Liverpool 1-1 Leicester: Reds fail to seize chance to go seven points clear

Liverpool 1-1 Leicester: Reds fail to seize chance to go seven points clear

Liverpool were left frustrated, unable to capitalise on Manchester City's defeat to Newcastle Town with a 1-1 draw against Leicester.

Leanne Prescott

On an evening where Liverpool could've gone seven points clear at the top, Jurgen Klopp's side struggled to make the most of their rivals' short-comings, frustrated by a well disciplined, dogged Leicester side. 

The home side took the lead early on, threatening to coast to another routine win after Sadio Mane's composed finish nestled into the bottom corner, but ultimately the team's current defensive frailties would come back to bite them. Harry Maguire secured the equaliser before the break after narrowly escaping a red card for a lunge on Mane to level the scores. Liverpool would have opportunities in the second forty-five through Naby Keita and Daniel Sturridge but in the end it wasn't meant to be as the two sides cancelled each other out, leaving Klopp's team with a five points cushion at the top of the Premier League.

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Story of the match

Many had tipped Manchester City's defeat against Newcastle to be a decisive result in the title race, leaving Liverpool with the chance to go seven points clear heading into February with what appears, on paper at least, to be a much kinder fixture list than their opponents, but Wednesday's draw was yet another indication of the twists and turns that could yet come about from now until the end of the season.

An inital flurry saw Liverpool take the lead after just two minutes when Sadio Mane finished off a brilliant team move, giving the home side the early cushion that they'd been hoping for. Expecting the team to kick on from there, things were the complete opposite; the Reds appeared to regress inwards after the goal, struggling to show any ingenuity or intensity in possession as Leicester resiliently battled to keep them from securing a crucial second goal. 

The rare opportunity that Liverpool did create space should've ended in a red card for Harry Maguire after he deliberately brought down Mane 40-yards from goal with the winger clear to bear down on the goalkeeper. Given football is a game of fine margins, it would come as no surprise to see the Leicester captain notch the equaliser minutes later after Andy Robertson conceded a needless free-kick. Virgil van Dijk, who had been ill in the build-up to the game lost the Englishman at the back post from the chance, making it 1-1.

Indeed, it was probably what the visitors deserved on balance, having frustrated Jurgen Klopp's side with a strong shape throughout. 

The second-half would have a few more moments of drama after Naby Keita appeared to be stood on by Ricardo Pereira inside the box, preventing him from getting a shot off on goal, but Martin Atkinson waved it away. 

A frustrating night in which Liverpool failed to be at their brilliant best, seizing the opportunity presented to them by Manchester City, this will have served as a warning to Klopp's team. Take one game at a time in this title race for there are twists and turns at every corner...