Leicester City 2:0 Liverpool
Two goals from Jamie Vardy, one of them a contender for Goal of the Season, saw City beat Liverpool 2-0 at the KPS on Tuesday evening…
Claudio Ranieri named an unchanged line-up for the visit of Jürgen Klopp’s side as City once again set out to prove that they are genuine title contenders.
They had the first chance of the game after just two minutes when Mahrez drifted along the 18 yard line before sending in a low curling shot that beat the left hand post by a couple of feet.
Soon after that City threatened again when Vardy charged down the left and crossed for Okazaki, but his downward header from close in was too close to Mignolet who pulled off a fine save diverting the ball onto the crossbar.
At the other end Schmeichel came up with an equally good save from Henderson at point-blank range but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.
With Kanté and Drinkwater both performing superbly in City’s engine room, the chances kept coming. Huth nodded over from a Fuchs’ corner and then a beautiful effort from Mahrez was heading for the top left hand corner when Mignolet clawed it away at full-stretch.
The teams went in goalless at the break in a finely balanced game where both sides looked dangerous on the break, with Liverpool finding some space on the flanks.
The visitors had the better start to the second half. Drinkwater blocked a Can effort and then Schmeichel was alert enough to parry a Moreno cross that suddenly threatened the goal. Firmino then fired in a shot that sailed into the Family Stand.
On the hour an unforgettable moment of magic broke the deadlock and lit up the evening.
Mahrez sent a fine ball down the right and Vardy let it bounce once before launching an outrageous half-volley over Mignolet and into the top right hand corner.
It had the crowd stunned and open-mouthed as he marched into the corner to soak up the acclaim.
Liverpool were rocked by this bolt from the blue and soon found themselves two goals down. After an incredible eleven-pass move involving Simpson, Vardy, Kanté, Drinkwater and Okazaki the Japanese international was brought down in the box.
Instead of complaining to referee Andre Marriner, City kept pressing and an Okazaki shot was deflected towards Vardy who nipped ahead of Lovren and lifted the ball over the advancing Mignolet to find the net for the 18th time this season.
There was no way back for the Reds and King, Gray and Ulloa were all introduced into the action in the remaining ten minutes as City saw the game out with another clean sheet.
City ended the evening three points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Claudio Ranieri was full of praise for the man about to sign a new contract at Leicester: “It was an unbelievable pass from Mahrez and unbelievable what Vardy did. He watched the ball arriving, watched the opponent and watched the keeper. He looked at the keeper out of the goal and hit it. It was unbelievable, amazing, fantastic. That goal opened the match.”
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Kanté, Mahrez (Ulloa 90), Albrighton (Gray 79), Okazaki (King 87), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Dyer, Wasilewski, Chilwell.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Can (Allen 75), Henderson (Benteke 66), Lucas, Lallana, Milner, Firmino (Teixeira 87). Subs Not Used: Ward, Toure, Ibe, Flanagan.
Referee: A Marriner. Attendance: 32,121.
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