Premier League

Liverpool 2-0 Leicester: Player ratings as Jota double hands Reds comfortable win

Jamie Spencer
Liverpool eased past a disappointing Leicester team
Liverpool eased past a disappointing Leicester team / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Liverpool cruised to a 2-0 victory over Leicester in the Premier League to bring the gap to leaders Manchester City back to nine points with a game in hand.

The Reds were beaten at the King Power Stadium only a few weeks ago but Diogo Jota ensured there was no repeat of that with his 11th and 12th Premier League goals of the season

Leicester had a really good early chance but Alisson denied James Maddison with a big right arm. At the other end, meanwhile, strong wrists from Kasper Schmeichel stopped a fierce effort from Trent Alexander-Arnold after he cut inside onto his left foot.

Brendan Rodgers made a number of changes following his team’s FA Cup embarrassment and it was working until Liverpool went ahead from a set piece. Wilfred Ndidi lost track of Virgil van Dijk, whose header was parried into the path of Jota the poacher.

Neat and quick interplay between Jota and Roberto Firmino almost gave Liverpool a second at the end of the first half, with Schmeichel equal to it. A fingertip save from the Dane then stopped Jota in the opening exchanges of the second. Robertson was also repelled soon after.

Rodgers switched things up to try and get back into the game by bringing on Youri Tielemans and Kelechi Iheanacho. At the same time, Jurgen Klopp gave the Anfield crowd what they wanted when he turned to Mohamed Salah, back just four days after the Africa Cup of Nations final.

The Egyptian didn’t initially see much of the ball but became the latest Liverpool player to draw a top Schmeichel save when he went through one on one. Moments later, Salah hit the angle of post and bar, with Premier League debutant Luis Diaz also twice denied by Schmeichel.

Liverpool saved their second goal for the end of the game and it was a collective effort. Fabinho won it back, substitute Harvey Elliott took it on, before Joel Matip played the final ball for Jota to swivel and find the bottom corner to make sure of the result.

Liverpool player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Joel Matip was very impressive
Joel Matip was very impressive / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Alisson (GK) - 6/10 - A big save early in the game stopped Leicester taking what would have been a surprise lead. Didn't need to do much else.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - 6/10 - Good going forward but was much quieter in the second half than in the first.

Joel Matip (CB) - 8/10 - Carried the ball out of defence well. Came away with an assist for the second with a cute pass.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) - 7/10 - Forced the goal to break the deadlock with his bullet header. Always a threat at set pieces.

Andrew Robertson (LB) - 7/10 -
Always looking to get forward and struck up an immediate understanding with new signing Diaz.

2. Midfielders

Curtis Jones got an hour on the pitch
Curtis Jones got an hour on the pitch / OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

Thiago (CM) - 7/10 - Passed exceptionally well and recovered the ball multiple times to keep Liverpool in control of possession.

Fabinho (CM) - 7/10 - Patrolled the midfield, ensuring Leicester couldn't gain any sort of rhythm on the ball.

Curtis Jones (CM) - 6/10 - Important minutes for him. Lasted an hour.

3. Forwards

Diogo Jota added to his tally
Diogo Jota added to his tally / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

Diogo Jota (RW) - 8/10 - Clinical as always when his chances came. Two goals on a night when no one else could beat Schmeichel.

Roberto Firmino (ST) - 6/10 - Good with the ball at his feet in tight spaces. Didn't get a goal and replaced by Salah with half an hour to go.

Luis Diaz (LW) - 7/10 - Premier League debut for the Colombian but he already fits into this team really well. Only denied a goal by good saves.

4. Substitutes

Mohamed Salah was back for Liverpool
Mohamed Salah was back for Liverpool / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Harvey Elliott (CM) - 6/10 - More opportunity to build his match fitness and played a role in the killer second goal.

Mohamed Salah (RW) - 7/10 - Made his return after Africa Cup of Nations duty. Forced saves from Schmeichel and hit the woodwork.

Takumi Minamino - N/A

Leicester player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Kasper Schmeichel single-handedly kept Liverpool at bay
Kasper Schmeichel single-handedly kept Liverpool at bay / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Kasper Schmeichel (GK) - 8/10 - Made so many good saves which stopped Leicester from being embarrassed.

James Justin (RB) - 5/10 - Drawn to the ball when Liverpool scored, leaving Jota free. Tough task against the impressive Diaz.

Daniel Amartey (CB) - 6/10 - Missed a few tackles but made plenty of clearances both in the air and on the ground.

Wilfred Ndidi (CB) - 4/10 - Crucially lost Van Dijk at the corner as Liverpool made the breakthrough and had no idea where the Dutchman was at another similar set piece later on.

Luke Thomas (LB) - 5/10 - Tough task against Jota and then Salah.

6. Midfielders

James Maddison was Leicester's best outfield player
James Maddison was Leicester's best outfield player / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Boubakary Soumare (CM) - 4/10 - Struggled to get control of the game and was replaced with half an hour still to play.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (CM) - 5/10 - The better of the Leicester midfield pair but almost gifted Liverpool a goal with a sloppy pass.

James Maddison (AM) - 6/10 - Went close to putting the Foxes ahead early and was the only player that looked capable of making something happen.

7. Forwards

Ademola Lookman couldn't make it happen
Ademola Lookman couldn't make it happen / OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

Marc Albrighton (RW) - 4/10 - A difficult night that required a lot of defensive work. Robertson had him beaten so often.

Patson Daka (ST) - 4/10 - Starved of meaningful service and had to come deep if he wanted even a sniff of the ball.

Ademola Lookman (LW) - 4/10 - Had a few runs that didn't achieve much.

8. Substitutes

Youri Tielemans (CM) - 4/10 - Initially dropped after the weekend's horror show but couldn't get Leicester back into it.

Kelechi Iheanacho (ST) - 4/10 - Encountered the same issues as Daka - no service.

Harvey Barnes (LW) - 5/10 - One promising run offered brief hope.

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