This is the first match of the Premier League season that just feels big. Leicester are rising. Liverpool have won 16 domestic games in a row. Let’s get right into it. Here are the Liverpool vs Leicester player ratings.
What a game! Liverpool dominated in large stretches, but Leicester began figuring it out right around the 78th minute when Klopp made his substitutes. Ayoze Perez’s addition for Leicester particularly tilted the game towards the Foxes.
Mane’s goal to go up 1-0 was brilliant. James Maddion’s equalizer further proves why we should buy him this summer. James Milner burying the penalty in stoppage was clutch.
We called this a 2-1 Liverpool win and it was. Liverpool deserved the win. While possession was even, Liverpool got 18 shots (8 on target) to Leicester’s 2 and 1. Liverpool were a bit unlucky as well, with 3.75 xG to Leicester’s .1.
This game will be remembered if Liverpool win the Premier League this season. It’s 17 in a row, one off the record.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (7) – Was wise to start Lovren, who he should’ve given the nod to against Red Bull Salzburg. Also wise to site Henderson for Milner. The subs were made at the right time. Still needs to tighten up the backline though. Defending too sloppy.
Adrian (6.5) – Not much to do in the first half. Did well coming off his line to stop Vardy. Made an all-world save on what was ultimately a Leicester off-sides. Could’ve gotten a hand on Maddison’s shot but it was tricky.
Trent Alexander-Arndold (7) – Offensively poor, defensively solid. Service off today. But was our best defender of the day and actually led the lads in possession.
Virgil van Dijk (5.5) – VVD needs to find his 2018-19 form, stat. Wasn’t bad by any means but not the monster he has been.
Dejan Lovren (7) – Welcome back to the starting XI! I think people forget how not-terrible Lovren can be. Actually thought he was better than van Dijk today. Good on tackles (winning 2), aerials (4 clearances). No real mistakes. Well done. 👏
Andy Robertson (7) – Constant menace. Offensively and defensively was everywhere. Needed to bury that 1vs1 in second half. Really like seeing him going for goal more though.
James Milner (8) – Earned the start over Hendo and no complaints. His left-footed curling assist to Mane on the opener was all-world. Cooley buried his penalty despite Schmeichel’s gamemanship.
17 game win streak on the line.— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 5, 2019
Who else but James Milner 🔴 pic.twitter.com/0tD01ZysEB
Fabinho (6) – Solid but not spectacular. Felt he needed to get more involved after Ayoze came in.
Georginio Wijnaldum (6.5) – This was a “Good Gini” game. Played more on front-foot. Appreciate the ambition of how he went for goal in the 71st. Liverpool fans recognized it too on his exit for Henderson in the 78th.
Roberto Firmino (6) – Another match where he might’ve played one pass too many, got too cute. Good on the ball and penetrating though. Rightfully came off in the 78th minute for Origi.
Sadio Mane (8) – Mane was freaking awesome today. He was Firmino-esque in his tracking back and defensive contributions. His opening goal showed a great touch (gotta give credit when it’s due) and clinical-ness. It was his 50th in the EPL. Earned the penalty in stoppage to set up the winner.
Sadio Mane's 50th Premier League goal 🔥 pic.twitter.com/APQV2KpGku— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 5, 2019
Mohamed Salah (6) – Habit of dribbling into defenders continues. Too many heavy passes. Like Firmino, good penetration on dribbles. Five shots, a little unlucky to not score even though not all shots were quality. However, he grinded all game and had the crap beat out of him, especially in the 89th with a cheap shot. Had to come off in stoppage.
Jordan Henderson (NR) – One for Gini in the 78th minute. Was a bully and strong defensively.
Divock Origi (7) – On for Bobby in the 78th minute. Brilliant touch and run that set up the penalty for Mane.
Adam Lallana (NR) – Late addition after Salah had to go off.
MAN OF THE MATCH
This was all wrapped up for Mane until Milner buried his pk. Mane and Milner were involved in both goals today though. They both earn Man of the Match honors today.
Leicester City now sit proudly in third place in the Premier League after their 5-0 demolition of Newcastle last weekend. Now they can claim to have a chance of achieving something special by finishing in the top four and earning UEFA Champions League qualification.
The Foxes will face no bigger test of their top four credentials than away to Liverpool on Saturday, who have flown out of the traps this season with a 100% record in their opening seven games.
It will be difficult to surpass the miracle title victory of three years ago, when as 5000/1 outsiders Leicester shocked the world to win their maiden top flight championship, but this season feels like the first time that the club has really built on that triumph.
The current side is young and exciting, with a brand of football that has changed under the leadership of Brendan Rodgers, a team that is now comfortable playing attractive football bringing the ball out from the back, and pressing opponents relentlessly that has made them defensively strong and difficult to beat.
Vardy and Maddison Key to City’s Rise
Also, the goals of Jamie Vardy have been instrumental in Leicester’s climb into the top three of the Premier League.
The 32-year-old striker has found the back of the net five times so far this season, and has flourished playing under Rodgers scoring an impressive 14 times in 17 games.
