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Liverpool 1, Leicester City 1: First Thoughts

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Liverpool get Atkinson’d on a disappointing night.

Liverpool FC v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool 1 - 1 Leicester City

Reds: Mane 3’
Foxes: Maguire 45+2’

  • Pre-match Thought: The line-up is a bit of a head scratcher, with Fabinho (who everyone presumed would be covering at right back) starting on the bench. Instead it seems as if Georginio Wijnaldum will be filling in at right back. Either that or Klopp is running out a 3-4-3. Or...? Well, your guess is as good as mine. Not ideal, but in Kloppo we trust! Let’s get those 3 points to go 7 points clear at the top. Up the Reds!
  • The snow is coming down at kickoff. Hopefully one Mohamed Salah has another great day in the snow, as he did against Everton and Watford last year. It’s challenging passing it around through the heavy accumulation, with the players visibly putting lots of effort into each pass.
  • GOAL! That’s the start we wanted! Leicester hardly got a touch in the opening two minutes as the home side kept possession. Andy Robertson picked out Roberto Firmino at the edge of the box, who found Sadio Mane with a nifty first touch back heel. The Senegalese star took a touch past a defender and fired a low shot hard into the far corner.
  • Close! Salah picks Bobby out at the back post, who takes a touch and forces Schmeichel to make a diving save. Then Sadio gets a free header on the ensuing corner, but cannot turn it on target.
  • For what it’s worth, Jordan Henderson is playing right back (and nearly gave away a pen). Mystery solved.
  • Joel Matip goes into the book for a worth, professional foul against Jamie Vardy. The Leicester striker was about to run through into acres of space, so it was a good yellow to take. Though, not great timing with only 17 minutes gone.
  • Close from Leicester! Vardy nearly catches Alisson out on a back pass, which leads to a big chance in the form of a free header at the back post, which thankfully Maddison puts wide of the target. Both defenses are struggling with the slippery surface tonight.
  • Maguire’s a lucky boy to stay on the pitch, getting just a yellow after cynically clipping Mane’s heels as he was about to be put through on goal.
  • Goal. Oof. Not the best way to end the half. Robertson gives away a cheap free kick out wide. The defense deals with the initial ball in, but loses Maguire (because of course it’s the player who should be off) on the second ball into the box, and the Foxes level just before the break.
  • Halftime Thought: Liverpool definitely had the better of it in the first half, but it’s a weird match. The conditions are making normal football all but impossible. The slick conditions combined with the slow pitch are making it tough going so far.
  • So they definitely cleared the snow at the Kop end (where we’re attacking) and not at the Anfield Road end. It’s a good strategy until one of our defenders slips on his ass.
  • Liverpool are at 6’s and 7’s at the back (not helped, it must be noted, but the linesman), and need to be bailed out by a big Alisson save. It’s going to be a long second half if this continues.
  • Keita is 100% brought down by Pereira (who is already on a yellow) in the box, but no call. Naby just can’t catch a fucking break. Clearly we’re going to have to do this against a 11 Foxes and 4 Refs.
  • Fabinho and Adam Lallana coming on in a double change, coming on for Shaqiri and Fabinho. Hopefully it gives the Reds more control, because we’ve been all over the place.
  • Bobby makes way for Daniel Sturridge, as Klopp makes one last roll of the dice.
  • Final Whistle Thought: It’s a disappointing result, as Liverpool fail to fully take advantage of Manchester City’s stumble. The conditions and refs conspired to make it difficult for the Reds, and a draw was the outcome. Regardless, the Reds pushed their lead to 5 points at the top of the Premier League.

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.