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Liverpool 1-1 Leicester City: Harry Maguire cancels out Sadio Mane goal

Liverpool v Leicester
Sadio Mane's goal after 121 seconds was Liverpool's quickest in the Premier League since April 2016

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes snow on the Anfield pitch contributed to a frustrating night for his Premier League leaders as they were held to a draw by mid-table Leicester City.

Liverpool extended their advantage over nearest rivals Manchester City to five points yet failed to build on Sadio Mane's early goal on a pitch that Klopp believes made quick passing more difficult.

"You saw that the ball didn't roll really," said the German, whose side were denied a second-half penalty when Naby Keita was fouled by Ricardo Pereira.

"If you then have the ball pretty much for 70 to 80% of the time it makes life really uncomfortable.

"The only problem is if it stays on the pitch and that was actually the case."

At half-time in the match Liverpool groundstaff only cleared snow in the half of the pitch towards the Kop, the end the Reds were set to attack.

Liverpool groundstaff clear the pitch of snow at half time
Liverpool groundstaff clear the pitch of snow at half time

Klopp's side started the game in explosive fashion as they sought to capitalise on Manchester City's defeat at Newcastle and took an early lead when Mane finished off a sublime 30-pass move in the third minute.

But Harry Maguire deservedly equalised in front of the Kop at the end of the first half after the hosts failed to deal with a free-kick carelessly conceded by left-back Andrew Robertson.

Maguire had earlier escaped a red card after deliberately fouling Mane 40 yards from goal when the winger looked to sprint clear, while Pereira's foul on Keita added to Klopp's frustration.

"I think everybody agrees there could have been a penalty and maybe should have been a penalty," said the Liverpool boss. "I don't know why it was no penalty."

Liverpool could have gone seven points clear with victory over a team that had lost their previous three league and cup games.

But Leicester were threatening throughout and are only the second team to leave Anfield without suffering defeat in the league this season, following Pep Guardiola's side on 7 October.

"We have a point more than before - it is not exactly what we wanted to have, but still everything is fine," added the former Borussia Dortmund manager.

Nerves set in at Anfield

Despite Klopp's side moving a point further ahead of Guardiola's City, this result will be widely viewed as two dropped.

Except for their initial flurry, Liverpool were nervous, sluggish and a long way from their incisive best on an icy surface - yet they remain in a strong position with 14 games remaining as they chase a first league title since 1990.

Liverpool had won seven top-flight games in a row at Anfield and expectant home fans chanted the name of their former manager Rafael Benitez - who masterminded Newcastle's win over City - after Senegal winger Mane scored by cutting inside and finding the net with a low, skidding shot.

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Liverpool 1-1 Leicester: Counter-attacks defended by pitch - Klopp

Brazil striker Roberto Firmino was then denied by a fine save from Kasper Schmeichel but the Foxes grew into a game that saw two of the leaders' star performers this season have relatively poor nights.

Alisson, who gifted Leicester a goal at the King Power Stadium on 1 September, made two mistakes in the first half, with the second error leading to a golden chance for James Maddison, who headed wide.

Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk, who was ill in the build-up to the game, was also not at his imperious best and Leicester's equaliser came when he failed to pick up England centre-back Maguire at the back post.

While Klopp and Liverpool were frustrated when Martin Atkinson ignored the claims for a penalty for the clip on Keita, a draw was the correct outcome.

Leicester prove they are behind Puel

It has been a poor start to 2019 for Leicester after they followed their FA Cup exit at League Two Newport with defeats at home to Southampton and away at Wolves.

But at Anfield they recovered from a disastrous start and were both threatening in attack and organised in defence, with Marc Albrighton causing problems at one end and Ben Chilwell keeping Mohamed Salah - the league's leading scorer - quiet at the other.

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Liverpool 1-1 Leicester: Foxes had more chances than Liverpool - Puel

It has been suggested Claude Puel, in charge of the Foxes since October 2017, is under pressure and Leicester's recent results have not done the Frenchman any favours.

But his players produced an energetic performance that suggests they are fully behind their manager.

It was a timely effort too, given it starts a run of tough fixtures that include games against Manchester United and Tottenham.

Leicester, 11th in the table - three points behind seventh-placed Wolves - had lost on six of their last seven visits to Anfield yet might have been celebrating a famous victory had they been more clinical.

At 1-0, Maddison headed wide from Albrighton's cross following the error by Alisson and then the same player horribly mis-hit another chance after Chilwell got behind the Liverpool defence when it was 1-1.

Alisson then made a save with his feet to prevent a Firmino own goal after Liverpool again failed to pick up Maguire from a set piece, while Demarai Gray shot at the keeper instead of passing to team-mates who were in much better positions.

