Wilfred Ndidi and Harvey Barnes starred while Alisson was disastrous again as Leicester City handed Liverpool a 3-1 defeat on Saturday.
The first half saw Liverpool enjoying the lion’s share of possession, with Leicester City content with sitting back and hitting their visitors on counter. That outlook did work to some extent, as the Foxes carried a great deal of threat, with Jamie Vardy coming close to scoring twice. On the other end, Kasper Schmeichel was at hand to deny the Premier League champions.
Post the interval, Trent Alexander-Arnold came within inches of scoring, with his free-kick hitting the crossbar. Midway through the second period, the deadlock was finally broken, with Alexander-Arnold involved, squaring the ball to Roberto Firmino, who flicked it towards Mohamed Salah for a first-time shot to net the opener.
However, this is when things completely changed in the match, as three goals in seven minutes by James Maddison, Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes sealed the comeback win for Leicester, while Liverpool’s miserable title defence was worsened further. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both the sets of players following this engrossing fixture.
Kasper Schmeichel: 7/10
A big reason why Leicester were in the game before they mounted their comeback. Made three important saves, although he could not have done much to keep out Liverpool’s goal.
Daniel Amartey: 5/10
A surprise starter, Amartey had a game to forget. Although he could have done with more support from Marc Albrighton, he was a wreck against Sadio Mane and was dribbled past 4 times. His woes were compounded by his error-prone passing.
Jonny Evans: 6/10
There were a few moments when Evans was found wanting for pace, but he stood his ground firmly for the most part, which kept the Liverpool attackers far away from Schmeichel’s goal. Solid effort.
Caglar Soyuncu: 6/10
While Roberto Firmino did not trouble him too much, Soyuncu was caught out of position at times. Did win 3 of the 4 ground duels he contested, but he was too sloppy on the ball, completing just 70 percent of his passes.
Ricardo Pereira: 6/10
With James Justin out injured, Ricardo was surprisingly deployed as the left-back ahead of Christian Fuchs. Endured a difficult time against Mohamed Salah and Alexander-Arnold, which did not give him much of a chance to charge forward. Will hope to return to the right flank soon.
Wilfred Ndidi: 9/10
This is the kind of game that bolstered Ndidi’s importance at Leicester. With Liverpool seeing a lot of the ball, the Nigerian popped up everywhere to snuff out danger. Won 12 duels while also making 5 clearances, 5 tackles, 3 interceptions and 3 blocks. Also grabbed the assist for Harvey Barnes’s goal.
Youri Tielemans: 7/10
There were some positives and some negatives for Tielemans in this game. The Belgian lost the ball in the lead-up to Mohamed Salah’s goal, but also played that tricky long ball which produced the blunder by Liverpool before Jamie Vardy scored. In between, he worked hard but was not at his creative best.
Marc Albrighton: 5/10
One of those Leicester players who just did not enjoy himself on the day. Albrighton endured a difficult outing, losing the ball cheaply numerous times while also failing to support Amartey up against Mane and Andrew Robertson.
James Maddison: 7/10
This was a difficult outing for Maddison for the most part. While he linked up smartly with Vardy, there were moments when he was overwhelmed by the Liverpool press. However, he turned it around and sparked the comeback by scoring the free-kick from an acute angle.
Harvey Barnes: 9/10
Once again, Barnes was the player who carried a great deal of threat down the left flank. Up against someone like Trent Alexander-Arnold, who afforded him a lot of space in behind, Barnes was in his elements, winning the free-kick which Maddison scored from before grabbing a goal himself, calmly slotting the ball past Alisson.
Jamie Vardy: 7/10
⚽️ 11 goals vs Arsenal
⚽️ 8 goals vs Liverpool
⚽️ 8 goals vs Man City
⚽️ 6 goals vs Spurs
⚽️ 4 goals vs Man Utd
⚽️ 3 goals vs Chelsea
Jamie Vardy has now scored FORTY Premier League goals against the 'Big Six'. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/l8kB5xPR3X
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) February 13, 2021
A game wherein Vardy’s frustrations nearly boiled over. On another day, he could have been celebrating a hat-trick. On this day, he would be glad to have scored just one too, and it was one of the easiest of his career.
Ayoze Perez: N/A
On for Albrighton, Perez was an instant upgrade on the right flank and won the ball before Barnes scored Leicester’s third.
Hamza Choudhury: N/A
A late introduction, Choudhury helped see the game out.
Nampalys Mendy: N/A
On for the injured Perez, Mendy’s introduction practically brought the game to a close.
Alisson Becker: 3/10
The hits just keep on coming on Alisson. The Brazilian made a fine stop in the first half and looked to be making amends after his showing against Manchester City. But then, disaster struck again and he inexplicably charged out of his box, leaving Vardy with enough time to score. Could have perhaps, saved Maddison’s goal as well.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 5/10
A game that saw Alexander-Arnold cover the entire spectrum. While he carried a threat going forward and was involved in Salah’s goal, Barnes derived a lot of joy on his flank, with the English defender a mess defensively.
Ozan Kabak: 5/10
Ozan Kabak’s Premier League debut:
• 3 goals conceded
• 1 error leading to goal
• 1 yellow card
Not an ideal start… 😬 pic.twitter.com/SceR8hTHYq
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 13, 2021
A debut to forget for Kabak. Suffered a lot due to Vardy’s moments and was involved in the moment that saw the English striker score Leicester’s second. Precise with the ball at his feet.
Jordan Henderson: 6/10
Once again stationed at the heart of the Liverpool defence, Henderson endured some nervy moments off the ball but was commanding with the ball at his feet, playing some delightful long passes, which looked to release Salah. Needs to return to midfield soon.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
A rare Liverpool player who made some sort of an impression. Robertson was irrepressible at times when he charged forward and delivered a key pass. Typically worked hard off the ball, winning 8 duels while completing 4 tackles.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
An uninspiring display by Wijnaldum, who completed 90 percent of the passes he attempted but lacked imagination to make things happen.
James Milner: N/A
Stationed at the base of the Liverpool midfield, Milner hardly got into the game before being forced off with an injury.
Curtis Jones: 5/10
Last time out, Jones was a rare positive for Liverpool. This time around, the young midfielder just could not manage to get into the game. Did not misplace many passes, but he lacked the creative nous to make things happen. Not taking his chances well.
Mohamed Salah: 6/10
An afternoon of massive highs and plundering lows for Salah. The Egyptian posed the greatest threat to the Leicester defence and scored the only Liverpool goal in the game. However, he gave the ball away for the third Leicester goal, capping a disastrous outing for his side.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 13, 2021
Roberto Firmino: 7/10
Like many of the Liverpool players, Firmino flitted in and out of the game. When he did get in on the action, there were some trademark flicks and touches, one of which set Salah up for the opener. Needs to be more involved, though.
Sadio Mane: 6/10
A game of hits and misses for Mane. While he posed a threat when he took on Daniel Amartey, his end product was sub-par and he never really looked like scoring. Back to the drawing board.
Thiago Alcantara: 4/10
Sent on early in the game due to Milner’s injury, Thiago endured a difficult outing that was riddled with questionable decision making. The Spanish international was a liability on the defensive front while adding very little on the ball. An all out disaster, even when Liverpool were on top.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: N/A
On for Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain barely managed to get into the game, as Leicester sealed their comeback win.
Xherdan Shaqiri: N/A
A late introduction, Shaqiri did not have enough time to make a difference.