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Ruthless Reds crush spluttering Leicester

 Agencies |  2016-09-12 22:18:14.0  |  Liverpool

Liverpool turned on the style to mark the opening of the new-look Anfield with an imperious 4-1 rout of Premier League champions Leicester. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane put Jurgen Klopp’s side two goals ahead as they played at home for the first time this season and for the first time since expanding Anfield’s capacity by 8,500 to 54,000.

Jamie Vardy reduced the deficit to a single goal after Lucas’s mistake. But Adam Lallana’s fine strike restored Liverpool’s two-goal advantage and Firmino’s late effort wrapped up a worrying defeat for Leicester, who have won only one of their first four matches. The new 115 million main stand at Anfield was treated to an enthralling contest but one which Liverpool only had themselves to blame for not killing off inside the opening half hour.

After 13 minutes the hosts scored the first goal in front of their new stand, with stand-in left-back James Milner making a superb, in-field pass to Firmino. The Liverpool forward had only to advance a few yards but did so effectively, scything between Wes Morgan and Robert Huth before drilling a low shot past the diving Kasper Schmeichel from 14 yards.

On 31 minutes Liverpool doubled the advantage with the increasingly impressive Jordan Henderson carving out the goal with a defence-splitting pass that sent Daniel Sturridge sprinting away from a static back four. The England forward then opted for a selfless and skillful back-heel that left Mane unmarked in the centre and able to score via the hand of Schmeichel.

Simon Mignolet’s short pass played Lucas under pressure and, after the Brazilian uncontrolled the ball, he panicked and rolled it across an open goal for Vardy to convert a simple finish.

Vardy was unusually wasteful just after the hour, when played clean in on goal by Riyad Mahrez, only to be denied by the outstretched leg of Mignolet. Leicester continued to press, without the clinical touch they enjoyed in their league-winning campaign.

Huth nodded just wide, Danny Drinkwater saw a spectacular volley deflected wide and Vardy headed straight at Mignolet. Henderson wasted a perfect opportunity to put the game beyond all reasonable doubt on 78 minutes, but Firmino ensured his team-mate wouldn’t rue that miss when he slotted home in the 89th minute. 

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