Diogo Jota starred with a brace while Luis Diaz impressed on his Premier League debut as Liverpool cruised to a 2-0 win over Leicester City on Thursday.
Leicester City had the first big chance of the game at Anfield, but Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker thwarted James Maddison’s effort. From that point on, though, the Reds were on the front foot as Trent Alexander-Arnold forced Kasper Schmeichel into a save before Virgil van Dijk’s headed effort was parried into Diogo Jota’s path, who made no mistake to put the hosts in front.
Some neat interplay between Jota and Firmino almost led to another goal before half-time, but Schmeichel stood in the way. The Leicester stopper denied Jota again early in the second period, along with Andrew Robertson. Substitute Mohamed Salah also forced the Dane into a top save before striking the woodwork, while Premier League debutant Luis Diaz came close as well.
In the 87th minute, Liverpool doubled their lead with Jota again, finding the back of the net after some good work from the likes of Fabinho and Joel Matip. The win helped Jurgen Klopp’s men close the gap to the top to nine points with a game in hand over league leaders Manchester City. As for Leicester, they remain in the 12th spot in the standings, nine points clear of the drop zone.
Here are our player ratings for both sets of players.
Alisson Becker: 7/10
Another clean sheet for Alisson – his 14th of the season across all competitions. The Brazilian did not have many problems to deal with on the night apart from the early save to deny James Maddison. A fairly comfortable outing.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7/10
As usual, the Liverpool right-back was a constant attacking outlet down the right flank on his 150th Premier League appearance. Alexander-Arnold got forward and caused problems with his runs and delivery into the box while his set-pieces also asked many questions of the opposition defence.
Joel Matip: 7.5/10
There were one or two moments in the first half when he left space for Leicester’s forwards to run into but quickly corrected it and hardly let anything past him. At the same time, he was also confident enough to carry the ball out from the back. He capped off the display with a cheeky assist for Jota’s second goal.
Virgil van Dijk: 7.5/10
Virgil van Dijk: "Every game is a different challenge. You have to be ready for different things. I was the captain today so I had even more responsibility. I am enjoying every bit of it. I am just proud and I want to keep going." #awlive [bt] pic.twitter.com/fqkC7PQZvi
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) February 10, 2022
The Dutchman hardly put a foot wrong on the night as he came up with the goods at the back to ensure that Leicester did not get a clear sight at the Liverpool goal. He also played a huge role in the opener as it was his headed effort that was parried towards Jota, who scored.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
Much like Alexander-Arnold on the right side, Robertson, too, was a menace for Leicester with his constant overlapping runs. The Scotsman also showed some great understanding with new signing Luis Diaz, which bodes well for Liverpool. He also had a shot saved in the second half.
Thiago Alcantara: 7/10
Back into the starting lineup after nearly two months, the Spaniard was in his elements as he sprayed some nice passes forward, got stuck in and made several ball recoveries while pressing the opposition with great intent in general. Key to Liverpool being able to secure a comfortable win.
The Brazilian was another pivotal figure in Liverpool’s win. He constantly broke up play in the middle of the park with ease. He used possession intelligently to ensure that Leicester never really put pressure on the Reds for extended periods.
Curtis Jones: 6/10
Getting the nod over Naby Keita and James Milner, Jones displayed good energy to harry the opponents and made a few decent forays with the ball. However, he was sometimes guilty of holding onto the ball a tad too long, allowing Leicester to dispossess him. Nonetheless, the minutes will do him good.
Diogo Jota: 9/10
17 – Diogo Jota has now scored 17 goals across all competitions for Liverpool this season; already his most in a single campaign while playing for a Premier League club. Explosion. pic.twitter.com/ZGLCkbJOcR
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 10, 2022
He slotted in on the right flank and was off to a rather slow start to the contest. But Jota began to pose a threat as he drifted more centrally and was in the right place at the right time to put Liverpool in front. The Portuguese forward came close to scoring on a couple more occasions after that before eventually netting his second. Jota has now scored 17 goals in the season.
Roberto Firmino: 6/10
Not the most effective of performances from the Brazilian, but he still added value to the team with his work rate and link-up play. He also drew a couple of saves from Schmeichel late in the first half. He made way for Mohamed Salah just before the hour mark.
