Liverpool moved level on points with Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur and thwarted Leicester City’s hopes of going top with outstanding performance and victory at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s side remained behind Spurs on goal difference but the manner of the win – achieved amid an injury crisis – sounded an ominous warning to those hoping to wrest the title away from the champions, according to the BBC sport report
Liverpool also established a new club record of 64 home league games unbeaten, breaking their previous best run, which was set between February 1978 and January 1981 and itself ended by Leicester.
Klopp’s side took the lead midway through the first half when Jonny Evans nodded a corner into his own net and the advantage was doubled four minutes before half-time when a move of 30 passes ended with Diogo Jota heading in Andrew Robertson’s superb cross.
Liverpool added Mohamed Salah to their long list of absentees after he tested positive for Covid-19 in Egypt but the prolific Jota, signed from Wolves for £45m in September, once again stepped in – becoming the first player in the club’s history to score in his first four competitive home appearances.
Leicester improved marginally in the second half but it was still Liverpool who dominated, Evans heading against his own post and both Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane being denied by the woodwork and keeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Firmino was finally on target as he rose to send a fine header out of Schmeichel’s reach four minutes from time to give Liverpool the victory margin their superiority deserved.
There was a sense before kick-off that a depleted Liverpool, and their unbeaten Premier League home record stretching back to 2017, might be vulnerable to the in-form Foxes. Not a bit of it.
Liverpool were rampant from the first whistle and barely gave Leicester City a chance to hit the form that has made them so impressive this season.
And in Jota, Klopp has added another potent threat to go with his long-established world-class attack of Firmino, Mane and Salah.
The Portuguese forward has settled in seamlessly at Anfield, making that piece of history with his goal, but Liverpool were impressive in all areas and the final scoreline could and should have been more emphatic.
Liverpool pinned Leicester in their own half virtually from the kick-off and rivals looking for any signs of potential weakness in the absence of Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Salah, would have been disappointed.
Klopp’s side were right at the top of their game, taking a stranglehold Leicester never threatened to loosen apart from the moment when Harvey Barnes steered a great first-half chance wide with the score at 1-0.
Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Frank Lampard, among others, will harbour ambitions of taking Liverpool’s crown. On this evidence, it will take some doing.