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Liverpool 2-1 Leicester City: James Milner's late penalty extends Reds' perfect start

James Milner celebrates scoring the winner for Liverpool against Leicester
James Milner's penalty was the 34th time Liverpool have scored a 90th-minute winning goal in a Premier League match - at least nine more than any other side

James Milner's injury-time penalty earned a dramatic win over in-form Leicester City and maintained Liverpool's flawless start to the Premier League season.

Brendan Rodgers' side looked to be on course for a hard-earned point on his return to Anfield after James Maddison's low finish 10 minutes from time equalised Sadio Mane's 40th-minute strike.

And then, with the clock ticking into stoppage time, a communication breakdown between Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel and substitute Marc Albrighton ended with the latter bringing down Mane.

The penalty was awarded after consultation with the video assistant referee (VAR) and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrated wildly as Rodgers turned away in despair.

Leicester will feel they had done enough to earn a point and their frustrations boiled over at the final whistle, with substitute Ayoze Perez involved in angry exchanges with several Liverpool players - who were celebrating increasing their lead over Manchester City at the top of the table to eight points.

City can reduce the gap to five once more when they host Wolves on Sunday (14:00 BST).

Liverpool forced to sweat again

Top of the table: 1st Liverpool, 2nd Man City, 3rd Leicester City, 4th Burnley, 5th Arsenal, 6th West Ham

This is the closest Liverpool have come to dropping points in the Premier League this season - but once again late Anfield drama provided a twist in the tale.

Leicester looked to have seen out the worst to claim a point. However, it was no surprise Mane was involved in the decisive incident the Foxes players contested so hotly.

Mane was not just his usual attacking threat - scoring his 50th top flight goal for the Reds after racing on to Milner's pass and expertly beating Schmeichel in the first half - he also worked tirelessly in his defensive duties to subdue the threat of Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell in the first half.

The Senegal forward now has world-class status and came to Liverpool's aid once more when it looked like the visitors would repeat their feat of last season and leave Anfield with a draw.

Liverpool are now on a run of 17 Premier League victories, bettered only by Manchester City's sequence of 18 wins between August and December 2017.

They are also unbeaten in 44 league games at home - 34 wins and 10 draws - which is the longest current run in Europe's top five leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain).

The hosts were not at their fluent best but, like at Sheffield United last time out, they got a break when needed and cashed in.

Leicester show top-four steel

Leicester players react
Leicester are guaranteed to stay inside the top four in the Premier League table on Saturday

Leicester City arrived at Anfield with many tipping them as serious top-four contenders given the crisis at Tottenham and the transitions taking place at Chelsea and Manchester United.

Nothing on view here suggested this is a false claim. This is a very impressive side superbly organised by Rodgers.

Rodgers may feel they took too long to crank up the attacking threat on Saturday - but the manner in which they remained calm, composed and frustrated Liverpool's world-class attack for long periods bodes well for the season ahead.

Jamie Vardy only had one chance in behind the Reds defence but his touch let him down, while Maddison was relatively quiet until he stole in on the end of Perez's pass to shoot under Adrian, although Liverpool's keeper surely should have done better.

It was the overall look of Leicester that suggested they will be a top-four force this season - a good blend of youth and experience, pace and resilience.

It says a lot about them that they will leave so Anfield so bitterly disappointed. They were not in awe of a team that have carried all before them in the Premier League this season.

Man of the match - Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Sadio Mane scores against Leicester
Sadio Mane has scored 50 goals in 100 Premier League appearances for Liverpool

'We knew it would happen' - what they said

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp speaking to BBC's Match of the Day: "It was a super game. We upped the tempo. The football we played was so important. Leicester's goal really stopped us but then we wanted to go forwards.

"The penalty was obviously a penalty. We knew it would probably happen, we knew we were going to fight for the win - and we did. Without luck, we cannot win the amount of games we have won, but over the 90 minutes we deserved it - we deserved the three points. Milner held his nerve and that was superb.

On the late challenge on Mohamed Salah by Hamza Choudhury: "How can Mo be OK? How did he only get a yellow card? Mo limped off the pitch. That's hard. It was done to slow Mo down and that is not OK."

