Little Magican’s stunner helps Liverpool to victory over Leicester

Coutinho went the right way about getting back into Jurgen Klopp’s good books as his stunning free kick helped Liverpool to a 3-2 victory over Leicester in a pulsating encounter at the King Power.

Liverpool went into the game on a wretched run of form and were out for revenge after their 2-0 defeat at the hands of the ‘Foxes’ in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

The visitors looked bright early on, with Emre Can seeing a cross-shot easily gathered by Kasper Schmeichel but it was Leicester who had the first real chance of the game when Shinji Okazaki sent Jamie Vardy away down the left.

The England international saw his effort from a tight angle saved by Simon Mignolet, before Riyad Mahrez blazed the rebound over the bar.

Coutinho started the game for Liverpool as he continues he reintegration into the squad following his tumultuous summer and he was a growing influence as the first half went on.

A lovely nutmeg on Danny Simpson was but a statement of the Brazilian’s intentions.

The visitors should have taken the lead after little more than 13 minutes.

Emre Can rattled the post with a low effort from range and the ball fell to Mohamed Salah but the Egyptian could only fired wide with the goal gaping.

Salah soon made amends though, heading Liverpool ahead at the back post just three minutes later following a sublime cross from Coutinho.

Simon Mignolet almost gave Leicester a way back in the game when he dawdles on the ball and allowed Vardy to block his clearance.

The ball dropped to Okazaki but the Belgian recovered to turn his effort away for a corner.

Liverpool doubled their lead soon after and it was entirely down to the excellence of Coutinho.

The ‘Reds’ won a free kick in a dangerous area as Ndidi brought Moreno down as Liverpool looked to counter. Coutinho stepped up and curled a beautiful effort over the wall and beyond Schmeichel to put Liverpool in control.

The visitors scored with their first two shots on goal, leaving the hosts looking somewhat shell-shocked.

The game turned scrappy at this point as the hosts battle to find a way back into the game.

Ben Chilwell saw a low cross-shot saved by Mignolet before Leicester did have the ball in the net.

Okazaki latched onto a knock-down from Maguire to beat Mignolet at his near post but the linesman’s flag went up, with Maguire adjudged to have been offside in the build-up.

Roberto Firmino went close for Liverpool as his low effort skidded wide of the far post and the stretching Coutinho.

Andy King also found his side a route back into the game on the stroke of half-time as his header from Mahrez’s cross was tipped over by Mignolet.

From the ensuing corner though, the ‘Foxes’ did find the net.

The Belgian came to claim the set piece but got nowhere near it, Joe Gomez headed the ball towards his own goal and Okazaki stretched out to get a toenail onto the ball and give his side a lifeline going into the half.

The second half started at a slower tempo as Liverpool tried to strangle the life out of the game with long spells of possession.

Coutinho hit an effort straight at Schmeichel before Can could only head Henderson’s deep cross from the right well over.

The game sparked into life once again after the hour mark.

First, Liverpool extended their lead as Sturridge played in Henderson on the counter attack with the Liverpool skipper keeping his cool to slot home to put Liverpool in control.

At least that was the theory, in reality, Leicester hit back immediately.

Substitute Demarai Gray fired a fierce volley at goal and Mignolet could only palm it as far as Vardy who nodded into the empty net for his fifth of the season.

Vardy was the centre of attention again just three minutes later when he raced clear following Andy King’s pass, only to be brought to a halt by Mignolet.

Referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot, only for the Belgian stopped to then keep out Vardy’s powerful spot kick away to his right.

That save seemed to give Liverpool belief and they looked more likely for the remainder of the game.

Daniel Sturridge saw an effort fly just over the bar before he called Schemiechel into a fine save away to his left with a shot from range.

Islam Slimani could have equalised for the hosts with just six minutes to go but he contrived to head wide from six yards following Simpson’s cross from the right.

That proved to be the hosts’ last real chance of the game as Jurgen Klopp’s side recorded a much-needed victory.

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