The pre-match fanfare for the hosts focused on Trent Alexander-Arnold and Luis Díaz – the former was making his 150th PL appearance for the Reds, while Díaz donned the red shirt for the first time in the league. Alexander-Arnold nearly marked the milestone with a goal, only to see Kasper Schmeichel parry away his powerful effort. The ‘Foxes’ also began the game with confidence, and Liverpool had Alisson to thank for an early save to keep out James Maddison’s angled strike following some superb link-up play with Ademola Lookman.
However, Leicester’s defensive frailties would come back to haunt them, and it was Jota who gave Jürgen Klopp’s side the lead in the 34th minute – he reacted quickest on the rebound to fire home a close-range finish, after Schmeichel saved Virgil van Dijk’s initial header from Alexander-Arnold’s corner. The Portuguese enjoy playing against the East Midlanders, with this his seventh career goal in 11 appearances against them across all competitions.
He looked to double his tally shortly after the restart with another effort, which was pushed away by Schmeichel, as the ‘Reds’ looked comfortable without being at their free-flowing best. The Anfield crowd were on their feet just past the hour mark, with Mohamed Salah introduced from the bench to make his first appearance since playing his part in Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations final defeat on Sunday.
Salah had two chances in quick succession to double Liverpool’s lead – the first saw him denied by Schmeichel after making a trademark shimmying run into the box, while the Dane made an even better save moments later to thwart the Egyptian in a one-on-one chance. Schmeichel then had the woodwork to thank when Salah’s superb, curling effort cannoned off the post. There was nothing he could do to deny Jota getting his second of the match though, as the forward got his 17th goal of the season with another clinical finish in the 87th minute, rounding off a dominant home performance from the ‘Reds’.
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