JURGEN KLOPP’S Reds stopped the rot with their first win in five games in a five-goal thriller packed with drama and controversy.
But it took a late Simon Mignolet penalty save from Jamie Vardy to secure a crucial win for Liverpool, who gained some much needed revenge for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup exit to the Foxes.
Klopp’s men appeared to have won the match twice when they were 2-0 up and then 3-1 up but each time their porous defence let Leicester back in.
Leading 2-1 at the break, Jordan Henderson appeared to have sealed the win when he slammed home Liverpool’s third after 68 minutes.
However the Reds’ ropey rearguard only held on for 60 seconds before Mignolet parried a Demarai Gray shot into Vardy’s path and the striker nodded into the empty net to make it 3-2.
In a dramatic finale Vardy thought he was going to pull back a point when Mignolet sent him crashing in the box to concede a penalty.
Leicester wanted the Belgian red-carded but ref Anthony Taylor only booked him and the relieved ‘keeper stayed big to beat Vardy’s spot kick away.
Craig Shakespeare’s side rattled the Reds brittle defence early on and Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki were in the faces of Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip from the start.
The Foxes should have been in front after six minutes when Vardy’s stinging shot was beaten out by Mignolet, straight into the path of Riyad Mahrez. But the Algerian blazed the rebound over as Liverpool enjoyed a lucky let-off.
At the other end Mo Salah was also guilty of a shocking miss when Emre Can’s sizzling low shot from 25 yards bounced off the base of Kasper Schmeichel’s right post.
Somehow the former Chelsea man somehow screwed the rebound wide from nine yards with the goal at his mercy.
However the Egyptian made amends three minutes later when he caught the Foxes defence napping to head Liverpool into the lead.
Coutinho combined with Moreno before arching in a wicked curling cross which Schmeichel and Harry Maguire assumed was hurtling harmlessly wide. However Salah stole in to head powerfully past the startled Dane who couldn’t keep the ball out at his near post.
There were bookings for Marc Albrighton and Wilfred Ndidi, who gave away a costly free-kick when he bundled Moreno over.
Brazilian superstar Philippe Coutinho sized up his options then swept a breathtaking free kick over the Foxes six-man wall which swerved away from Schmeichel’s outstretched right glove.
It was a stunning goal which should have set the Reds up to take control. But Leicester fought back before the break.
Okazaki slammed the ball beyond Mignolet following an Albrighton free kick but the Foxes’ celebrations were cut short because Maguire was offside when he won the initial header,
However Okazaki wasn’t to be denied and scored three minutes into injury time after Mignolet came for and missed a Mahrez corner, allowing the Japanese striker to poke the loose ball over the line.
FACTS, STATS, GOALS & LOLS
- Philippe Coutinho showed Barcelona why they wanted him so badly by curling in a stunning free-kick.
- Steven Gerrard was left baffled at the fourth official’s decision to add three minutes extra time at the end of the first-half as Leicester used to time to get back into the game.
- Leicester’s goal was controversial… Shinji Okazaki appeared to pull Simon Mignolet by the arm preventing him from reaching the corner.
- Philippe Coutinho has now scored more goals outside of the box than any other Prem player since his own debut with 16.
- Jurgen Klopp will not be happy with Leicester’s goal. He said last week he was “sick” of conceding set-pieces before the Foxes scored from a corner.
- Daniel Sturridge had 25 minutes to try and score his 100th career goal but could only force a smart save from Schmeichel
- Jordan Henderson scored his first goal for Liverpool since the September, 16 2016.
- Jamie Vardy has now scored six goals in four games against Liverpool – but missed from the spot to make it seven.
WHAT THEY SAID
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: “We were better and created more chances than we did on Tuesday. We scored nice goals. But it’s normal, the rhythm changes for all team in football.
“It was difficult when we conceded. Second half we played too much Leicester football, going long. Then we started playing our football.
“I don’t think it was a penalty.”
Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare: “I am struggling to digest it myself. You come in and contribute to another fabulous game of football but ultimately came away with nothing.
“Penalties are there and players have missed them before. Jamie will be gutted himself because we would have come away with the points.”
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
Leicester: Schmeichel 5, Simpson 6, Morgan 6, Maguire 7, Chilwell 6, Mahrez 6 (Gray 62, 6), Ndidi 7, King 6, Albrighton 6 (Slimani 80, 5) Okazaki 6 (Iheanacho 74, 6) Vardy 7
Subs not used: Hamer, Iborra, Fuchs, Amartey
Liverpool: Mignolet 7, Gomez 6, Matip 6, Lovren 6, Moreno 7, Wijnaldum 6, Henderson 8, Can 7 (Milner 74, 6) Salah 7, Coutinho 9 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 79, 6) Firmino 6 (Sturridge 64, 7)
Subs not used: Karius, Klavan, Alexander-Arnold, Solanke
STAR MAN: PHILIPPE COUTINHO