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Leicester rediscover title form to stun Liverpool

Jamie Vardy scores against Liverpool

Leicester produced a superb display in their first game following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, moving out of the Premier League bottom three as two goals from Jamie Vardy and a Danny Drinkwater strike saw off Liverpool.

It was a much-improved display from the Foxes under caretaker boss Craig Shakespeare, who took over after the departure of the man who led them to last season’s remarkable title triumph.

The first strike was straight from the 2015-16 playbook as Vardy collected Marc Albrighton’s precise long pass before racing clear and finishing low past Simon Mignolet to score his second goal in a week.

The second was an absolute cracker from Vardy’s England team-mate Drinkwater, who showed superb technique to lash home his first goal of the campaign from outside the box following a clearance from a long throw.

And Vardy sealed the win with a glancing header from Christian Fuchs’ cross in the second half before Philippe Coutinho stroked home a consolation goal.

The goals were the first the Foxes have scored in the league in 2017 and ended a run of five straight top-flight defeats in spectacular fashion.

Liverpool – who would have climbed to third with a victory – have now lost five of their past seven matches in all competitions.

Shakespeare draws a performance

Leicester average position<!–

Ranieri’s name was everywhere at the King Power – in pre-game conversations, on banners and in chants – as was his face, courtesy of paper masks worn by some Foxes supporters.

The 65-year-old Italian has left an indelible imprint on the club with last season’s astonishing success.

However, the inconvenient truth for many is that he was overseeing statistically one of the worst title defences in English top-flight history – one that has left Leicester facing the prospect of become the first reigning champions to be relegated since Manchester City in 1938.

Amid suggestions the players had stopped playing for their former boss, there was an element of damned if you do win and damned if you don’t in this game.

However, the need for victory was paramount and they were excellent from start to finish as Shakespeare drew a committed, energetic and ruthless display to improve his chances of steering the club to safety – and possibly succeeding Ranieri on a permanent basis.

The champions also have players in form. Vardy now has three goals in two games and Kasper Schmeichel remains an authoritative presence in goal, as he demonstrated with two big saves to deny Coutinho and Emre Can in the first half and Adam Lallana after the break.

Deja vu for Liverpool

Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum<!–

While Leicester have embarked on a demanding February comprising five matches, Liverpool have taken to the field just twice this month and came into this game off the back of a 16-day break, during which they took a training trip to La Manga in Spain.

But instead of looking refreshed, the Reds looked rusty throughout and were simply unable to make an impression on a night when they were always likely to be second on the bill.

Just over 12 months ago, Jurgen Klopp’s side were undone on this ground as a Vardy-inspired Leicester consigned them to a defeat that left them 16 points off top spot in eighth.

They are now 14 points behind leaders Chelsea in fifth but look as far away from challenging for the title as they did in 2016.

Goalscorer Coutinho was their only consistent attacking threat, while the defence continues to look shaky – especially with Lucas masquerading at centre-back – and their midfield lacked the industry and bite to compete in the absence of injured captain Jordan Henderson.

They now have a real challenge on their hands if they are to finish in the top four and seal a return to the Champions League next season.

Man of the match – Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Jamie Vardy<!–

More to follow.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 17Simpson
  • 5Morgan
  • 6Huth
  • 28Fuchs
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forGrayat 80′minutes
  • 4Drinkwater
  • 25Ndidi
  • 11AlbrightonSubstituted forChilwellat 90+1′minutes
  • 20OkazakiSubstituted forAmarteyat 69′minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 3Chilwell
  • 10King
  • 13Amartey
  • 19Slimani
  • 21Zieler
  • 22Gray
  • 23Ulloa

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 2Clyne
  • 32Matip
  • 21LucasSubstituted forWoodburnat 84′minutes
  • 7Milner
  • 20LallanaSubstituted forOrigiat 66′minutes
  • 23Can
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 19ManéSubstituted forMorenoat 66′minutes
  • 11Firmino
  • 10Coutinho

Substitutes

  • 1Karius
  • 17Klavan
  • 18Moreno
  • 27Origi
  • 35Stewart
  • 58Woodburn
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
32,034

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home31%
Away69%
Shots
Home13
Away17
Shots on Target
Home7
Away7
Corners
Home5
Away12
Fouls
Home8
Away5

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Leicester City 3, Liverpool 1.

Full Time

Posted at90’+6′

Second Half ends, Leicester City 3, Liverpool 1.

Posted at90’+5′

Divock Origi (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Posted at90’+5′

Foul by Wes Morgan (Leicester City).

Posted at90’+5′

Attempt missed. Christian Fuchs (Leicester City) left footed shot from more than 40 yards on the left wing is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Posted at90’+4′

Foul by James Milner (Liverpool).

Posted at90’+4′

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Posted at90’+1′

Substitution, Leicester City. Ben Chilwell replaces Marc Albrighton.

Posted at88′

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Christian Fuchs.

Posted at87′

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.

Posted at87′

Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne with a cross.

Posted at86′

Attempt blocked. Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.

Substitution

Posted at84′

Substitution, Liverpool. Ben Woodburn replaces Lucas Leiva.

Posted at83′

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Posted at83′

Delay in match Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) because of an injury.

Posted at81′

Attempt missed. Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne with a cross following a corner.

Posted at81′

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Danny Simpson.

Substitution

Posted at80′

Substitution, Leicester City. Demarai Gray replaces Riyad Mahrez.

Posted at79′

Attempt missed. Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.

Posted at78′

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.

Posted at78′

Attempt missed. Divock Origi (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho.

Posted at77′

Attempt saved. Christian Fuchs (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Posted at69′

Substitution, Leicester City. Daniel Amartey replaces Shinji Okazaki.

Goal!

Posted at68′

Goal! Leicester City 3, Liverpool 1. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Emre Can.

Posted at67′

Attempt blocked. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joel Matip.

Substitution

Posted at66′

Substitution, Liverpool. Divock Origi replaces Adam Lallana.

Substitution

Posted at66′

Substitution, Liverpool. Alberto Moreno replaces Sadio Mané.

Posted at65′

Attempt missed. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

Posted at65′

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.

Posted at65′

Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.

Posted at64′

James Milner (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at64′

Foul by Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City).

Posted at63′

Attempt missed. Joel Matip (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Goal!

Posted at60′

Goal! Leicester City 3, Liverpool 0. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Christian Fuchs with a cross.

Posted at59′

Offside, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Posted at57′

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Robert Huth.

Posted at57′

Attempt blocked. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne.

Posted at54′

Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Posted at52′

Offside, Liverpool. Roberto Firmino tries a through ball, but Sadio Mané is caught offside.

Second Half

Posted at

Second Half begins Leicester City 2, Liverpool 0.

goal

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Leicester City v Liverpool: Premier League – live!

5.41pm GMT

The world, these days, is an implacable, extreme place. Thanks to the enormous amount of unmoderated information delivered to us in bitesized chunks of individual turd-u-like, we are all experts in every field of human endeavour, and as such know the right answer to every question, however nuanced and complex it may be. As such, and depending on who you ask, Leicester were either absolutely right to sack Claudio Ranieri and really ought to have done so sooner, or appallingly, mortifyingly wrong.

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Breaking news

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Monk has been given a one-match touchline ban and fined £3,000.

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Monk will watch serve his ban in his side’s match at Birmingham City on Saturday.

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