Leicester moves into second place after beating Liverpool with three goals in 8 minutes

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Leicester beat Liverpool 3- 1 to add to the woes of the British Premier League Champions.

An error by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson helped Leicester come from behind to earn a 3-1 win on Saturday, with the champions losing three successive Premier League games for the first time since November 2014, when they were managed by Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool were forced into another defensive reshuffle due to Fabinho being injured, with January loan signing Ozan Kabak handed his debut. The 20-year-old’s slip let Jamie Vardy in in the first half, only for the Leicester striker to hit the crossbar.

It was Trent Alexander-Arnold’s turn to hit the woodwork from a free-kick just after the interval before Mohamed Salah finally broke the deadlock in the 68th minute after being set up by a superb Roberto Firmino backwards flick.

After VAR had overturned a penalty awarded to Leicester, James Maddison equalised from a free-kick, before Alisson, who made two glaring errors in Liverpool’s loss to Manchester City last weekend, cost his side again.

The Brazilian came racing out of his goal to meet a long ball over the top but collided with Kabak and allowed Vardy in to score in the 81st minute.

Harvey Barnes made sure of the win four minutes later to complete another miserable afternoon for Liverpool, who have now won just two of their last 10 league games.

With Manchester United not in action until Sunday, Leicester jumped to second in the standings, while Liverpool sit fourth, 10 points off leaders City having played two games more.

“The second goal is a misunderstanding,” Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp told BT Sport. “Alisson had a super game and then at that moment he came out, I didn’t hear him shouting.

“On the pitch we were the clear dominant side. We had chances and then we concede two goals.”

The match started at a ferocious pace, and James Maddison almost caught Alisson off his line with an audacious effort from his own half early on. But the Liverpool keeper got back to make the save.

The injuries continued to pile up for Liverpool as James Milner had to be withdrawn, but the visitors remained a threat on counter, with Kasper Schmeichel, on his 100th consecutive Premier League appearance, in fine form.

After Alexander-Arnold’s perfectly flighted free-kick beat Schmeichel but not the frame of the goal, the chances continued to come, at both ends, before Salah finally made one count, scoring his 17th league goal of the season.

A frantic final 12 minutes saw Leicester storm to victory.

VAR had a long look at Maddison’s free-kick, which went through a sea of bodies into the net, before Alisson’s ill-fated rush of blood to the head that left Vardy with an open goal – his eighth career strike against Liverpool.

Barnes then made sure of the win with a fine finish.

“Whatever we are asking the players to achieve with important players missing they are doing,” Rodgers told BT Sport. “There is a long way to go, we are not getting carried away with anything.”

Leicester are now on 46 points, four behind leaders Manchester City, who have two games in hand. Manchester United can reclaim second spot tomorrrow, providing they avoid defeat at West Bromwich Albion. 

Liverpool however, any faint hopes of retaining their title completely extinguished, remain in fourth, but Chelsea, West Ham, Everton, Tottenham and Aston Villa are all in a position to pass them if they use their games in hand wisely. A top-four finish, given their 2021 form, looks like a pipe dream at the moment.

This brings five defeats for Liverpool, in the last ten Premier League games for the reigning champions, and this latest the  third on the spin for a team that cannot find its confidence again. 

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The Guardian / Telegraph / BBC

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