Premier League
Leicester0Liverpool4

Leicester City 0-4 Liverpool: League leaders crush nearest rivals

Roberto Firmino
Roberto Firmino opened the scoring with a firm header in the first half

Liverpool tightened their grip on the Premier League title race even further as they produced a masterclass to overpower nearest challengers Leicester City at The King Power Stadium to extend their lead to an imposing 13 points.

Jurgen Klopp's side started the match 10 points clear of the Foxes with a game in hand - then produced a performance of such stature and dominance it is almost impossible to see how they will not claim their first title in 30 years.

Liverpool's slender half-time lead, courtesy of Roberto Firmino's header from a magnificent Trent Alexander-Arnold cross, did not reflect their superiority - but they turned this into a powerful statement victory after the break.

Leicester were enjoying their best spell when Caglar Soyuncu handled in the 71st minute, and substitute James Milner scored from the spot with his first touch seconds after coming on.

Liverpool added the flourishes their magnificent display deserved when Alexander-Arnold set up another for Firmino, who scored with a cool finish, before the England defender got his own reward with a thumping right-foot angled finish.

The leaders have now dropped only two points from their first 18 games and, having lost only one league game last season, it would take a collapse of unthinkable proportions from an outstanding team to cast this huge advantage aside.

Flawless Liverpool are champions elect

Liverpool have had too many near misses since their last title win in 1990 to get ahead of themselves - but how can anyone see beyond them this time?

They put together a magnificent campaign last season, with their only defeat - by reigning champions Manchester City - proving decisive. But they are in no mood to be denied this time.

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Klopp delighted after 'very important' win

From the first whistle here, despite the flashlights and pyrotechnics designed to whip up the home support and team, Liverpool were in control. They could have scored twice inside the first minute through Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane.

Leicester, suffering a dip in form, were pressed out of their stride relentlessly in a performance without a flaw from Liverpool.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were imperious at the back, while full-backs Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson posed a huge attacking threat while being assured at the back.

Liverpool controlled possession and were always a danger in attack. Leicester may have been in this game until the last 20 minutes, but Klopp's men always had extra gears and went through them to produce a victory of champions.

Leicester's brutal reality check

Leicester City have had their season put into perspective by successive defeats against reigning champions Manchester City and now Liverpool.

It will be a bitter disappointment after hopes were raised just a couple of weeks ago that Brendan Rodgers' team could yet mount a title challenge to rival their miraculous victory in 2015-16.

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Leicester lacked patience - Rodgers

That will not be happening now. Liverpool emphasised the gulf between the two sides in brutal style here, barely giving the Foxes a chance and subduing the cacophonous pre-match atmosphere within seconds.

While this was a painful night, Rodgers and his players should draw great encouragement from the manner in which they have muscled between the Premier League's two superpowers and put themselves in prime contention for a place in next season's Champions League.

Rodgers looks like he may have to rebuild some confidence, but there has still been much to admire from Leicester City this season - and still plenty to go for in the months ahead.

Man of the match - Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold made two assists, scored one goal and claimed a clean sheet as a part of Liverpool's back four

'An important day for us' - what they said

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to BBC Sport: "I am happy about that. I appreciate it because I do not take it for granted and the boys have to do it every three days. We had big chances at the start of the game, did not score with them but stayed in the game and controlled it.

"It is was difficult for Leicester to get into the game, both teams felt the intensity of the season but we controlled it more and maybe Leicester were not as aggressive, maybe because of us and our positioning. We scored a first goal, super, super, cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino can score from that situation.

"We struggled a bit with their build-up in the second half and we won the balls immediately and then scored the second goal, then the boys were flying. It looked really nice.

"1-0 is not even a result, it was a moment and it could have been difficult when they had set-piece but that is OK, I don't expect a game like this to have a free run because they have so much quality and the season Leicester have had. We were very concentrated and the goals were absolutely nice and an important day for us."

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers to Match of the Day: "We played our last two games against two of arguably the best teams in the history of the Premier League.

"We didn't have enough patience in the first half. We never secured the ball which meant we had to defend for long periods really.

"The players gave everything. It's a great learning game for us. Credit to Liverpool they played well.

"We just didn't have long enough periods with the ball. When you don't against a top team - world champions - it becomes difficult for you.

"We are at the halfway point now. We are 19 games in. It is the bigger picture with these guys. We have come a long way in this period. The players have been brilliant and this is another learning game for them, they see the physicality you need to compete.

"People were trying to put us in a race with Liverpool but we know where we are."

