Leicester 2-3 Liverpool Simon Mignolet turns from zero to hero after saving Jamie Vardy penalty ...
Leicester 2-3 Liverpool Simon Mignolet turns from zero to hero after saving Jamie Vardy penalty
The familiar defensive jitters were as prevalent as ever but even so Liverpool can celebrate an overdue win.
Twice in this game Jurgen Klopps side looked ready to coast to three points but on each occasion they lapsed at the back to give Leicester a scent of blood.
That they escaped the King Power Stadium with a first victory since August owes much to Philippe Coutinhos enduring class and Jamie Vardy encountering a goalkeeper with iron-cladded wrists.
Simon Mignolet stood up to Vardys sledgehammer penalty that would have levelled this match at 3-3 and it might be that the Leicester striker has to vary his previously successful technique from the spot given this one was telegraphed.
Craig Shakespeare was frustrated that another punchy performance against one of the Premier Leagues elite has been rewarded with defeat but for Klopp this was a much-needed win, a first in five outings that lifts his team to fifth.
Klopp, who has gone away from this ground defeated on three previous occasions, said: It is the first time I sit here with something in my pocket, a big difference.
We really think we are on a good way but we are absolutely aware we have to show that with results so everyone can see.
I know about pressure a lot. I had it all my life for different reasons. When it is the right pressure it always helps. When it is without sense you ignore it.
The quality we have makes us responsible for being successful and I told the players before the game, We are not the Harlem Globetrotters, we play for results. I loved how we fought for it.
Leicester started with customary vim, as Jamie Vardy broke clear but shot straight at Mignolet. Dejan Lovren dithered to allow Riyad Mahrez first bite at the rebound but the Algerian failed to keep his effort down.
Liverpool began to click into gear and Leicester were fortunate to still be level after the 13th minute.
Emre Cans shot struck the post and the rebound fell at the feet of Mohamed Salah, who should have tapped in but shanked his shot yards wide.
Salah made amends three minutes later. Coutinho cut inside off the left and delivered a deep cross where Salah had peeled behind Ben Chilwell.
Salahs header was accurately placed but Kasper Schmeichel left him a lot of space to aim for and appeared a little slow to react.
Vardy harried Mignolet into a mistake giving Shinji Okazaki a sight of goal from 25 yards. Outside the area, Liverpools goalkeeper had to make the necessary save with his feet.
Liverpool continued to look dangerous at the other end and doubled their lead in the 23rd minute.
Jordan Henderson started the move with an improvised chip to free Alberto Moreno, who sought and won a free-kick from the deftest of touches by Wilfred Ndidi.
Just outside the D, Coutinho curled in a wonderful free-kick. It flew over a jumping wall and bent beyond the stretched-sinew dive of Schmeichel.
But on the stroke of half-time Leicester found a way back into the contest. The origins could be found in Joel Matips curious decision to foul Vardy as he chased another lost cause given Mignolet was winning the race.
Mahrez delivered a low free-kick that Vardy stooped to glance, only for Mignolet to divert.
As is so often the way with the Belgian though, one good thing was followed by bad. From Albrightons corner, Mignolet was much less assertive, flapping at the ball under pressure from Okazaki.
Ndidi won the header, the ball ricocheted off Joe Gomez, and it was trickling for the line when Okazaki made sure with a toe from a yard out. Henderson remonstrated long at the officials and Klopp too believed Mignolet was fouled.
Shortly after the break Emre Can wasted an excellent chance heading over when in space but in the 68th minute Liverpool did have a third.
Harry Maguire was caught upfield in possession by Henderson and Klopps team had a three-on-two break. Daniel Sturridge squared to Henderson and though Maguire had raced back the Liverpool captain calmly checked inside and swept in his finish.
Schmeichel went red turning the air blue.
Within a minute the deficit was back to one. Albrighton did superbly to beat Gomez, and find Demarai Gray with a cross. The substitute chested and volleyed with fine technique and though Mignolet saved Vardy headed in the rebound.
Almost as quickly, Leicester should have been level. Andy King released Vardy with a superb sliced pass and Mignolets wild swipe took a slither of the ball and all of the Leicester strikers legs.
Penalty, said Anthony Taylor. Mignolet was at least wise to Vardys spot-kick style, standing up and punching clear when the strike was drilled down the middle.
Shakespeare said: We knew this start to the season was going to be challenging. We have to make sure we turn the performances to into points..