Ademola Lookman scored the only goal of the game while Kasper Schmeichel starred between the posts as Leicester City beat Liverpool 1-0 at the King Power Stadium.
Liverpool made a bright start to the proceedings against Leicester City and could have been in front just 15 minutes in when Wilfred Ndidi brought down Mohamed Salah to hand the Reds a penalty. However, the Egyptian saw his spot-kick get saved by Kasper Schmeichel and headed the ball onto the crossbar from the rebound when he had the goal at his mercy.
Schmeichel came up trumps once again not long after to produce a fine stop to deny Salah. At the same time, Jamie Vardy and James Maddison failed to make the most of a couple of decent opportunities at the other end as the first half ended without any goal. Liverpool began the second half positively, and Sadio Mane had a great chance to break the deadlock close to the hour mark but did not take it.
Leicester made sure to punish their visitors for their missed opportunity as Ademola Lookman finished past Alisson Becker after a neat exchange with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in the 59th minute. From that point on, Brendan Rodgers’ men defended with dogged determination to hold on to their lead, depriving Liverpool of any clear-cut chances to bag all three points.
The result means second-placed Liverpool could end up nine points below Manchester City, who face Brentford on Wednesday night, whereas Leicester moved up to ninth place in the table, five points shy of Tottenham Hotspur in sixth. Here are our player ratings for both sets of players from a tightly-contested encounter at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester City Player Ratings
Kasper Schmeichel: 9/10
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 29, 2021
The Leicester City captain pulled off a fine stop to prevent Salah from scoring from the penalty spot early in the game. Schmeichel then produced another top save to deny the Egyptian. He looked in control in his area, keeping his third clean sheet of the season in the process.
Timothy Castagne: 6.5/10
A couple of lapses in concentration led to chances for Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota, but apart from that, the Belgian was largely secure defensively. He even made some good forays forward and created a chance for Vardy.
Daniel Amartey: 8/10
Top-notch defensive display from the makeshift centre-back as he constantly came in the way of the Liverpool forwards, producing numerous blocks and interceptions. Read the game well and dealt with the threat in a no-nonsense manner, making a game-high nine clearances.
🇳🇬 🇬🇭 Wilfred Ndidi 🤝 Daniel Amartey with the Naija Ghana link up in the Leicester City defense tonight
💪🏼 5 Tackles
🚫 5 Interceptions
❌ 6 Clearances
🚫 5 Interceptions
❌ 9 Clearances
💪🏼 4 Blocks
Combination wey Sweet pass Jollof 🔥 🍲 pic.twitter.com/jv5CJaIbUO
— Football Fans Tribe 🇳🇬 ⚽ (@FansTribeHQ) December 28, 2021
Wilfred Ndidi: 7/10
The Nigerian made the worst possible start to the game, giving away a penalty for a reckless foul on Salah, but was bailed out by his goalkeeper. Ndidi made a brilliant recovery from that point onwards, though, hardly letting anything past him, ending the game with five tackles and five interceptions along with six clearances.
Luke Thomas: 8/10
The youngster had his task cut out against the dual threat of Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold, and he came out on top in this stern test, producing an impressive seven interceptions and clearances each on the night. Ensured Salah had a quiet night, which is not easy for the most accomplished of the defenders.
Hamza Choudhury: 6/10
He might not be easy on the eye, but the midfielder, who has hardly played regularly this season, got the job done. Worked his socks off the ball to help out defensively and kept it neat and tidy when in possession.
Boubakary Soumare: 6.5/10
A mixed-bag of a display from the summer signing who saw a lot of the ball but didn’t always make the best use of it. Found it hard to beat Liverpool’s press early on and conceded possession cheaply a few times. But he grew in stature with time, playing a few good-looking forward passes and making surging runs on a couple of occasions.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall: 8/10
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall won possession more times than any other player against Liverpool (14), while he also had more touches (73) and completed more passes than any of his teammates (35).
He also recorded his first ever Premier League assist. 🅰️ pic.twitter.com/a7vtONxsxE
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 28, 2021
A brilliant, all-round display from the youngster, who offered quality on the ball and industry off of it. He tracked back effectively and made crucial interventions while also driving forward with the ball at his feet. Dewsbury-Hall got the assist for Lookman’s goal with a lovely pass.
