Jurgen Klopp comes up with a new strategy to improve his team, Christian Benteke’s Anfield career has been given a much-needed boost and other things we learned from Liverpool 1 Leicester 0.
By Editor Wayne Veysey
Benteke shows Klopp he can be a matchwinner
Overlooked in favour of youngster Divock Origi or, sometimes, a striker-less formation, it has been a difficult few weeks for Benteke. He was once again on the bench on Boxing Day as Origi got the nod from Klopp, but an early injury to the young Belgian gave the opportunity to the older Belgian. With Liverpool dominating, there were a string of inviting crosses for the powerful front man but he was unable to quite find his range. Just as the pressure was growing midway through the second half on the home team to break the deadlock, Roberto Firmino wriggled past a few challenges, found an unmarked Benteke on the edge of the box and the striker finished emphatically. It could prove to be an important goal not only for Liverpool overcoming their Anfield hoodoo but also Benteke demonstrating to Klopp that he deserves to be a regular starter.
Liverpool expose Leicester in wide areas
Klopp’s strategy to overcome the Premier League pacesetters was to use the full width of the pitch. Time and again, the ball was pushed out to full-backs Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno, who overlapped to great effect. It was an adventurous and exciting plan and worked a treat. Liverpool carved out more than 25 chances as they dominated the play, but were let down by some casual and, in the case of Benteke’s bumbling late effort with goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel out of the picture, hopeless finishing.
Mignolet shows why he is Anfield No1
After Adam Bogdan’s nervy and error-strewn Premier League bow at Watford, Simon Mignolet returned to the Liverpool goal after a one-match absence through injury. The Belgian is not always a reassuring presence behind the defence, but he showed fine reflexes on a few occasions and dealt capably with everything that came his way against Leicester, who were a shadow of the team who have raced to the Premier League summit until the final stages of this entertaining clash.
Vardy is not indestructible
When Jamie Vardy slumped to the turf for an extended period after a heavy Emre Can challenge midway through the second half, you half expected the Premier League top scorer to rise to his feet and dust himself down. Vardy might have done a passable impress of Superman this season but even the 28-year-old is not indestructible.
Clyne is the best right-back in England