Thankfully no red faces

Leicester's Rachid Ghezzal (in blue) scores to make it 1-2 as Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson (right) fails to get back into position in time after being caught in possession.
Leicester's Rachid Ghezzal (in blue) scores to make it 1-2 as Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson (right) fails to get back into position in time after being caught in possession.PHOTO: REUTERS

Klopp's foreboding of an Alisson howler comes true but Liverpool still victorious

LONDON • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he expected a blunder from new goalkeeper Alisson Becker, but hopes the Brazilian No. 1 and the rest of his side learnt their lesson in their 2-1 Premier League win at Leicester yesterday.

His men have now made it a perfect record of four wins from four games thanks to first-half goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

However, they gave Leicester hope when Alisson was caught trying to dribble past Kelechi Iheanacho, and the Nigerian squared for Rachid Ghezzal to score the first goal Liverpool have conceded this season.

Klopp had warned after last weekend's 1-0 win over Brighton that he was not happy with some of Alisson's risk-taking when trying to play out from the back.

"I thought it would happen. We all have to learn from that, not just him. It was clear from last week that I thought it would happen," he said. "I didn't think it would happen during the next match.

"He knows it was his mistake of course, he's man enough to accept that. I told him the best game to do it was this one, because we won it. It's all fine now and we've ticked that box as well.

"We don't need to play all the balls back to Alisson, but he showed how cool he was after that when the crowd was trying to make him nervous."

  • 4

    Liverpool have won the first four matches of a top-flight campaign for the first time since 1990-91 under Kenny Dalglish.

Alisson was bought in the summer to solve Liverpool's goalkeeping woes, following Loris Karius' blunders in the Champions League final defeat in May. The German has since joined Turkish side Besiktas on a two-year loan deal.

But it was not only between the posts that the Reds had problems. There were hints of fragility in the second half of the edgy win over Brighton, and Leicester had the quality to probe for weaknesses even without the suspended Jamie Vardy.

With the former England centre-forward replaced by Demarai Gray rather than a specialist striker, Leicester manager Claude Puel counted on slick interplay to unhinge the visitors' defence.

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  • YESTERDAY

    Leicester 1 Liverpool 2

    Chelsea 2 Bournemouth 0

    West Ham 0 Wolves 1

    Palace 0 Southampton 2

    Everton 1 Huddersfield 1

    Brighton 2 Fulham 2

    Man City v Newcastle

    Late kick-off

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Klopp made his first alteration to his starting XI since the start of the season and it was a curious one, fielding Jordan Henderson instead of Naby Keita in midfield.

He is well aware that if they are to fulfil their quest for the league title, they must offer more than devastating offensive storms. They must also show stability.

Klopp suggested Henderson was fresher for this duel. That, however, deprived his side of the midfield thrust that Keita has added since his arrival in the summer.

After going two down, Leicester fought harder from the start of the second half and made it difficult for their opponents, who were struggling to get out of their half and the pressure ultimately triggered the elementary mistake by Alisson in the 63rd minute.

"We were in a few situations a little lucky, but I think we deserved to win. I'm completely happy," added Klopp. "If winning away games in the Premier League was easy, everyone would do it."

In yesterday's later kick-off, Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea also stretched their perfect Premier League start to four games after second-half goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard gave them a 2-0 home victory over Bournemouth.

The result left Chelsea joint top with Liverpool on a maximum 12 points, with either Watford or Tottenham able to move level with the early pace-setters when they meet at Vicarage Road today.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 02, 2018, with the headline 'Thankfully no red faces'. Print Edition | Subscribe