Biggest gap between first and second - the stats

  • This was the biggest margin of victory in a clash between teams starting the day in the top two of the Premier League since league leaders Manchester City beat Manchester United 6-1 in October 2011
  • Liverpool have won five consecutive Boxing Day matches for the first time in their league history, winning those games by an aggregate scoreline of 15-0.
  • Leicester have lost a home Premier League game by a four-goal margin for the first time since a 1-6 defeat to Tottenham in May 2017.
  • Liverpool have won three consecutive away league matches against Leicester for the first time in their top-flight history.
  • Roberto Firmino's second goal against Leicester was the 500th Liverpool have scored under Jurgen Klopp in all competitions.
  • Leicester failed to muster a single shot in the first half of a Premier League game for only the second time this season, also failing to do so in their first meeting with Liverpool in October.
  • Each of Roberto Firmino's last nine goals in all competitions for Liverpool have come away from Anfield.
  • Leicester have won just two of the 11 Premier League games under Brendan Rodgers in which Jamie Vardy has failed to score.
  • Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has registered 20 assists in the Premier League since start of last season, more than any other player.
  • James Milner has scored 13 of his 14 penalties for Liverpool in the Premier League, with only Steven Gerrard (32) and Robbie Fowler netting more for the Reds (13).

What's next?

Leicester travel to West Ham on Saturday, 28 December (17:30 GMT), while Liverpool host Wolves the following afternoon (16:30).

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 6Evans
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 3Chilwell
  • 25Ndidi
  • 15BarnesSubstituted forAlbrightonat 58'minutes
  • 26PraetSubstituted forPérezat 72'minutes
  • 8Tielemans
  • 10MaddisonBooked at 73minsSubstituted forChoudhuryat 76'minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 2Justin
  • 5Morgan
  • 7Gray
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 17Pérez
  • 20Choudhury

Liverpool

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 12GomezBooked at 62mins
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 8KeitaSubstituted forMilnerat 70'minutes
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forLallanaat 82'minutes
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 11SalahSubstituted forOrigiat 70'minutes
  • 9Firmino
  • 10Mané

Substitutes

  • 7Milner
  • 13Adrián
  • 20Lallana
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 27Origi
  • 48Jones
  • 76Williams
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
32,211

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home3
Away15
Shots on Target
Home0
Away6
Corners
Home2
Away8
Fouls
Home5
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 0, Liverpool 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 0, Liverpool 4.

Foul by Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool).

Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Divock Origi (Liverpool).

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

Attempt missed. Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Çaglar Söyüncü.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Adam Lallana replaces Jordan Henderson because of an injury.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 0, Liverpool 4. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Sadio Mané.

Attempt missed. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Andrew Robertson with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Hamza Choudhury replaces James Maddison.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 0, Liverpool 3. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold with a cross.

Booking

James Maddison (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card.

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Jonny Evans (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Ayoze Pérez replaces Dennis Praet.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 0, Liverpool 2. James Milner (Liverpool) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Penalty conceded by Çaglar Söyüncü (Leicester City) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Divock Origi replaces Mohamed Salah.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. James Milner replaces Naby Keita.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Çaglar Söyüncü.

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

Offside, Leicester City. Youri Tielemans tries a through ball, but Jamie Vardy is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Dennis Praet (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Booking

Joseph Gomez (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Joseph Gomez (Liverpool).

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Çaglar Söyüncü.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Marc Albrighton replaces Harvey Barnes.

Offside, Liverpool. Andrew Robertson tries a through ball, but Roberto Firmino is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Andrew Robertson with a cross.

Attempt missed. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Sadio Mané with a headed pass following a corner.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Ricardo Pereira.

Offside, Leicester City. Dennis Praet tries a through ball, but James Maddison is caught offside.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Joseph Gomez.

Attempt blocked. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Harvey Barnes.

Second Half

Second Half begins Leicester City 0, Liverpool 1.

Half Time

First Half ends, Leicester City 0, Liverpool 1.

Foul by Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

Dennis Praet (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool18171046143252
2Leicester19123441182339
3Man City18122450203038
4Chelsea1910273327632
5Tottenham198563427729
6Sheff Utd197842317629
7Man Utd197753023728
8Wolves186932622427
9Crystal Palace197571721-426
10Newcastle197481928-925
11Arsenal195952528-324
12Burnley197392330-724
13Everton196492129-822
14Southampton1963102337-1421
15Brighton195592228-620
16Bournemouth195592026-620
17West Ham185492030-1019
18Aston Villa1953112533-818
19Watford1927101233-2113
20Norwich1933131938-1912
View full Premier League table

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