Depleted Liverpool turn on the style in a comfortable win against Leicester City in a top of the table clash last night (November 22).
An own goal from Jonny Evans and headers from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino secured all three points to set new record at fortress Anfield.
Despite missing three of the regular back four, Jurgen Klopp’s side breezed past Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester to earn their 64th consecutive league win at home.
Mo Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Thiago and Captain Jordan Henderson were also on the side lines.
Klopp played his regular 4-3-3 with Fabinho and Matip at centre back.
Milner and Robertson completed the back four.
Gini Wijnaldum made his 200th appearance in the midfield with Curtis Jones and Naby Keita.
Roberto Firmino came in for Mo Salah. He operated as the false nine with Jota and Mane either side of him.
Leicester used the 3-4-3 forced on Brendan Rodgers with Albrighton filling in for Castagne with James Justin.
Mendy and Tielemans were the two centre midfielders, Harvey Barnes and Madison set to play in more advanced areas.
Jamie Vardy led the line looking to continue his pursuit for the Golden Boot.
Before kickoff a moments applauds was conducted by everyone in the ground to honour legendary Goalkeeper Ray Clemence who passed away last week.
Hero. Legend. A true great.
Our goalkeeping team pay their respects to the brilliant Ray Clemence ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UzSqC0fsCP
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 22, 2020
It was befitting of Clemence’s legacy that the Reds went on to keep another clean sheet as they overturned with a degree of comfort.
Utility man James Milner controlled the right side, deputising at right back in the absence of Trent Alexander Arnold.
The 34-year-old’s industry and work rate set the tone for a fast start.
It took 21 minutes to unlock a Leicester team who hadn’t been beaten on the road so far this season.
Jonny Evans headed in the wrong net from a Milner corner to give Liverpool a worthy lead.
Diogo Jota continued his scintillating form as he doubled his side’s lead 20 minutes later, converting a header from a trademark Robertson cross.
The Scotland captain’s energy and enthusiasm despite playing 120 minutes during the international break was a sight to behold.
After the break Leicester started to gather control of more possession.
A change in tactics from a mid-block, counter attacking system was needed after Fabinho and Matip kept talisman Jamie Vardy at bay.
James Maddison was seeing more of the ball but clever fouls by Curtis Jones and Milner, who had now stepped into midfield after Naby Keita pulled up with a hamstring injury, did enough to restrict the Foxes playmaker.
Roberto Firmino grabbed a rare Anfield goal to the delight of Jurgen Klopp.
The number 9’s previous effort was denied by the Goal Decision System by a matter of millimetres. However, his header from a James Milner corner was never going to be stopped by Kasper Schmeichel.
This is how cursed Firmino is at the moment. pic.twitter.com/tlv0qS3M4Y
— – (@AnfieldRd96) November 22, 2020
The Brazilian grabbed just his second goal in his last 23 but led the line in terrific fashion. He was visibly relieved to have converted a chance as so many eluded him up until that point.
Where to even begin describing that performance? Pre match Klopp insisted he couldn’t care less about the home record but after watching some of the breathing football put together by a makeshift and depleted Liverpool side you would think they were playing for their lives.
The 64th straight home win sets a record for the champions, overcoming Bob Paisleys side of 1978-81 which ironically was ended by Leicester City.
After the match former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was magnanimous in defeat, praising the strength of Klopp’s side saying: “Their unbeaten home run is an incredible record, and it shows you the power and the strength in depth that they have. They are an outstanding squad of players.
“They are still very strong, have top players, look at the midfield which had players who always play.
“They are an outstanding team, super organised, they play with heart, quality and were the better team.”
The three points puts the Reds go joint top in the league with Spurs.
They must turn their attention to the Champions League with Atalanta on Wednesday.
The regularly free scoring Italians were held to a draw at the weekend but will be looking for revenge at Anfield after being turned over at the Stadio di Bergamo.