Leicester City had a last minute heartbreaker at Liverpool - a late penalty giving the hosts all three points. The Foxes probably deserved their loss, but here’s what we can take from that game.
1. [deep sigh]
James Maddison. You might have seen us suggest this before, but he’s not a winger. If you haven’t seen that before, welcome to the site for the very first time, and you’ve probably seen someone else saying it anyway.
In fact, if you happen to be in Leicester on a Saturday, I can point you in the direction of 32,000 people, all saying exactly the same thing.
James Maddison at it again, Leicester equalise at Anfield! pic.twitter.com/NQQ4WzB0nB— “ (@labeledsocial) October 5, 2019
Maddison started on the left in a game we were expecting to struggle in and, like magic, we struggled with our best midfielder barely involved. When Maddison moved inside, the team look hugely improved and he immediately scored.
I have to assume that this comes from some over-thinking from Brendan Rodgers. I have to assume that because the alternative is to believe that the man paid an absurd amount of money to pick the team somehow can’t see what every other person watching can.
2. Hamza Choudhury is evil incarnate
Jurgen Klopp is apparently concerned that Leicester’s talented young midfielder will develop a reputation as a dangerous player, so of course it was his duty to try to worsen that reputation for a tackle on Mo Salah, who it turns out escaped totally unhurt.
Klopp’s real intention was almost certainly to ensure that future referees give as many red cards for fouls on Salah as possible. It might seem a little hypocritical given the equally unfortunate challenge by Trent Alexander-Arnold and the obvious foul by Salah 3 seconds before the incident.
Taklingen fra Choudhury på Mohamed Salah. pic.twitter.com/KSRCk21HVJ— Premier League Norge (@EPL_nor) October 5, 2019
The tackle itself was nothing out of the ordinary, and the only painful part is that Salah’s ankle gets caught accidentally under Chouhdury’s hip - something neither was at fault for. Given the media reaction to Klopp’s comments though, it seems like Choudhury really does have a reputation.
He did make one horror tackle this summer and was rightly sent off for it. He also injured Matt Ritchie incensing Steve Bruce of all people, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was painted.
Players with a reputation do get sent off more regularly, and opposing mangers know and want that. It would be a shame for media outrage to damage a young player’s career.
3. Things are actually still looking great
This was an ugly game for Leicester City. Not only did we lose in heartbreaking fashion to a questionable late penalty, but the play was very ordinary up to the point, and Liverpool frankly dominated the game.
Liverpool are also a fantastic team and can make anyone look like that when they’re playing their best. Through eight games, the Foxes have shown signs of putting it all together and looked excellent when they did.
There is no difference to all the top-six teams - apart from maybe the name. For sure, this is the second best year they will have. It’s built from the back. The goalie is still there, the defence looks solid, the midfield is creative and hard-working, and offensively they are really creative and straightforward. That is how you build a team - Klopp did also have some positives for Leicester
As we head into the international break, we’re sat in 4th, just two points behind Manchester City and with the league’s 3rd best goal difference. And that’s after playing 50% of the “big 6”, including Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea away from home.
Given the comparative ease of the schedule we have to come after this break, we have every chance of consolidating out current league position, and push for Champions League qualification.
You know, if they start playing James Maddison in a position where he’s actually any good.