Leicester City fell to Liverpool by a score of 3-1 at Anfield in the League Cup on Wednesday evening. An early goal from Kasey McAteer gave the Foxes the lead at the break. Liverpool took control of the match in the second period with goals from Cody Gakpo, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Diogo Jota.
McAteer’s goal, set up by Yunus, was a thing of beauty, but it and the half-time lead cast the match in a rather misleading light. That shot was our only effort on goal. Yes, we played an unrepresentative lineup, but so did they and they outshot us 29-4. If I’m being brutally honest, the 3-1 margin was flattering to us. This is probably going to be a common take, but: I’m not disappointed in the result. I’m disappointed in how we competed.
That said, we did some things well. The back line was sorely tested and mostly held up (albeit with a bit of fortune). Coady blocked some shots. Souttar, while not comfortable on the ball, did some fine defensive work. Justin had Doak in his pocket for most of the match. We didn’t see a lot of the ball, but in my biased opinion, Yunus showed he was worthy of more time on the pitch.
It turns out there’s quite a gap between “top of the Championship” and “second in the Premier League.” Who knew?
The result means our dreams of winning the League Cup are over, but otherwise it doesn’t mean a great deal. Given the team selection, I don’t think this competition was a top priority. We travel to Lancashire to square off against Blackburn in Sunday’s matinee. Next Wednesday, we host high-flying Preston North End at the King Power a week from today.
Leicester City: Jakub Stolarczyk, Ricardo Pereira (C), Harry Souttar, Conor Coady, James Justin, Yunus Akgun, Hamza Choudhury, Cesare Casadei, Marc Albrighton, Kasey McAteer, Kelechi Iheanacho
Liverpool: Caoimhin Kelleher, Curtis Jones, Ibrahima Konate, Jarell Quansah, Kostas Tsimikas, Wataru Endo, Ryan Gravenberch, Harvey Elliott, Ben Doak, Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo
Key Moments and Notes
3’ - GOAL! A Liverpool free kick in the City half is cleared to Tsimikas, who loses out to Yunus. The Turkey international carries it into the hosts’ half and lays a perfect ball into the path of McAteer. Leicester’s leading scorer takes it calmly, slotting into the far corner past Kelleher. Game on!
10’ - Goodness, Liverpool can press. Playing out from the back is going to be quite the challenge. Coady gets down well to block a Gakpo effort after a mistake. From the ensuing corner, the ball falls to Jota who gets it all wrong but wins a corner. From the next ensuing corner, Stolarczyk spills an innocuous Quansah shot. It falls to Doak just a yard out, but he somehow hits the crossbar when scoring would have been easier.
20’ - Another breakdown from a set piece sees a free kick find Gakpo alone at the far post. He does everything right and heads it down with power. It beats the keeper, but Coady is there to clear it off the line. #Lucky
37’ - The Foxes record their second shot, but this one doesn’t go quite as well. McAteer leads a rare City break and squares for the Italian just outside the box. He hits it first time with his left peg. NASA will alert us when it returns from orbit.
45’ - It’s all Liverpool right now. It’s been all Liverpool for almost the entire match. That’s why the notes are kind of sparse. I could type “Leicester panic in possession, Liverpool win the ball, go close.” 100 times, but where’s the fun in that? Choudhury goes into the book for a tackle on Gakpo and that’s about it for the half.
HALF-TIME: Liverpool 0 - 1 Leicester City
46’ - The clubs take the pitch to a deeply unfortunate cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” No changes to personnel. I don’t expect much of a change to the run of play.
49’ - GOAL! Leicester fail to clear their lines and the ball comes to Gakpo in the centre of the area. He turns Coady inside-out, spins, and slots past Stolarczyk.
50’ - The supporters at Anfield really are something. An obvious foul against their side produces a roar of disapproval. Should a Red lose the ball, it’s met by screaming for a foul. I’m not complaining; that’s what home support should be like.
56’ - It should be two for the hosts. How have Liverpool not scored there? Gakpo hits the post from close range, and it falls directly on the line and bounces out. Maresca takes a brief stoppage in play to introduce Wilfred Ndidi for Casadei.
64’ - A triple change for the Foxes as Albrighton, Iheanacho, and Yunus come off for Abdul Fatawu, Patson Daka, and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. Liverpool make a raft of changes as well as both lineups now more closely resemble the regular starting eleven.
70’ - It’s the hosts’ substitutes who make the immediate difference. Dominik Szoboszlai finds himself in too much space at the top of the D. He can’t believe that no one even attempts to close him down and lines up his shot. It’s a beaut, flying in off the bar and over the line.
72’ - These Liverpool kits are an absolute disaster. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the shirt itself. It’s the font used for the letters and numbers: The lettering is all lower-case, but it’s done in the style of 80s LED watches. Ugh.
76’ - KDH gives it away to Darwin Nunez, which is very much the sort of thing you want to avoid. He gets away from Souttar (for the first time, it should be noted), but he drags his shot well wide.
87’ - Chance! Daka finds Ndidi’s run behind the defence, but the Nigerian can’t quite bring it under control and it runs through to Kelleher.
89’ - GOAL! Game over. Quansah outmuscles Justin to the floor and he’s off to the races. His cross is back-heeled by Jota just inside the far post.
90+1’ - Not sure how Jota got away with that one. Choudhury robs him in midfield. The Portugal man takes exception to it and trips the Foxes’ midfielder from behind while he’s on the ground. You’ve seen them punished quite harshly, but he escapes a booking. Nasty.
90+6’ - Another one of those “how has Liverpool not scored?” moments as a dreadful clearance puts the Reds in on goal. A slick move sees the ball fall to Harvey Elliott alone in front of the net. Coady somehow blocks it.
FULL TIME: Liverpool 3 - 1 Leicester City
Klopp says #LCFC were obviously very well coached and ‘you could smell their confidence.’— Rob Tanner (@RobTannerLCFC) September 27, 2023
I appreciate the gracious comment, but I think maybe Jurgen should get his nose checked...