The pre-match talk may have been dominated by Claudio Ranieri following his controversial sacking by Leicester City just 9 months after guiding them to the most unlikely title win. But the 90 minutes was dominated by a resurgent Jamie Vardy. As were Liverpool!
The English striker produced a dazzling performance, reminiscent of last season, covering every blade of grass, chasing every lost cause and netting a fantastic brace as Leicester City totally outfoxed Liverpool at the King Power Stadium.
The hosts began the game brightly creating chances from the off and looking much like their old selves, strange to me that they looked more like Ranieri’s team tonight than they have done for the past few months with Ranieri at the helm.
In the early stages of Leicester pressure, chances were missed by Okazaki, Huth and Vardy before the latter sprung the trap to latch on to a superb through ball from Albrighton to slot past Mignolet for the opener.
10 minutes later it was 2-0 as Danny Drinkwater struck the goal of the game with a 25 yard volley, Milner’s headed clearance was poor and Drinkwater caught the volley perfect to fire the ball into the bottom corner for a 2 goal lead.
The first half had been dominated by an energetic Leicester side who deserved their 2 goal lead, Liverpool had created very little with a tame Coutinho effort and a long range shot from Can the only notable attacks.
Liverpool created chances for Coutinho and Mane early in the second half but ended up going 3-0 down on the hour, Leicester typically broke quickly from winning the ball in their half and eventually a cross from Fuchs was headed home by the revitalised Jamie Vardy for his second of the game.
The Foxes dropped deeper and deeper as the game went on and Liverpool grabbed a glimmer of hope as a good run from Emre Can ended with Coutinho placing a low shot in to the net, making it 3-1 with 20 minutes to play.
The tone was set for the remainder of the game as Liverpool dominated possession but just couldn’t find a way through the Leicester barricades, there were half chances for Origi, Lucas and Coutinho but Leicester held firm comfortably for a deserved 3-1 win.
Leicester fans paid tribute to the recently departed Claudio Ranieri during the game, but i’m sure they would have loved seeing the improvements in tonight’s performance, the extra energy and effort that the side have missed recently was there for all to see and it does leave you wondering just what happened towards the end of Ranieri’s tenure.
Jamie Vardy had managed just 6 goals in 32 appearances this season, up until a week ago and 3 of those came in the same game against Manchester City, 2 games later and he has increased that tally by a further 50%, with 3 more goals. It’s fair to say, Jamie Vardy is back!