James Maddison: 6.5/10
The Leicester City playmaker was not as influential as in recent games, with Liverpool doing well to marshall him on the night. But he did exhibit some neat link-up play with Vardy and Dewsbury-Hall. Came off injured, which will be a worry for Rodgers.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 5/10
After a battling display against his former club Manchester City, Iheanacho was well below that level against Liverpool. He held up the ball well on occasions, but his decision-making was sloppy and led to Leicester yielding promising chances.
Jamie Vardy: 6.5/10
Back into the starting XI, the veteran striker made a few sharp runs and had a couple of shots, which were blocked, while he also fashioned an opportunity for Maddison. Quiet, otherwise, though, with Liverpool dominating possession. He seemed to have picked up an injury late on.
Youri Tielemans: 5/10
On for Iheanacho ten minutes into the second period. The Belgian struggled to make an impact and made a few glaring errors.
Ademola Lookman: 8/10
— Real Madrid⚪️ (@realmadrid3412) December 28, 2021
The forward replaced Choudhury in the 56th minute and made an immediate impact, finding the back of the net with a well-taken finish just three minutes after coming on. Offered an outlet for Leicester when under pressure.
Marc Albrighton: 6/10
On for Maddison in the 68th minute and was hard-working in his brief cameo, helping Leicester protect their lead.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Alisson Becker: 5/10
The Brazilian was not called into action for the most part and was beaten at his near post by Lookman for the only goal of the game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 5/10
The England international wasn’t at his best on the night, even though there were some lovely cross-field passes that caused some issues early on. However, Alexander-Arnold failed to create any chances of note and was guilty of not tracking Lookman for the only goal of the game.
Joel Matip: 6.5/10
He was booked as early as the fourth minute for a foul on Kelechi Iheanacho. But he held his discipline for the rest of the game and was fairly solid at the back, producing one key block to deny Vardy. However, he was caught out for Lookman’s goal. Showcased his abilities with the ball at his feet on more than one occasion.
Nahhhh matip kills me 🤣🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/E4oWAb7eQQ
— 11MoSalah11 (@11MoSalah11) December 28, 2021
Virgil van Dijk: 6/10
Back into the starting XI, the Dutchman was not troubled a great deal on the night, and he dealt with Vardy fairly well. However, he, too, could have done better to stop Lookman from scoring the goal.
Kostas Tsimikas: 6.5/10
Offered a good outlet and made dangerous forward runs, but not all of his crosses caused problems to the Leicester defence. Solid at the back, Tsimikas made a couple of crucial interventions, one of which denied Vardy a tap-in.
Jordan Henderson: 5/10
Erratic with his shooting as the Liverpool skipper constantly mishit his efforts from a distance. Did not show any willingness to close down Dewsbury-Hall leading up to the move for the goal. He was taken off not long after as the Reds searched for an equaliser.
Back into the starting lineup, the Brazilian had some positive moments when he cut out attacks and helped the team limit Leicester to very few quality chances. However, he could have been a bit more progressive with his passing. Taken off close to the hour mark.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5/10
Largely peripheral for most of his time on the pitch, the England international failed to get into the game enough, apart from one or two forward passes that caused some scare in the opposition box. The ex-Arsenal star also was unable to offer much defensively before being taken off.
Mohamed Salah: 5/10
Still not sure how Salah missed this 🥴 pic.twitter.com/4qWM7GBNKa
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 28, 2021
He won the penalty but failed to put it away and then could not convert from the rebound with an open goal gaping at him. Forced another save from Schmeichel, but that was as good as it got for the in-form Egyptian as Leicester marshalled him expertly.
Diogo Jota: 5.5/10
He got into good positions in the early exchanges, had a shot blocked and failed to create space to pull the trigger on a couple of other occasions. The Portuguese faded from that point, though, before creating a chance for Mane and firing a header wide off the mark.
Sadio Mane: 4.5/10
Not good enough from the Liverpool speedster, whose touch was sloppy on numerous occasions. Had a great chance to put his team in front in the second half when played in by Jota but missed. Minutes later, Lookman scored the winner.
Naby Keita: 5/10
On for Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 55th minute but hardly made any sort of impact.
James Milner: 5/10
Got stuck in after coming on for Fabinho but lacked the quality on the ball to help Liverpool get back into the game.
Roberto Firmino: 4/10
He hardly touched the ball after coming on for Henderson in the 70th minute.