Trent Alexander-Arnold was the star of the show as leaders Liverpool routed challengers Leicester City 4-0 at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day.
Liverpool started on a strong note with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both coming close to breaking the deadlock. But it was Roberto Firmino who opened the scoring at the half-hour mark, heading home a peach of a cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Leicester threatened a comeback for a brief period after the half-time break, but James Milner’s penalty in the 71st minute, after Caglar Soyuncu had handled Alexander-Arnold’s corner in the box, doubled Liverpool’s advantage. Three minutes later, Jurgen Klopp’s men were 3-0 up, with Firmino applying the finishing touches to another Alexander-Arnold cross.
Alexander-Arnold himself got into the goalscoring act soon after, rifling home from outside the box to make it 4-0 and send Liverpool 13 points clear of the second-placed Leicester at the top of the Premier League table. Here’s how we rated the performances of the Reds’ stars in an emphatic victory on Boxing Day.
Alisson Becker: 7/10
A comfortable outing between the sticks for the Brazilian international who was never tested by the Leicester attack. Distribution from the back was sharp as always, apart from a hurried clearance in the second half.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 10/10
The Englishman showed why he is regarded as the best in his position with a masterful display. Always an outlet down the right flank, Alexander-Arnold had a hand in each of Liverpool’s four goals. Set up both of Firmino’s goals with excellent crosses, while it was his corner that won the penalty for the second. Capped off a brilliant night with a brilliant finish for his team’s fourth. Outstanding.
Joe Gomez: 8/10
Exuded calm and composure for most parts and put his pace to good use to combat the threat of the Leicester attack. Booked rather harshly in the second half for a challenge on Jamie Vardy, but other than that Gomez held his own on the night against the Foxes.
Virgil van Dijk: 8/10
Another top notch display from Liverpool’s defensive mainstay, who dealt with everything Leicester threw at him without much of a trouble. Calm, disciplined and organized, van Dijk had things under control at every step of the game, even when the Foxes looked to up the ante after the break.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
Not as adventurous as his fellow full-back going forward, partly due to the danger posed by Harvey Barnes and Ricardo Pereira, who particularly caused some problems early in the second half. Did have his moments going forward, with a particular pass for Firmino in the second period standing out. A controlled, disciplined display from the Scot.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 7/10
Back into the starting XI having fully recovered from his injury, the Dutchman was vital to Liverpool’s performance with his impeccable work rate in the centre of the park. Pressed well, recovered possession on numerous occasions and kept things ticking effectively. May not always be the standout player on the field, but is a key cog in Klopp’s side.
Jordan Henderson: 9/10
Jordan Henderson vs Leicester
71/76 passes – most in game before substitution
2/3 aerial duels
3/4 tackles – most for LFC before sub
1 interception pic.twitter.com/nGdrlYr9Y4
— LFC Stats (@LFCData) December 26, 2019
The Liverpool captain has been sublime form of late and he continued in the same way at the King Power. Anchored the midfield expertly, providing cover to the backline, while his vision and range of distribution were top class throughout, as he dictated play from the deep areas. Picked up an injury late on and Liverpool fans will be hoping it is not too serious.
Naby Keita: 7/10
Keita was often the conduit between the Liverpool midfield and attack, causing problems with his line-breaking runs. Created an opportunity for Salah with a sensational pass, which the Egyptian failed to convert. Another step in the right direction for the Guinean midfield dynamo, who is establishing himself as a regular in the starting XI.
Mohamed Salah: 6.5/10
Had the beating of Ben Chilwell more often than not, but Salah was at times let down by his decision-making in the final third, as he tried to do it all by himself. Should have made the most of his golden opportunity in the first period after rounding Kasper Schmeichel, but fired into the side-netting when he could have squared it to Mane.
Roberto Firmino: 9/10
Put Liverpool in front in the first half with a powerful header and doubled his tally on the night in the second half with a composed finish from within the box. As always, Firmino worked his socks off, pressing the opponents hard, while his use of the ball was smart and effective throughout. His movement caused the Foxes all sorts of problems. Brilliant again.
Sadio Mane: 7/10
Not his night in front of goal, as the Senegalese speedster spurned two great opportunities to score in the first half. But, Mane was a constant thorn in Leicester’s side with his pace and movement. Got the assist for Alexander-Arnold’s goal in the second half.
James Milner: 7/10
Dispatched a nerveless penalty immediately after replacing Keita in the 70th minute. Helped Liverpool see off the game without any hiccups.
Divock Origi: 6/10
Came on for Salah with twenty minutes left. Worked hard, but did little of note.
Adam Lallana: N/A
Replaced Henderson with less than ten minutes on the clock.