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Liverpool 2, Leicester City 2: First Thoughts

Liverpool started 2015 with a disappointing draw at Anfield with no goals in open play.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Liverpool 2 Gerrard (pen.) 17' (pen.) 40'
Leicester City 2 Nugent 58', Schlupp 60'

  • Kolo Touré returned to the line-up in the absence of Martin Skrtel who was suspended after collecting five yellow cards over the first 19 league games. Steven Gerrarrd returned to captain the side as expected with Javi Manquillo dropping to the bench as Henderson predictably shuffled over to the right. Dejan Lovren returned from injury to take a place on the bench alongside and Sheyi Ojo. Yes, Ojo. Mario Balotelli didn't make the matchday squad, a decision that will inevitably cast doubt on his future at the club. Brendan Rodgers selected the previously neglected Fabio Borini and veteran Rickie Lambert as his striking depth on the bench.

  • Riyad Mahrez nearly scored within the first minute of the game as his free-kick struck the post with Mignolet well beaten. That was an early stroke of fortune for the home side that were met with opponents that started brightly. An early injury scare for Kolo Touré was a worry from a poor start in the first ten minutes by Liverpool.

  • There were two passes that suggested Liverpool could find a way through to take a lead. The first was to Jordan Henderson on the right who squared the ball to Raheem Sterling, but the vice-captain made his run a bit too early to be onside. The second was a through ball from Philippe Coutinho to Liverpool's nine-and-a-half stand-in Sterling, but Ben Hamer came off his line quickly enough to mop up. Leicester had another fantastic chance to take the lead as Jeffrey Schlupp used his pace on the left to easily beat Can and put a low centre in the path of Mahrez who should have scored. Schlupp showed more enterprise with a shot that went wide a few moments later as Liverpool

  • It was a poor decision by Mike Jones to grant Liverpool a penalty, and Wes Morgan won't have fond memories of his league games against Liverpool this season after being sent off last month at the King Power Stadium. Gerrard was ruthless as usual and scored to give Liverpool the lead.

  • By the half hour mark, Liverpool improved in possession and the backline was far more advanced up the pitch with Coutinho growing in influence. Liverpool found some spaces but weren't dominant. A second penalty after magic by Coutinho gave Gerrard a chance to double Liverpool's lead from the spot, which he did with his customary accuracy.

  • Liverpool were second best against the league's bottom side for much of the second half for conceded two goals in quick succession. Liverpool were rocked by goals from Dave Nugent and Jeffrey Schlupp. Leicester City were pressing before the goal as Liverpool sat deep with no ideas or control of the game.

  • Fabio Borini had two good chances and Nugent had one. Liverpool had shots blocked by their own players, Henderson was thwarted by Hamer, Markovic headed over after excellent work by Sterling, Nugent shot straight at Mignolet late on, Mahrez's free-kick hit the wall with only added on time remaining, a late corner brought nothing for Liverpool, and Gerrard ballooned over.

  • Liverpool weren't good enough to win this game, but a two goal lead at home against the bottom side in the league should be enough of a foundation for victory. It seems Liverpool's problems haven't gone away and Brendan Rodgers will need to make some decisions for this side to make progress when rival sides drop points.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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