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'It was not a tackle' - watch Klopp's angry reaction to Salah foul

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers on Sky Sports: "I thought we deserved more than that. It's cruel to concede so late. I am very proud of the team. We're playing against the European champions and we looked like we could get goals. We were always a threat in the game, we had the confidence to pass the ball. We are showing our personality in how we played.

"We are bitterly disappointed to concede the penalty and it did not look clear and obvious to me. I think Mane made the most of the contact. I don't think if it had not been given by the referee it would have been overturned by VAR. When the referee gives decisions it is hard for them to overrule it."

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Liverpool 2-1 Leicester: Brendan Rodgers 'proud' of Foxes' personality

Leaving it late - the best of the stats

  • Milner's penalty was the 34th time Liverpool have scored a 90th-minute winning goal in a Premier League match - at least nine more than any other side.
  • Liverpool are the first side to win their opening eight matches of an English top-flight season twice, having also done so in the 1990-91 season.
  • Since the start of last season, Leicester City have conceded four 90th-minute winning goals in the league - at least twice as many as any other club.
  • Mane, making his 100th league appearance for Liverpool, scored his 50th Premier League goal for the Reds. He is the 10th player to reach the milestone for the club in the competition, more than any other side.
  • Maddison's equaliser came from Leicester's only shot on target of the match and the midfielder has scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since December 2018.

What's next?

It is now an international break meaning Liverpool are not back in action until Sunday, 20 October when they travel to Old Trafford to take on rivals Manchester United in the Premier League (16:30 BST). Leicester play a day earlier at the King Power against Burnley (15:00).

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 13Adrián
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 6Lovren
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 5WijnaldumSubstituted forHendersonat 78'minutes
  • 3FabinhoBooked at 39mins
  • 7Milner
  • 10Mané
  • 11SalahSubstituted forLallanaat 90+2'minutes
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forOrigiat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Keita
  • 12Gomez
  • 14Henderson
  • 20Lallana
  • 27Origi
  • 62Kelleher
  • 67Elliott

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 6EvansBooked at 69mins
  • 4SöyüncüBooked at 53mins
  • 3Chilwell
  • 25NdidiBooked at 30mins
  • 15BarnesSubstituted forAlbrightonat 45'minutes
  • 26PraetSubstituted forPérezat 73'minutes
  • 8Tielemans
  • 10MaddisonSubstituted forChoudhuryat 86'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 2Justin
  • 5Morgan
  • 7Gray
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 17Pérez
  • 20Choudhury
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh
Attendance:
53,322

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamLeicester
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home18
Away2
Shots on Target
Home8
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home9
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 2, Leicester City 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Leicester City 1.

Goal!

Goal! Liverpool 2, Leicester City 1. James Milner (Liverpool) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

VAR Decision: Penalty Liverpool.

Penalty Liverpool. Sadio Mané draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) after a foul in the penalty area.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Adam Lallana replaces Mohamed Salah because of an injury.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ben Chilwell (Leicester City).

Booking

Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City).

Divock Origi (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City).

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ayoze Pérez (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Hamza Choudhury replaces James Maddison.

Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Andrew Robertson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Ricardo Pereira.

Attempt missed. Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Ricardo Pereira.

Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Youri Tielemans (Leicester City).

Offside, Liverpool. Trent Alexander-Arnold tries a through ball, but James Milner is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Liverpool 1, Leicester City 1. James Maddison (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ayoze Pérez.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Divock Origi replaces Roberto Firmino.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Jordan Henderson replaces Georginio Wijnaldum.

Attempt blocked. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Ayoze Pérez replaces Dennis Praet.

Attempt missed. Dennis Praet (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.

Booking

Jonny Evans (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jonny Evans (Leicester City).

Offside, Liverpool. Roberto Firmino tries a through ball, but Mohamed Salah is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.

Attempt missed. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Foul by Sadio Mané (Liverpool).

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool88002061424
2Man City75112772016
3Leicester8422147714
4Crystal Palace842288014
5Burnley8332119212
6Arsenal73311211112
7West Ham83321111012
8Tottenham83231412211
9Chelsea73221413111
10Bournemouth73221312111
11Man Utd72329729
12Sheff Utd82337709
13Brighton8233810-29
14Aston Villa8224131218
15Wolves7142911-27
16Southampton7214711-47
17Everton8215613-77
18Norwich82061021-116
19Newcastle7124413-95
20Watford8035420-163
View full Premier League table

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