A thrilling clash between Leicester City and a Philippe Coutinho-inspired Liverpool saw the visiting Reds emerge with the points.
Philippe Coutinho inspired Liverpool to a thrilling 3-2 Premier League win over Leicester City as the visitors fought off a Foxes fightback that saw Jamie Vardy miss a chance to equalise from the penalty spot.
Having already brilliantly created the opener for Mohamed Salah, Coutinho netted for the Reds for the first time since they rejected advances from Barcelona for his services in the recent transfer window.
There had been pressure on Jurgen Klopp and his side coming into this game after a four-game winless run in all competitions, but those concerns were largely forgotten by the midway point of the first half at the KingPower Stadium as the travelling supporters sang Coutinho’s name.
Leicester’s determined nature meant that it was still far too soon to consider the job done, however, and Shinji Okazaki – a scorer in his side’s midweek EFL Cup win over the Merseysiders – pulled a goal back before the break.
Craig Shakespeare had acknowledged that his men benefited from the half-time withdrawal of Coutinho in Tuesday’s clash, but Liverpool showed they can threaten on multiple fronts as Jordan Henderson coolly converted at the end of a speedy counter-attack. That strike kick-started a manic five-minute spell in
which Vardy both scored and saw a spot-kick saved by Simon Mignolet, who had conceded the foul with a clumsycharge from off his line.
Liverpool held on, though, and have Sadio Mane back in the fold ahead of a tough week in which they must travel to Spartak Moscow and Newcastle United – the
Senegalese’s talents would have suited this breathless encounter as both the Reds’ flaws and qualities were on show, visibly distressing Klopp at times.
Dejan Lovren’s shoddy early defending allowed Vardy to stay onside and run through on the left, firing the first effort of note at Mignolet.
But Liverpool’s response was strong. Emre Can’s blast struck the base of the left-hand post and Salah inexplicably fired a simple rebound wide as Kasper
Schmeichel helplessly looked on.
Salah quickly made amends, though, racing onto Coutinho’s fine deep cross to steer a header inside the right-hand upright and beyond Schmeichel. Back came Leicester and Mignolet was fortunate to escape as he dallied under pressure from Vardy, presenting Okazaki with a shooting opportunity that the goalkeeper then did well to block.
Coutinho’s class soon told again, however. Wilfred Ndidi’s foul handed the brilliant Brazilian a 25-yard free- kick which he duly swept into the net.