Player ratings as Wout Faes nightmare gifts Reds win

A forgetful defensive display from Leicester saw Liverpool snatch a 2-1 win and three points without actually scoring themselves on Friday evening.

The Reds got off to the worst possible start when Leicester burst ahead inside five minutes, but somehow headed into half-time 2-1 up thanks to Wout Faes, who had a game to forget to say the least.

Liverpool improved in the second half and looked more settled, but with both sides looking incredibly wasteful, the two own-goals would ultimately prove the difference and put Liverpool within a point of fifth-placed Manchester United in the Premier League table.

In a game they would’ve backed themselves to control and win, Liverpool found themselves behind after just four minutes when Leicester launched a ball long, won the three phases after and allowed Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to burst through the hosts’ defence with staggering ease to fire past Alisson.

Proceedings remained high-paced after that, even with Leicester losing Patson Daka to injury. Liverpool tried to find a rhythm in possession but didn’t look after the ball well enouch and found themselves caught out several times by the Foxes, who were set up brilliantly to counter attack.

It could’ve been two after 20 minutes when Jamie Vardy slipped a low cross to the back post, but Trent Alexander-Arnold read his intentions well. Liverpool then went down the other end and found the back of the net six minutes later thanks to a gaffe from Danny Ward, but the offside flag spared his blushes.

There were no offside flags for Faes to hide behind after 38 minutes, though, when he misread his surroundings and attacked a poor, low cross that would’ve gone sailed into safety had he listened to his goalkeeper behind him. Instead, he threw himself into the ball and it shanked backwards, over himself and Ward to bring the Reds level.

Not satisfied with one own-goal, Faes seemingly took it upon himself to grab a second on the cusp of half-time. A disastrous piece of Leicester defending saw Darwin Nunez burst through and dink Ward, but his effort rebounded off the post. Faes couldn’t sort his feet out, though, and smashed the ball into the roof of the net to give Liverpool a lead at half-time.

As expected, heading into half-time losing as a result of two own-goals at Anfield took the wind out of Leicester’s sails.

Liverpool picked up after the break and put in a more dominant display in possession, with changes on the hour mark helping them. They couldn’t find a third, though, despite carving out several chances to do so.

Mohamed Salah forced a save out of Ward with little over 15 minutes to go, but the Egyptian would’ve been disappointed he couldn’t find a better angle and make the net bulge.

With Brendan Rodgers’ side just a goal behind and the game still hanging rather finely in the balance, the Foxes weren’t down and out by any means. And when Nunez snatched at a glorious chance with 77 minutes on the clock, the game was well and truly on.

Harvey Barnes burst through on the break moments after and rattled the post, only to be flagged offside after the fact. That was the chance for Leicester, who left Anfield empty-handed on a night where they could’ve departed with three points.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-LEICESTER

The man who is never not causing chaos / OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

GK: Alisson – 6/10 – Very little to do after conceding early on.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6/10 – An impressive defensive display and kept Harvey Barnes very quiet, but not his cleanest going forward. How the tables turn.

CB: Joel Matip – 5/10 – Not the most imposing performance, but a clean one that improved with time.

CB: Virgil van Dijk – 4/10 – Played a hospital ball into Robertson after 15 or so minutes that could’ve seen Liverpool go two down. Perked up as play went on, though.

LB: Andy Robertson – 3/10 – All at sea defensively and crossed the ball like his boots were on the wrong feet.

CM: Harvey Elliott – 4/10 – Has to show more positional discipline and understanding if he wants to be a midfielder for a club as big as Liverpool. Looked lost.

CM: Jordan Henderson – 5/10 – Too much ground to cover on his own. Easily bypassed when Leciester broke.

CM: Thiago Alcantara – 5/10 – Always tidy in possession, but when challenged physically, Thiago is worryingly unreliable.

RW: Mohamed Salah – 6/10 – Not quite his night in front of goal.

ST: Darwin Nunez – 6/10 – Frightening pace to chase down loose balls when he gets as much as a sniff of one. His chipped effort absolutely deserved a goal for himself, but the chaos it caused is a fitting summary of everything Nunez is about right now. Rash, but all-action.

LW: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 3/10 – Had no influence on the game with Liverpool’s best stuff coming from the opposite flank.

Kostas Tsimikas (62′ for Robertson) – 6/10 – Enjoyed burning energy by bursting into space with the ball.

Naby Keita (62′ for Oxlade-Chamberlain) – 7/10 – Provided much more composure and quality to Liverpool’s midfield.

Joe Gomez (86′ for Alexander-Arnold) – N/A

Stefan Bajcetic (86′ for Elliott) – N/A

Jurgen Klopp – 5/10 – Should have learnt a lot about his side tonight. The lack of a clinical edge needs to be addressed, as does the midfield balance which would’ve cost them against a more ruthless opponent.

Wout Faes

Draw a line under it, Wout. / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

GK: Danny Ward – 4/10 – Saved by the offside flag early on. Has to cut the silly errors out of his game.

RB: Timothy Castagne – 6/10 – Would’ve liked to have seen him burst forward more with Liverpool’s left flank looking shaky.

CB: Daniel Amartey – 5/10 – Not exactly magnificent, but at least he didn’t score two own-goals.

CB: Wout Faes – 1/10 – Should’ve left the cross; rookie error. Then had much more space than he realised to clear Nunez’s effort off the post; instead smashed it in for the Uruguayan. An absolutely calamitous display.

LB: Luke Thomas – 4/10 – Struggled to contain Salah as the evening drew on.

CM: Boubakary Soumare – 6/10 – Key to Leicester winning the midfield battle early on and later did a superb job of fouling Liverpool players without getting booked.

CM: Wilfried Ndidi – 6/10 – Looked back to his old self at times with the way he turned over possession in the middle of the park.

RW: Ayoze Perez – 4/10 – Incredibly quiet and too slow to move the ball when it did come his way.

AM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall – 7/10 – Bulldozed through Liverpool’s backline and sold Alisson by hitting his goal into the floor. Thrived in the advanced role.

LW: Harvey Barnes – 5/10 – Needed to show a little more composure in the final third.

ST: Patson Daka – N/A – His night was over after 12 minutes when he was forced off with what looked to be a hamstring injury. A shame.

Jamie Vardy (15′ for Daka) – 6/10 – Thrust into the action and looked sharp. Timed runs well and sniffed out errors among defenders.

Youri Tielemans (59′ for Ndidi) – 6/10 – A change with attacking intent to try and tilt the game back in Leicester’s favour.

Kelechi Iheanacho (71′ for Perez) – 6/10 – Created more chances than the man he replaced.

Brendan Rodgers – 6/10 – A really positive performance from his side at a tough ground to visit. Let down by individual defensive disasters and a lack of ruthlessness. Can’t blame those things on him.