philippe Coutinho's star-studded display gives Klopp his first victory over Leicester at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool would have been cautious going into this one considering their form as of late, the fact that Leicester had already beaten them this week and the return of Jamie Vardy, but the visitors still managed to grind out a nail-biting win to send the Merseyside outfit to fifth in the table with goal difference the divider between them and the Champions League spots.
The Reds have often been criticised for their inability to carve open defenses but after the addition of Mohammed Salah in the summer, the German Manger’s side looks to have a new dimension to their play. It was the pacy Egyptian that got Klopp’s team off the mark, Coutinho's crisp cross found Salah in the box who guided a header past Schmeichel from point-blank range.
Any opposition should be concerned when Liverpool’s number 10 cuts onto his right foot with the view of bending the ball either to his teammate or in the back of the net and his deadly right foot proved to be the difference in the Reds second. Coutinho was presented with the opportunity to open his account for the first time this season and he did just that with a sumptuous pin-point free kick.
25 minutes in the visitors were in the ascendency, finally being able to convert chances into goals, but on the stroke of half-time, the inevitably occurred, Jurgen Klopp’s men conceding from a set piece. Simon Mignolet failed to punch the ball clear, it dropped down to Okazaki after a deflection and the Leicester forward had the simple task of knocking it into the empty net. Upon reflection, it seems that the Japanese striker, who amazingly has only played 90 minutes in 6 games for his side, impeded Mignolets ability to punch the ball clear by holding his arm.
There were no changes for either side as the second half got underway, the next goal certainly an important one in how this game would pan out. That was scored by Liverpool, Harry Maguire put his side in a vulnerable position venturing too far forward, the English international gave the ball away in his pursuit for Leicester's second, the visitors counted well and Daniel Sturridge’s unselfish pass teed up Henderson for Liverpool’s third.
However, they say that you are most prone to concede when you have just scored and that certainly was the case for Leicester’s second, there were 90 seconds between Jordan Henderson’s celebrations and Vardy’s close-range header sending the King Power Stadium into jubilation and placing further pressure on Klopp’s men.
Shakespeare’s side pushed for an equalizer and they thought they had it when Simon Mignolet upended Jamie Vardy in the area, however, the attacker’s thunderous penalty was stopped by the Liverpool shot-stopper, who has now saved five of his last eight spot kicks. Nevertheless, despite the home side’s best efforts, Klopp and Co have finally managed to get back to winning ways and you could see the relief on the Coach’s face when the full-time whistle blew.
Liverpool now prepares for their away fixture in the Champions League on Tuesday against Spartak Moscow.