Luis Diaz: 7.5/10
Making his first start for Liverpool, the Colombian forward looked like a great fit. Dovetailed nicely with Robertson on the left and asked some serious questions of the Leicester defence with his pace and running. He had a shot deflected wide and two more saved by Schmeichel. Nonetheless, an extremely impressive Premier League debut for Luis Diaz.
? STAT: Luis Díaz’s PL debut vs. Leicester by numbers:
• 91% pass accuracy
• 68 touches
• 9 touches in opp. box
• 8 duels won
• 5 take-ons completed
• 4 crosses
• 4 shots
• 2 shots on target
• 1 chance created
???? ? ????? ? #awlive [@Squawka] pic.twitter.com/JghMUlc5NR
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) February 10, 2022
Mohamed Salah: 7/10
Came on for Firmino in the 59th minute just four days after his Africa Cup of Nations heartbreak. Salah was lively from the get-go and forced a top save from Schmeichel before hitting the upright with a sublime effort. He created a chance for Diaz as well.
Harvey Elliott: 6.5/10
He replaced Jones close to the hour mark and showed a lot of promise as he continues to build his fitness levels. There were some promising exchanges with Salah on the right side while playing a part in the second goal.
Takumi Minamino: N/A
Late sub for Diaz.
Kasper Schmeichel: 8/10
Don't let the fact that Luis Diaz is balling out on his debut distract you from the fact that Kasper Schmeichel is an absolute monster of a goalkeeper. I have spoken.
— Zwë ? (@ZwebackHD) February 10, 2022
He stopped the scoreline from getting embarrassing for Leicester with a series of stunning stops on both sides of half-time. The save to deny Salah in a one-on-one situation was a particular highlight.
James Justin: 5/10
It was a difficult outing for the Englishman, returning from a long layoff, as he found it hard to cope with the lively Luis Diaz. While Justin did win a fair share of his battles, he could not fully shut out the Liverpool forwards.
Daniel Amartey: 6/10
A fairly solid display from the Ghanaian who did not make any mistakes as such at the back. He tried his best to keep Liverpool’s attacking threat away. Amartey made several clearances and blocks throughout the game.
Wilfred Ndidi: 5/10
Slotting in at the heart of the defence, the Nigerian international lost track of Virgil van Dijk which led to the opening goal. Otherwise, he was at hand to stop some attacks and got in some important tackles and blocks.
Luke Thomas: 5/10
Tough game for the young full-back going up against a deadly Diogo Jota and a motivated Mohamed Salah. Thomas struggled to contain the Liverpool attacks on his side while his passing was also shoddy at times.
Boubakary Soumare: 4/10
The summer signing struggled to get going on the night as his tendency to hold on to the ball allowed Liverpool to target him, putting him under pressure from the get-go. He was taken off early in the second half.
Liverpool are deliberately targeting Soumare.
— Vince™ (@Blue_Footy) February 10, 2022
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall: 5/10
He showed more energy and intensity than his midfield partner and generally tried to drag Leicester forward. However, one sloppy moment in the second half almost gifted Liverpool a goal.
Marc Albrighton: 5/10
He had his hands full dealing with the lively Roberston, which meant that Albrighton could hardly influence the game going forward. He made one or two good challenges but failed to curb the Scotsman’s influence.
James Maddison: 6/10
One of the few Leicester players who looked likely to make things happen. Maddison tested Alisson early in the game and tried to make things happen each time he got on the ball. However, he lacked support from those around him.
? – Maddison finds himself in a good position after poor defending from Liverpool, but Alisson denies him. pic.twitter.com/Nj3QrIXsHj
— ??? ???? ? (@TheEuropeanLad) February 10, 2022
Ademola Lookman: 5/10
Created the chance for Maddison in the first half and had a few moments when he put his pace to good use to get into dangerous areas. However, with Liverpool firmly in control, he could not get a proper foothold in the contest.
Patson Daka: 4/10
Deprived of any service as van Dijk and Matip cut out passes towards the Zambian forward. As a result, he had to drop deep to get on the ball but could not make much of a difference. He was taken off in the second period.
Youri Tielemans: 4/10
On for Soumare at the hour mark. He hardly made any difference.
Kelechi Iheanacho: 4/10
Like Daka, he, too, did not have any service to feed off.
Harvey Barnes: N/A
Not enough time to make an impact.
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