Jan 30 (Reuters) – LIVERPOOL 1 LEICESTERCITY 1
Premier League leaders Liverpool failed to take full advantage of Manchester City’s slip-up at Newcastle United as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City on Wednesday.
Juergen Klopp’s side extended their lead over City to five points but after their rivals suffered a 2-1 loss on Tuesday, Liverpool will be disappointed not to have pulled seven points clear.
Like Pep Guardiola’s side, Liverpool looked a little laboured in their passing and movement as they found it hard to break down a determined Leicester on an icy night at Anfield.
“We are disappointed with the result because we wanted the win but Leicester are a good side,” said Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.
“It wasn’t our best performance but we kept going and just couldn’t find the winner. We’ll take the point and move on to the next game.”
Liverpool got off to the perfect start with Sadio Mane firing them ahead in the third minute, cutting in from the left, after good work from Andy Robertson, and beating Kasper Schmeichel with a trademark strike into the far corner.
Klopp’s side were never able to find their full speed and rhythm and a solid Leicester drew level on the stroke of halftime.
A Liverpool clearance was headed deep into the area by Ben Chilwell and found England defender Harry Maguire who slotted home.
Liverpool felt they should have had a penalty when Naby Keita went down under a challenge from Leicester defender Ricardo Pereira, but their appeal was waved away, to the annoyance of their German manager.
“It was probably the clearest penalty situation we have had,” said Klopp.
“The ref was in the best position on the pitch. You will have to ask him why he didn’t give a penalty.”
Roberto Firmino went close to a winner in the 75th minute with a well-struck effort but Schmeichel saved to frustrate the Brazilian.
Liverpool, who have not won the title since 1990, move to 61 points with City on 56 points and Tottenham two points further back.
Leicester are 11th and their manager Claude Puel said they had deserved even more out of the game.
“Of course I am proud of my players. It was another difficult start to the game. We conceded after two minutes but we didn’t lose our structure,” he said.
“At the end we had more chances and it could have been better… We deserved the win with the chances we had.”
(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Toby Davis)