Liverpool triumphed over a tenacious Leicester City who tried their best to compete with the Merseyside club despite going down to ten men with almost half an hour to play yesterday. It was Liverpool’s second consecutive win following a run of three straight defeats that left them in the mid table. Here are the key takeaways from the game
Time is running out for Simon Mignolet
Simon Mignolet’s performance against Leicester was probably his worst display in his professional career. The Belgian has never been comfortable with the ball at his feet and it showed against Leicester when he lost his bearings and passed it straight to Esteban Cambiasso. The former Inter Milan man missed the target but it did not matter as his side managed to score barely minutes after the incident. Mignolet made a good save but failed to follow up the good work as he was beaten at his near post by a Leonardo Ulloa shot.
The former Sunderland man has been really lucky as the absence of an experienced second choice keeper has resulted in him keeping his 1st team place. However, if he keeps performing like the way he did against Leicester, then Brad Jones will get his opportunity.
Lucas could yet have a future at Liverpool
Liverpool’s defensive problems have been well documented in the last few months and in addition to the poor form of the defenders, the absence of a natural holding midfielder in the main team has hurt them. Lucas Leiva played against Ludogorets and had a decent game despite his side conceding two goals. He was deployed in the holding role against Leicester and did well. Lucas tracked the runs of the opposition players whenever the full backs overlapped and prevented few of the crosses from entering the penalty area. He was also well positioned to break the play on more than one occasion.
The Brazilian had not made too many appearances in the season, but after his last two displays and the fact that Gerrard is doing well in the attacking areas, he could be employed in that role more often.
Steven Gerrard shows he still has it
With the absence of Daniel Sturridge and the departure of Luis Suarez, many pundits felt that Gerrard was being wasted in the holding role as the movement in front of him was poor. Rodgers deployed him in a slightly attacking role yesterday and it played dividends as Gerrard’s link up play with Raheem Sterling and Rickie Lambert was more than decent. He also made a good burst forward for the goal and matched it with a good finish to give his side the lead.
With Lucas performing well in the holding role and Liverpool struggling attacking wise, Gerrard will most likely feature more in the attacking number 10 role in the coming months.
Leicester need a goalscorer come January
After a run of five games without a goal, Leicester have now scored three goals in two game. However, their strikers haven’t been in the best of form which has been a huge factor in them dropping down to the bottom of the league in spite of making a promising start. Leonardo Ulloa is their current top scorer with five goals, but hasn’t found the back of the net since the double against Manchester United which came way back in September.
Manager Nigel Pearson will have to look at the possibility to signing a striker come January if his current strikers continue to let him down.
Good start to December, but still a lot of work to be done for Liverpool
The result might seem as a good one for Liverpool, but there were too many things that went their way against Leicester. They played against a bottom place team with an extra man, but still struggled to find the fluidity that was present last season. The goalkeeping area is a major concern for Rodgers at the moment and the need to strengthen is imperative come January. Liverpool take on FC Basel, Manchester United and Bournemouth this month, games that could make or break their season, so it’s important hat Rodgers finds the right balance in the team like he has done in the last two games.