Leicester vs Liverpool – Reaction
Frank Monkhouse | 28 February 2017
Foxes prove there’s life after Ranieri
Monday night football and all the talk pre-match was about the dismissal of Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri. How could the board do it? Had they condemned the club to relegation? Champions to Championship in the blink of an eye. Who would come in and do a better job?
All questions that were answered in 90-minutes of extraordinary football at the King Power. Despite being written off by all before kick-off, Leicester – under the guidance of joint-caretaker managers Craig Shakespeare and Mike Stowell – spanked Liverpool 3-1.
Vardy back in business
Vardy, who had come in for his fair share of criticism this week for the part he allegedly played in the sacking of Ranieri, answered his critics with a stunning double, opening the scoring on 28-minutes, then adding a second on the hour. Sandwiched between those goals was a stunning strike from Danny Drinkwater, the best of the evening, by some distance too.
Vardy looked reborn and was the best player on the park that night. There was no lack of competition for that tag, but the England striker, looking out of sorts of late, has now netted three goals in the last week. What about that for a response!
Foxes game for a fight
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Craig Shakespeare told everyone who would listen that his boys are up for a fight, and he could see it in their eyes during the warm-up. They all wanted to prove a point, and look to have done exactly that with a big win over a big side. The criticism from some sections of the media had put the fire back into their bellies.
The three points taken from Liverpool moves Leicester up to 15th, although they are just two-points better than Crystal Palace in the relegation zone and five better than David Moyes’ Sunderland down at the bottom. There was a real feeling after the game that Leicester had turned a corner however, and Coral traders have them priced at 11/4 to be relegated. A few more performances like the one vs Klopp’s boys and they will retain their place in the top-flight with plenty to spare.
Another red face for Klopp
What can we say about Liverpool? Monday’s result means that they have now won just one of their last seven starts, and in the first two months of 2017 they have beaten only Tottenham. That win, in itself, was impressive, but their form this year has been poor, especially for a side who showed so much promise earlier in campaign.
Fans will now turn to the manager and ask – after a couple of transfer windows with Klopp at the helm, why is the defence so poor, and why don’t they have a proven goal scorer? In their first seven league matches of the year they have allowed a dozen goals.
Liverpool may have beaten Spurs and taken a draw with Chelsea during that time, but they have gone down to Swansea and Hull, as well as that Leicester defeat, suggesting that they struggle against the division’s weaker sides.
The Reds are now as big as 66/1 to finish as Premier League winners, which won’t happen, and not just because of Chelsea’s form. A top-four finish would have been the pre-season aim at Anfield, surely, and they can be backed at even money with us to bag a place in the Champions League.