Mohamed Salah’s glorious finish following Roberto Firmino’s ingenious assist had set Liverpool on course for an impressive and important victory. But then they imploded in gut-wrenching fashion.
It’s a defeat that both reflects and deepens the profound crisis of confidence in the defending champions’ ranks. They are in freefall, their season growing inconceivably more wretched by the week.
Fans are becoming desperate for it to end, but fearful of where it might end.
Here, if you can stomach reliving it, is how the Reds rated.
Alisson Becker – 4/10
Everything was going according to plan. Alisson looked to have moved on from his Manchester City meltdown. His decision-making was on point, his positioning smart.
Was it pure stupidity to come rushing out, or was it simply poor communication? Probably both. But the farcical collision leaves Alisson, one of the best goalkeepers in the world, at his most vulnerable ahead of two more crucial games this week.
He demonstrated why he is so highly regarded with a remarkable save from Vardy, but regrettably, the damage was done. Such is the life of a goalkeeper.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6/10
Recently Trent’s vertical balls have been considerably more dangerous than his lateral passes, and so it proved in the first half here as he unleashed first Sadio Mane and then Mohamed Salah.
He struck the bar with a menacing, deflected free-kick, slid the ball into Firmino in the lead-up to the goal and defended diligently.
But then the back four went to pieces.
Ozan Kabak – 4/10
Stumbled in the first half before Vardy hit the crossbar but was otherwise looking reasonably solid and more and more convincing on his debut.
However, you fear the long-term implications of his catastrophic mix-up with Alisson. He’s 20 years old, and this was his Premier League debut.
Immediately after, he lost concentration and was caught out of position for Leicester’s third.
Jordan Henderson – 6/10
These ratings really were poised to be much higher. Henderson repeatedly tidied up at the back and when he was afforded time on the ball, launched Salah in-behind with magnificent diagonals.
As Liverpool seek to emerge from this bruising crisis and salvage something, anything from their season, the leadership of Henderson and his vice-captains will surely be vital.
Andrew Robertson – 5/10
Wasn’t terrible defensively, but was too wasteful at the other end. Twice got into shooting positions and couldn’t find the target.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 6/10
Central to what was for the most part a highly effective Liverpool press. A battling performance, but he’s surely missing his customary midfield lieutenants.
Thiago Alcantara – 5/10
The critics grow louder and more numerous. After being brought on for the injured James Milner in the first half, Thiago looked a little off the pace. Wilfried Ndidi – man of the match by the way – marshalled him effectively and he tended to come off second best in his duels.
In the second half, he was growing into the game and exerting more influence in possession.
But going backwards, he clearly isn’t up to scratch, and Liverpool are paying the price.
Curtis Jones – 6/10
Commendable defensive contribution but largely ineffectual in the final third. Substituted with 15 minutes to go.
Mohamed Salah – 7/10
After a slightly frustrating first half, he gave Liverpool the lead with a truly exquisite goal. It should have been a memorable winner.
Ultimately, it counted for nothing, and Salah was partly to blame for that. He gave the ball away cheaply in midfield and Harvey Barnes served swift punishment.
Roberto Firmino – 7/10
In the aftermath of the goal, I excitedly scribbled ‘PUSKAS FOR ASSISTS’ in my notes. Better days.
Sadio Mane – 6/10
One of those increasingly common Sadio Mane performances where he continually looks like he can make something happen but… doesn’t. He won’t be satisfied with his efforts so far this year.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain – N/A
It all sort of crumbled around him.