Liverpool maintained their perfect start to the Premier League season following a 1-2 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium this afternoon.
First-half goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were enough for Liverpool to see off the Foxes who got back into the game through Rachid Ghezzal’s goal from Alisson’s blunder but could not nick a draw.
Let’s take a look at five things we learned as Liverpool picked up another Premier League victory.
1) Alisson Isn’t Perfect
Despite what three clean sheets in a row would lead you to believe, Liverpool’s new goalkeeper Alisson is actually human. Credit where credit is due, the Brazilian actually played quite well against Leicester making a couple of smart saves and controlling his distribution well.
The good, however, won’t be remembered and in a ruthless way it really shouldn’t, such was the naivety of his error. The pass back to him admittedly did him no favours but Alisson had time and space to go long or pick out a short ball to one his defenders. A Cruyff turn was not one of those options.
Klopp’s men came away with three points and ultimately that is all that matters but he’ll certainly be hoping that this is not a case of teams already starting to work Alisson out. He is a confident keeper, however, so hopefully, from a Liverpool perspective, this error will not affect him too much.
2) Even When Liverpool Don’t Play Well, They Can Still Get The Job Done
Against Brighton last week Liverpool had to grind out a result against one of the division’s grittier teams. They came away with a 1-0 victory but in truth, they played well in what was a challenging game.
This afternoon though, save for the first twenty minutes or so, Liverpool looked a step below their usual marauding selves and allowed Leicester a lot of the ball as the Foxes slowly grew into the game.
Maddison and Gray both looked threatening when they got in possession and Liverpool struggled to contain Leicester especially at times towards the end of the second half.
Leicester got their goal and threatened an equaliser but it never came. They say champions need to win even when they aren’t at their best. This’ll be a result that, performance aside, Klopp will be very happy with.
3) James Maddison Continues To Impress
As he has been all season 21-year old James Maddison looked like one of Leicester City’s most promising players despite them falling to defeat at home.
Maddison appears to be growing in confidence every game and caused Liverpool frequent problems when he got on the ball at the King Power this afternoon.
The former Norwich City midfielder, saw a long-range effort flash over the bar in the first half and would’ve probably got on the scoresheet had it not been for an excellent block from Liverpool defender Joe Gomez.
Still so young Maddison has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water and has already become one of Claude Puel’s most important players. He could be in for a real breakthrough season.
4) Second Season Syndrome For Salah?
Admittedly that conclusion could be a tad extreme and very premature but there’s no doubt that the Egyptian struggled against Leicester City this afternoon.
Last season’s PFA Player of the Year missed a number of chances in a game that 12 months ago you would have expected him to dominate in. He sidefooted a glaring early chance wide of Kasper Schmeichel’s post following a Sadio Mane effort and forced the Leicester keeper to push a strike past his goal later in the half.
Salah was then taken off with just over a quarter of the game remaining to end what was a tough afternoon for the 26-year-old. It’s far too early to pass judgement on Salah and he did score against Brighton last week but perhaps the weight of last year’s incredible season is weighing heavily on his shoulders.
5) Leicester Are Almost, But Not Quite, The Finished Article.
This game against Liverpool was almost a carbon copy of their opening day defeat to Manchester United. Play very well, conceded two goals, continue playing very well, score one, lose 2-1.
Claude Puel’s men again showed signs of promise and in the likes of Ben Chilwell, Demarai Gray and James Maddison they are developing a core of quality young players but there’s just that lingering feeling when you watch Leicester City that they aren’t quite there yet.
Maybe it’s the absence of Jamie Vardy or the departure of Riyad Mahrez but it seems as though Leicester agonisingly close to being a really good team.
Puel has them playing some very nice football and they’ll likely finish inside the top 8 this season but there’s the feeling that maybe, just maybe, the potential is there for more with this group. Time will tell.