The defensive pairing of Turkish international Caglar Soyuncu and the experienced Jonny Evans has thrived after the £80 million departure of Harry Maguire to Manchester United, when many Leicester fans thought that Rodgers should have replaced Maguire when the summer transfer window was open.
Since the departure of Maguire, it has allowed Evans to play in his favored position of being on the left hand side of the centre-back partnership, a major reason for his authoritative displays this season.
James Maddison has picked up from where he left off last season, and has looked even more effective in his playmaking role. In particular he was outstanding in the second half of the 1-1 draw with Chelsea, a game that Leicester were unlucky not to win, and scored an superb winner to in the victory over Tottenham last month.
Its is no wonder that he has caught the attention of some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, according to recent reports Manchester United are preparing an £80 million bid for him to join Maguire at Old Trafford.
Transfer Market Decisions Now Working For Leicester
Maddison is one of many recent examples of how recruitment has improved since the aftermath of that title victory, where £45 million was squandered on Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani in the summer of 2016.
There have been other disappointments in the transfer market, with Kelechi Iheanacho and Adrien Silva failing to have any real impact following their moves from Manchester City and Sporting Lisbon respectively, with the latter now on loan to Monaco.
Last Summer Evans arrived at the same time as Maddison for a bargain fee of £3.8 million from West Brom, alongside Soyuncu after his £19 million move from SC Freiburg.
Ricardo Pereira is now impressing in the right back position after he arrived for just under £20 million from Porto also a year ago, and scored a wonder goal to open Leicester’s account against Newcastle.
Youri Tielemans is another exciting signing, and while a £40 million club record summer signing from Monaco he can be considered to be a relative steal. The Belgian was superb in his loan spell from the principality in the second half of last season, and possesses great ability unlocking defenses with his incisive passing.
Tielemans is developing a potentially great midfield partnership with Wilifred Ndidi, who screens the back four superbly, and for another economical price of £15 million from Genk in January 2017, proving to be the last act of genius from Claudio Ranieri, before the title winning manager was astonishingly sacked.
Leicester will now be looking for Ayoze Perez to pick up after his summer move from Newcastle, as so far the winger has had a quiet start.
A recent study conducted by the CIES Football Observatory found that Leicester now have the 19th most expensive squad across the top five leagues of the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, and Ligue One.
Rodgers a Huge Coup
The impact of Brendan Rodgers since his appointment in February this year has been staggering, since his entrance the East Midlanders have accumulated 31 points, only Manchester City and Liverpool have won more.
Rodgers’ charismatic, nurturing but authoritative style of management is the perfect remedy to the recent tenures of Craig Shakespare and Claude Puel, where Chelsea like player power appeared to force their departures.
The Ulsterman will be looking at add to his trophy laden spell at Celtic, where he won two Scottish titles and Scottish Cups, plus three Scottish League Cups, including a back to back domestic treble.
Rodgers will now be looking to build on Leicester’s notable start to the season at his former club on Saturday.
Who: Philadelphia Union vs NYCFC
When: Sunday, October 6th @ 4:00pm ET
Line: Philadelphia -127 | Draw +310 | NYCFC +285
Philadelphia has more to play for in this division matchup, with the Union coming into Decision Day level on points with Atlanta United for second place but trailing on the tiebreakers for both wins and goal difference.
In other words, Philly needs help from New England if they are to overtake Atlanta and claim second place behind NYC in the East.
There are no such playoff implications on the line for New York, although no team wants to go into the postseason on a down note.
Philadelphia Union vs NYCFC Preview
Despite finishing on top of the eastern heap for the first time since the club’s MLS debut in 2015, New York comes into this season finale in lukewarm form having followed up an impressive 4-1 Yankee Stadium demolition of Atlanta with a less than sparkling effort in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at New England.
Injuries and yellow card suspensions played a part in New York’s somewhat tepid performance, although coach Dome Torrent will have been pleased to see striker Heber clock a full 90 minutes in his return from injury.
Torrent and NYCFC will welcome 19-year-old James Sands back for the season finale as the defender/midfielder is finally recovered from a dislocated shoulder. Sands should see some time on Sunday with the plan to have the Homegrown talent ready for the playoffs.
Heber didn’t get on the scoresheet (obviously) against New England but 15 goals in 22 games, just 18 starts, tells coach Jim Cutin and his Union players that they will have to be aware of the Brazilian on Sunday.
And while we are on the positives for the Bronx Boys, NYCFC head into the playoffs news that its best player, midfielder Maxi Moralez has extended his contract for seasons, tying the 20 assist man to NYC through 2021.
While Curtin’s troops will be on high alert whenever Heber is in sight of goal, Torrent’s men will have to pay special attention to Philadelphia’s 15 goal man Kacper Przybylko. A former Polish youth international, German born Przybylko will be looking to add New York to his list of recent high profile victims, having rung the bell versus LAFC and Atlanta. He also added a goal against San Jose in a 2-1 Union win on September 25th.
Where to Bet MLS in the US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer online in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.