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Liverpool 1-1 Leicester City: Klopp’s men fail to capitalise on Manchester City slip up as Harry Maguire’s strike cancels Sadio Mane’s early opener

Yet there is significance here, too. It isn’t going to be easy. Liverpool can still be caught, can still appear vulnerable. Their last league game here was a 4-3 win over Crystal Palace that was every bit as fraught as it sounds, and so was this. 

Anyone imagining that Manchester City’s defeat at Newcastle had as good as decided the title race was always likely to be in for a rude awakening. There are traps everywhere, even for the team in command. Liverpool were up after two minutes here but like City on Tuesday, could not make an early advantage felt.  

MATCH FACTS AND STATS

LIVERPOOL: (4-2-3-1) Alisson 6; Henderson 6, Matip 6, Van Dijk 6.5, Robertson 6; Wijnaldum 7, Keita 6(Fabinho 72mins 6); Firmino 6, Shaqiri 6(Lallana 72mins 6), Mane 8; Salah 7

SUBS NOT USED: Mignolet (GK); Lovren, Origi, Camacho

GOALS: Mane (3)

BOOKINGS: Matip (16)

COACH: Jurgen Klopp 6

LEICESTER: (4-2-3-1) Schmeichel 6; Pereira 7, Maguire 8, Evans 7, Chilwell 8; Ndidi 7, Mendy 6; Gray 7 (Okazaki 84mins), Maddison 7 (Choudhury 75mins), Albrighton 7; Vardy 7.5(Iheanacho 90mins)

SUBS NOT USED: Ward (GK); Simpson, Morgan, Barnes

GOALS: Maguire (45+1)

BOOKINGS: Maguire (41), Ricardo Pereira (50), Chilwell (90+4)

COACH: Claude Puel 7

REFEREE: Martin Atkinson 6

MAN OF THE MATCH: Ben Chilwell

VENUE: Anfield

ATTENDANCE: 53,092 

Leicester, like Newcastle, got back on level terms deservedly and might even had won had Harry Maguire’s header across goal after 54 minutes found Jonny Evans, and not Roberto Firmino, scrambling it clear amid confusion with goalkeeper Allison.

Liverpool might have had a penalty when Ricardo Pereira appeared to clumsily catch Naby Keita, but referee Martin Atkinson waved it away. Maybe next year. And maybe next time, the tension that engulfed Anfield as the scores stayed level will be eased by a second goal. 

If it is not, though, expect more of the same. This is a city that yearns for its first title of the Premier League era, for all its talk of history, and is fearful of the choke, for all its bravado.

At half-time, groundsman clear the pitch of snow that had fallen earlier. All of the pitch. No – just the final third that Liverpool would be attacking. And that might be a simple matter of man power – insufficient numbers and insufficient time to do a proper job. 

But nor is it a sign of a football club breezing comfortably towards inevitable glory. They know the opposition they have got in Manchester City – a club capable of scoring 30 goals without reply. They know what has happened in the past from strong positions.  

WATCH HIGHLIGHT

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