Five memorable Liverpool v Leicester City matches

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(Reuters) – Liverpool and Leicester City meet for the 110th time in all competitions on Saturday. We look at some notable clashes between the sides.

Liverpool 4 Leicester 3 (First Division, Feb. 1987)

Liverpool fans fell in love with Ian Rush on Valentine’s Day as the Welsh striker claimed a hat-trick to push his team up to third in the league table.

Paul Walsh was also on the scoresheet for Liverpool, while Bryan Hamilton’s Leicester remained in touching distance with an own goal from Liverpool midfielder Craig Johnston followed by two sweetly taken second half goals from Alan Smith.

It was, however, a disappointing end to the campaign for Liverpool, who as defending league and FA Cup champions finished the 1986-87 season trophyless under manager Kenny Dalglish.

They were second in the top-flight behind local rivals Everton while also losing the League Cup final 2-1 to Arsenal.

Leicester were never short of goalscorers but their defensive unit leaked in 76 goals in 42 league matches and they were relegated to the second division.

Leicester 1 Liverpool 2 (Premier League, Dec. 1994)

Liverpool had failed to win a Boxing Day fixture since 1989 and it needed a heroic goalkeeping display from David James to secure a victory at Leicester. He saved a Steve Thompson penalty and an injury-time effort from Mark Blake.

Striker Robbie Fowler slotted the opener for Liverpool from the penalty spot in the 67th minute before Ian Rush added the second.

The Foxes responded with a goal from substitute Iwan Roberts but failed to find an equaliser as Liverpool ended a disappointing run which had seen them score only twice in previous four games.

Roy Evans guided Liverpool to a fourth-placed finish in his first season as manager, with Fowler finding the net 25 times in the league in an exceptional breakout campaign.

Liverpool 0 Leicester 2 (Premier League, May 2000)

Leicester became the first team since Arsenal in 1975 to win three successive games at Anfield courtesy early strikes in either half from former Everton striker Tony Cottee and defender Phil Gilchrist.

Martin O’Neil’s visitors were weakened with injuries but his five-man midfield wrestled the control from Liverpool in the early stages and it was a neat chip from Neil Lennon into the box that was slotted home by Cottee.

Another sloppy piece of defending after the interval allowed Gilchrist to head a goal from close range as Liverpool suffered their second consecutive league defeat which dented their hopes of a Champions League qualification.

Gerard Houllier’s Liverpool lost out on a spot in Europe’s elite competition following a final day 1-0 defeat by Bradford City and finished fourth in the league, which meant they would feature in the UEFA Cup the following season.

Leicester had already secured a UEFA Cup spot in February having lifted the League Cup title but were without a manager at the end of the season as O’Neill moved to Scottish club Celtic.

Leicester 1 Liverpool 4 (Premier League, Oct. 2001)

Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler celebrated his recall to the first team under stand-in manager Phil Thompson with a sublime hat-trick that piled misery on bottom-placed Leicester.

Fowler’s future had been thrown into doubt after a training ground spat and a night out on the town ahead of England’s World Cup qualifier against Greece.

With Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier recovering from heart surgery, Thompson brought back the mercurial striker who swept the ball in on four minutes after midfielder John Arne Riise’s shot was blocked.

Defender Sami Hyypia nodded in Liverpool’s second from midfielder Gary McAllister’s freekick and Fowler again struck two minutes before halftime with a clinical finish after being played in by midfielder Danny Murphy.

Leicester pulled one back on 58 minutes through Dennis Wise who headed in left back Callum Davison’s cross. With Leicester missing clear chances at the other end, Fowler completed his hat-trick with a fierce volley in the final minute.

Liverpool finished the season second behind Arsenal while Leicester were relegated after finishing bottom of the table.

Leicester 2 Liverpool 0 (Premier League, Feb. 2016)

Having spent the majority of the previous season in the relegation zone before finishing 14th, Leicester’s lead at the top of the standings was the biggest story of the 2015-16 campaign.

Claudio Ranieri’s side were facing two crucial weeks starting with a home game against Liverpool followed by trips to Premier League title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal.

But they came through the first of those three tests in style with striker Jamie Vardy’s brilliant 25-yard strike over goalkeeper Simon Mignolet before he added a second.

Leicester also defeated second-placed Manchester City 3-1 and went on to win the top-flight title for first time in their 132-year history.

Vardy capped a memorable season with 24 league goals and was named the Premier League Player of the Season, while team mate Riyad Mahrez was voted Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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