Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the table to 13 points with a barnstorming 4-0 away to second-placed Leicester City on Boxing Day.
Ahead of the match, this was billed as Liverpool’s biggest test of the season so far but you wouldn’t think so coming away at the final whistle — Jurgen Klopp’s men destroyed the Foxes with two goals from Roberto Firmino, as well as strikes from James Milner and the brilliant Trent Alexander-Arnold.
That’s two defeats in two now for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who will be looking to get back on track after a wholely disappointing afternoon.
Here’s how the players rated at the King Power Stadium:
Kasper Schmeichel – 5 – Could do little about the Liverpool goals and actually made a few decent saves to keep things respectable for Leicester. You get the feeling he won’t be speaking to some of his defenders over the next few days.
Ricardo Pereira – 4 – Full of energy as always but incredibly wasteful in possession, needlessly giving away the ball time after time. Couldn’t cope with Liverpool’s ferocious attack.
Jonny Evans – 3 – Landed Leicester into trouble on a number of occasions with some questionable attempts at playing out from the back and seriously struggled to get hold of Klopp’s famous front three.
52 points – Liverpool (1st)
39 points – Leicester City (2nd)
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) December 26, 2019
Caglar Soyuncu – 5 – Was far more solid than Evans for most of the match but give away the penalty for Liverpool to make it 2-0 and start pulling away. From there, he and his defensive teammates completely collapsed.
Ben Chilwell – 4 – Dropped deep and played the entire Liverpool attack onside for the opening goal when his teammates had cleared the area. Was given the runaround all afternoon by the likes of Mohamed Salah and Alexander-Arnold. A day to forget for the England international.
Wilfred Ndidi – 7 – One of the few Leicester players to show anything in this one. As always, Ndidi was a tackling machine in the middle, but he became swamped by Liverpool’s movement and a lack of help from his teammates.
Harvey Barnes – 5 – Neat and tidy but failed to offer any sort of threat going forward for the Foxes. Hooked just before the hour-mark as Rodgers introduced Marc Albrighton to spice things up.
Dennis Praet – 5 – Anonymous and ineffective from the Belgian, who failed to show any authority in the middle.
Youri Tielemans – 5 – Was made to work incredibly hard in defence which totally stifled his ability to affect the game further up the pitch.
James Maddison – 4 – Was pushed out to the left side and looked lost. Lacked his usual decisiveness on the ball and needlessly gave away possession far too much. Would arguably have made more sense for Rodgers to push him into the middle and move Praet out wide.
Jamie Vardy – 5 – Was isolated and barely had a sniff throughout the first half. Looked more of a threat during the second half but was still starved of the service he needs to make the difference for Leicester.
Marc Albrighton (for Harvey Barnes 58) – 5 – Replaced Barnes to try and offer a different threat from the flanks, but failed to do so.
Ayoze Perez (for Dennis Praet 72) – 4 – Little to no influence in attack and put in a nasty challenge which ended Henderson’s evening.
Hamza Choudhury (for James Maddison 76) – 5 – Replaced Maddison as Rodgers attempted some damage limitation.
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Alisson – 7 – Swept up well behind the Liverpool defence but other than that, wasn’t tested.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 10 – Wow. Just wow. As if two assists and providing the cross which won the penalty wasn’t enough, Alexander-Arnold capped off a perfect performance with a richly deserved goal to make it 4-0. The 21-year-old is often accused of lacking defensive discipline and solidity but you wouldn’t know it here, with his recovery pace and composed tackling keeping the back door firmly locked for Liverpool.
Trent Alexander-Arnold's game by numbers vs. Leicester:
105 touches (most)
100% shot accuracy
37 passes in opp. half
17 total crosses (most)
12 open play crosses (most)
3 chances created (=most)
2 assists (most)
1 penalty won
An absolute joke. pic.twitter.com/QA3XTOOEVN
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 26, 2019
Joe Gomez – 6 – Was given one or two tough moments by Vardy during the second half and was booked for fouling the striker in a one-on-one duel. That short spell aside, looked comfortable.
Virgil van Dijk – 7 – Full of his usual solidity and authority at the back, swatting aside Leicester attacks with ease and playing the ball around superbly.
Andy Robertson – 7 – Bombed up and down the left side like a man on a mission once again. Will obviously be overshadowed by his fellow full-back Alexander-Arnold in this one, but the Scotland international still put in a fantastic performance.
Jordan Henderson – 8 – Henderson’s range of passing knows no bounds right now, with the England international sweeping the ball around as if it were on a string. Was withdrawn after taking a knock in the final 10 minutes but with that not looking too serious, he can head home tonight and enjoy a top-notch captain’s performance.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 7 – Typical Wijnaldum. Didn’t do anything extravagant and left the flash moves for those around him, but kept Liverpool ticking with his quick, accurate passing and selfless work-rate.
Naby Keita – 8 – Another excellent performance from a player finally finding his feet in red. Keita tackled well, was confident with his passing and carried the ball with real authority. Given a well-deserved rest for the final quarter as Klopp introduced Milner.
Naby Keïta completed more take-ons (4) than the entire Leicester City team combined in the first half (3).
Dancing in the middle of the park. 💃 pic.twitter.com/lW8EhjrfGD
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 26, 2019
Mohamed Salah – 7 – Took up some brilliant positions and spearheaded a number of Liverpool counter-attacks but was oddly lacking in composure in front of goal. Hit the side netting from a wide angle in the first half when he really should have squared it to Sadio Mane. Looked less than impressed with his withdrawal for the final 20 minutes.
Roberto Firmino – 9 – Scored two very different but equally impressive goals in a show-stopping performance. The Brazilian was full of his usual movement between the lines, linking up Liverpool attacks and proving to be a nightmare for the Leicester defence. That’s four goals in three games for Firmino, who has well and truly rediscovered his golden touch in the box.
Sadio Mane – 7 – Missed a few golden chances during the first half and was uncharacteristically wasteful in the box, but that didn’t stop him exerting a real influence over the game. Carried Liverpool forward on the break with his pace and was a menace for the Leicester defence.
Divock Origi (for Mohamed Salah 69) – 6 – Came on to give Salah a rest for the final 20 minutes but didn’t really get too involved.
James Milner (for Naby Keita 69) – 7 – His first touch of the ball was firing home the penalty to put Liverpool two ahead and effectively kill the tie. From there, he was typically James Milner, keeping the Reds ticking and locking up that midfield.
Adam Lallana (for Jordan Henderson 82) – 6 – A late sub to replace the injured Henderson.