Liverpool came back from behind to win 2-1 with Leicester on Saturday after a blunder from Joel Matip saw Jamie Vardy put the visitors in front after just three minutes. Klopp’s side responded well though, moving the ball around nicely and creating several chances for the in-form Mo Salah.
It seemed to be an off-day for the Egyptian after he failed to convert two great opportunities before returning to his usual free scoring self in the second-half. Sadio Mané delivered an exquisite back-heeled through-ball to free Salah in the box, with the forward showing good strength to brush off his man and level the scores.
Liverpool continued to push for a winner as the second-half wore on and got their just rewards in the final 15 minutes of the game with none other than Mo Salah notching yet another important goal for The Reds to take his tally to 23 goals in all competitions.
Here are the observations from the match.
Karius gets the call
There were more than a few surprised faces when Klopp opted for Simon Mignolet against Swansea, with the Belgian making a series of blunders in the 3-3 draw with Arsenal that cost his team dearly. Karius and Ward must have been wondering what in the world they’d have to do to get a chance in between the sticks as the manager retained faith in the heavily criticised Mignolet.
Yet, Loris Karius got the call here, performing well when called into action by the Leicester attack. Albeit not that often given Liverpool’s dominant possession statistics, the German showed good speed to come off his line to deny Vardy before the referee deemed the striker to be offside.
It remains to be seen whether this was simply a mixing of the pack by Jurgen Klopp or if Karius may yet see more game time come his way with questions continue to surround Mignolet’s quality to be the club’s No.1.
Van Dijk in attendance to watch defensive blunders first-hand
Liverpool finally got their man after months and months of negotiations with Southampton, signing Van Dijk for a world-record fee of £75million in midweek. The Dutch defender was in attendance to watch the match including a woeful blunder at the back from Joel Matip. Just three minutes into the match, Karius played the ball out to Matip, who sold Can desperately short. That allowed Iborra to pick out a pass to Mahrez with Vardy easily tapping the ball into the net to put the hosts on the back foot.
VVD reaction to that defensive error says it all… pic.twitter.com/uUi2x7TW37
— MoLFC (@MoLFC_) December 30, 2017
While Liverpool did come back to get all three points from the tie, it served as further evidence of why the club spent the big bucks to bring Van Dijk to the club in January. An authoritative figure at the heart of the back-four, the hope will be that the Dutchman can help rid of such poor individual errors.
Where would Liverpool be without Mo Salah?
I really am running out of superlatives to describe Mohamed Salah. His class rang true once more, with his movement and flair proving too much for the Leicester back-four. Sadio Mané provided a beautiful assist for his first goal of the day, back-heeling it into his path to set him free on goal. From then, there would only be one outcome.
Salah’s second was another moment of true quality, rolling away from Maguire with ease from 20 yards out before showing great strength to shove off his man and find the bottom corner at a tight angle. That’s 23 goals in all competitions for the Egyptian, equally the club record for goals before the new year set by Roger Hunt.
Scoring more goals this season than eight Premier League clubs (Palace, Burnley, Brighton, Swansea, WBA, Huddersfield, Southampton and Newcastle), it’s fair to say Mohamed Salah has made an astounding impact at Liverpool. £37 million was a real coup.