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    Liverpool 4-1 Leicester City Match Report

    Liverpool turned on the style as they comfortably beat Premier League Champions Leicester City with a clinical performance in front of their highest attendance at Anfield for nearly 40 years.

    The Reds seemed to have put the match beyond the reach of the away side with a dominant first-half display in which Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane gave Jurgen Klopp's side a commanding 2-0 lead.

    A defensive lapse in concentration by Lucas Leiva seven minutes before the interval set up an intriguing second-half but Adam Lallana's second goal in a week for club and country killed off any hopes of a Foxes revival.

    Firmino rounded off proceedings with his second goal of the game that condemned Claudio Ranieri's side to only their third league defeat since their previous visit to Anfield on Boxing Day 2015.

    A sell-out crowd of 54,000 came to witness Liverpool's first league game of the season as well as the opening of the new main stand that had been 643 days in the making at a cost of £114 million.

    The extra 9,000 supporters didn't have to wait long though for the deadlock to be broken as Roberto Firmino scored his 11th league goal for the club since his £29 million transfer from Hoffenheim after only 13 minutes.

    Brazilian international Firmino latched onto James Milner's infield pass, taking the ball around Roberto Huth in the process, before slotting home nonchalantly past Kasper Schmeichel to give his side the lead.

    Daniel Sturridge, making only his second start of the season, was preferred to Philippe Coutinho in the starting XI and his selection nearly paid off after 26 minutes when he came close to doubling his side's lead.

    The England international forced Kasper Schmeichel into making an excellent near-post save after Sadio Mane's give-and-go with Adam Lallana allowed him to find time and space to pick out a cross.

    Mane did eventually give Liverpool a 2-0 advantage just after the half-hour mark when he was set-up by Sturridge's neat backheel, allowing him to chip the ball over the onrushing Schmeichel in unerring fashion from eight yards.

    Leicester struggled to deal with the pace of both Sturridge and Mane throughout the first-half, as well as with the home side's incisive passing, but they were handed a lifeline just seven minutes before half-time by a catastrophic defensive error.

    Lucas tangled his feet when he was put under pressure by Shinji Okazaki and his disastrous backpass to Simon Mignolet only found Jamie Vardy, who slotted the ball into an empty net from seven yards.

    The goal gave The Foxes a lift as the match approached half-time and they nearly drew level when Mignolet failed to claim Luis Hernandez's long throw-in, which allowed Robert Huth to head on top of the crossbar.

    Liverpool returned to form at the start of the second-half and Sturridge nearly extended his side's lead when he was found by Firmino's defence-splitting pass but he was once again denied by an onrushing save by Schmeichel.

    Claudio Ranieri's team were not allowed any further respite and Adam Lallana, within 25 seconds of the Sturridge miss, restored Liverpool's two-goal advantage with a stunning strike with the outside of his right-foot.

    Leicester failed to win back possession and the move ended with Georginio Wijnaldum's lay-off to Lallana, whose first-time effort arrowed into the top left-hand corner and past the despairing dive of Schmeichel.

    The Foxes remained in the match while the score was still 3-1 and Vardy nearly set-up an intriguing last 30 minutes when Riyad Mahrez threaded a pass beyond the Liverpool back-four but the England striker was denied by the legs of Mignolet.

    Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane missed second-half chances to finally put the match beyond the reach of the away side but a combination of poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping kept Leicester in the game.

    Henderson's effort was skied over the crossbar from 12 yards after Firmino had pulled the ball back into his path, while the Brazilian also assisted Mane minutes later but he was denied by a smothering save from Schmeichel.

    The outstanding Mane and Firmino combined to finally score the elusive fourth goal, with a minute of normal time remaining, and finished off a move that had started on the edge of the Liverpool penalty area.

    Mane's pace took him past Kasper Schmeichel, 40 yards from the Leicester goal, before he picked out Firmino, who came inside on his left foot and slotted home into an unguarded net.

    It rounded off a clinical display by Jurgen Klopp's team, who mesmerized at times and possessed the pace and cutting edge that had been missing in many of their performances last season.

    Leicester made a fight of the match after the interval after scoring in the closing stages of the first-half but the home side were able to find gaps in their defence which were rarely seen throughout their title-winning season.

    The Reds return to action on Friday night when they travel to Stamford Bridge to face Antonio Conte's Chelsea, while last season's Premier League champions entertain Burnley on Saturday afternoon at the King Power Stadium.
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool 4-1 Leicester City Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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