Nevertheless this was another positive result against a side in the top six, following their victories over Chelsea and Manchester City in December.

Puel will now hope to coax more consistency from his players against teams around them in the table.

Man of the match - Ben Chilwell (Leicester City)

Ben Chilwell (centre)
There were a number of contenders for Leicester - including goalscorer Harry Maguire and winger Marc Albrighton - but England full-back Ben Chilwell was the game's outstanding player. He was solid at the back as he kept Mohamed Salah quiet and he also created several chances at the other end.

'We showed fantastic character' - what they said

Leicester City manager Claude Puel:

"I have a little regret at the end because we had some fantastic chances at the beginning of the second half.

"We started slowly and conceded a goal but after we showed fantastic character and personality.

"We put them under pressure at the beginning of the second half and in this period we have to be more clinical."

Defensive questions for Liverpool? - the stats

  • Liverpool have conceded in their past three Premier League home games, after only conceding in two of their opening nine home league games this season.
  • Leicester are the first team outside the top six that Liverpool have failed to beat in the Premier League this season.
  • Liverpool attempted just 10 shots in this game - the only occasions when they have had fewer in the Premier League this season were both against Manchester City.
  • Leicester have avoided defeat in each of their past two Premier League away games at 'top six' sides (1-0 v Chelsea and 1-1 v Liverpool).
  • Liverpool's Sadio Mane has now scored 10-plus Premier League goals in his five seasons in the England's top flight.
  • Harry Maguire's three league goals for Leicester this season have all come away from home.

What's next

Liverpool's lead could be down to two points by the time they are next in action, away at West Ham on Monday (20:00 GMT). Leicester are back at the King Power on Sunday when Manchester United are the visitors (14:05 GMT).

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 13Alisson
  • 14Henderson
  • 32MatipBooked at 16mins
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 8KeitaSubstituted forLallanaat 66'minutes
  • 23ShaqiriSubstituted forFabinhoat 67'minutes
  • 9Roberto FirminoSubstituted forSturridgeat 82'minutes
  • 10Mané
  • 11Salah

Substitutes

  • 3Fabinho
  • 6Lovren
  • 15Sturridge
  • 20Lallana
  • 22Mignolet
  • 27Origi
  • 64Camacho

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 14Ricardo PereiraBooked at 50mins
  • 6Evans
  • 15MaguireBooked at 41mins
  • 3ChilwellBooked at 90mins
  • 7GraySubstituted forOkazakiat 84'minutes
  • 24Mendy
  • 25Ndidi
  • 10MaddisonSubstituted forChoudhuryat 75'minutes
  • 11Albrighton
  • 9VardySubstituted forIheanachoat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Simpson
  • 5Morgan
  • 8Iheanacho
  • 12Ward
  • 19Barnes
  • 20Okazaki
  • 38Choudhury
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
53,092

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamLeicester
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home10
Away5
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away1
Fouls
Home13
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 1, Leicester City 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 1, Leicester City 1.

Booking

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Adam Lallana with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Hamza Choudhury.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Kelechi Iheanacho replaces Jamie Vardy.

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a fast break.

Hand ball by Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki replaces Demarai Gray.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Daniel Sturridge replaces Roberto Firmino.

Offside, Liverpool. Mohamed Salah tries a through ball, but Sadio Mané is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City).

Offside, Liverpool. Jordan Henderson tries a through ball, but Roberto Firmino is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Sadio Mané.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Hamza Choudhury replaces James Maddison.

Attempt missed. Joel Matip (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Adam Lallana with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Harry Maguire.

Attempt saved. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Harry Maguire.

Attempt saved. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.

Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Fabinho replaces Xherdan Shaqiri.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Adam Lallana replaces Naby Keita.

Foul by Naby Keita (Liverpool).

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

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ben Chilwell (Leicester City).

Offside, Leicester City. Marc Albrighton tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Joel Matip.

Foul by Naby Keita (Liverpool).

Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Leicester City. Marc Albrighton tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Foul by Naby Keita (Liverpool).

Harry Maguire (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) left footed shot from very close range misses to the left following a set piece situation.

Foul by Naby Keita (Liverpool).

Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool24194155144161
2Man City24182463194456
3Tottenham24180650242654
4Arsenal24145550331747
5Chelsea24145540231747
6Man Utd24136548351345
7Wolves2410593031-135
8Everton249693533233
9Watford249693334-133
10Bournemouth24103113742-533
11Leicester2495103030032
12West Ham2494113037-731
13Brighton2475122736-926
14Newcastle2466122132-1124
15Crystal Palace2465132433-923
16Southampton2458112641-1523
17Burnley2465132545-2023
18Cardiff2454152046-2619
19Fulham2445152553-2817
20Huddersfield2425171341-2811
View full Premier League table

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