Leicester City v Liverpool: Live matchday blog
Follow all of the build-up, action and reaction as Liverpool travel to Leicester City in the Premier League on Boxing Day.
- Firmino heads Reds into lead on 31 minutes
- Milner penalty doubles advantage on 71 before Firmino strikes again
- Alexander-Arnold drills in a fourth
And here's how the table looks tonight...
Here's how Opta ranked tonight's game...
Leicester City 0-4 Liverpool
A simply breathtaking performance from Liverpool secures an emphatic victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
The Reds dominated throughout and could have been out of sight by half-time, but as it was they had to settle for Roberto Firmino's header.
However, James Milner's penalty, a second for Firmino and a Trent Alexander-Arnold ping did further damage in the second half to move Jürgen Klopp's side 13 points ahead of the Foxes with a game in hand.
Three minutes of added time to be played...
Well played @LFC. Way too good. The World Champions continue to play like World Champions and Premier League champions elect. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻— GaryLineker (Gary Lineker 💙) 26th Dec 21:35
Alexander-Arnold— Mascherano (Javier Mascherano) 26th Dec 21:36
Henderson has picked up a knock so he is replaced by Lallana for the final knockings.
@LFC's 3rd goal tonight is the 500th scored under Jurgen Klopp in all games (this is no. 239). The second was the 3… https://t.co/ICcZ3tmNFl— ged0407 (Ged Rea) 26th Dec 21:36
GOALLLL!!!!!!!!!! TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And another one!
Liverpool break, Mane feeds Alexander-Arnold on the corner of the box and he pings one into the far corner with a sublime finish.
4-0 now to the Reds!
GOAL!!!!!!!!!! ROBERTO FIRMNO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Liverpool make it 3-0 as they slice open their opponents with some wonderful football that results in Alexander-Arnold sliding a low ball across the area that Firmino taps before dispatching into the top corner from 10 yards.
Maddison goes into the book.
GOAL!!!!!!!!! JAMES MILNER!!!!!!!!!
No mistake from Millie with his first touch of the ball!
Penalty to Liverpool!
Soyuncu handles a corner and the Reds have been awarded a spot kick.
Here come those changes - Keita and Salah make way for Milner and Origi.
Wijnaldum heads away with Vardy lurking.
Liverpool break and Salah has an effort blocked.
Liverpool are preparing James Milner and Divock Origi to come on.
Some brief encouragement for Leicester as Ricardo's surge into the area causes concern before Praet hooks a shot well wide from distance.
Joe Gomez is booked for a challenge on Vardy.
Leicester make the first change of the game as Barnes makes way for Albrighton.
Liverpool cause more chaos inside the Leicester box before Salah rattles the crossbar.
The flag is up on the far side, though.
Robertson's tenacity keeps the ball alive on the left before he whips in a cross, which Firmino nudges just wide of the far post under pressure.
Schmeichel flaps at a corner and Salah side-foots the loose ball high over the bar.
Ricardo heads away Alexander-Arnold's cross to stop Robertson nudging it in at the back post.
Tielemans has a shot which Gomez deflects wide for a Leicester corner.
Back under way...
Leicester re-start the game at the King Power Stadium.
Roberto Firmino's goal was the Reds 150th scored away from home in the league under Jurgen Klopp, in this his 81st game in charge.— ged0407 (Ged Rea) 26th Dec 20:51
Here's how Opta rated the opening half..
Leicester City 0-1 Liverpool
Roberto Firmino's header has given the Reds the advantage at the midway point, but Jürgen Klopp's side have dominated and carved out a host of other fine goalscoring opportunities to extend their lead.
Keita almost runs clean through on goal, but Soyuncu needs to make a last-ditch challenge.
Alexander-Arnold's cross 😍 Firmino's header 👌 Truly marvellous play from @LFC 👏 #PLonPrime #LEILIV https://t.co/kgZoz9tp1G— primevideosport (Amazon Prime Video Sport) 26th Dec 20:34
Liverpool should be further ahead, but Schmeichel makes a fine save at close quarters to thwart Mane's shot.
GOAL!!!!!! ROBERTO FIRMINO!!!!!!!!!!!
It had been coming - and Liverpool finally have the breakthrough.
Leicester don't clear a corner fully, allowing Alexander-Arnold to hoist a cross towards the back post from the left, where Firmino arrives to nod into the bottom corner.
That's three in three for Bobby and it's no less than the Reds deserve.
Vital tackle from Robertson prevents Praet from reaching Maddison's pass into the box.
Alexander-Arnold almost picks out Salah at the back post, but Evans manages to get a flick on the ball with his head to divert the danger for the hosts.
Liverpool win the ball back again - this time Firmino from Evans. Henderson's shot is deflected and Schmeichel has to tip it over at full stretch.
We make that four good chances for the Reds to have opened the scoring in the first 15 minutes here.
Liverpool spring a counter from a Leicester corner. Keita plays it forward to Salah, who beats Schmeichel but is forced too wide and his final effort flies into the side netting from a difficult angle.
A crucial interception from Alexander-Arnold prevents Vardy and Barnes reaching a through ball.
Another one for the Reds as Evans gives the ball to Wijnaldum. He combines with Firmino to set up Salah, who swipes well over the bar first time from the edge of the area.
Mane almost sets Salah free on goal, but a combination of Schmeichel and Ricardo crowd him out.
The world champions should be 1-0 up.
Wijnaldum intercepts Schmeichel's kick and plays it to Salah. His cross just evades the forehead of Firmino before Mane stabs it wide of the near post when unmarked six yards out.
It was a glorious chance for the Reds.
Early sighter from Alexander-Arnold as he tests Schmeichel with a drive from 20 yards that the 'keeper gathers at the second attempt.
Here we go, then...
We're under way at the King Power Stadium as Mohamed Salah starts the game.
Come on you Reds!
Here come the teams...
AXA - principal partner and official training kit sponsor
Time for the Reds to get warm! 💪💪 2️⃣0️⃣ minutes until KO 👊 #LEILIV https://t.co/fGLI9BBt3a— LFC (Liverpool FC) 26th Dec 19:40
Opta's line-up take...
Reds have arrived for #LEILIV 💪💪 https://t.co/U5HBG3CT6F— LFC (Liverpool FC) 26th Dec 19:04
Inside the Reds' dressing room
🔴 #LEILIV TEAM NEWS 🔴 📋 Our line-up tonight to face @LCFC... https://t.co/RNEBNPkC9Y— LFC (Liverpool FC) 26th Dec 19:00
In the blue corner 🔵 #LeiLiv team news - sponsored by @eToro!— LCFC (Leicester City) 26th Dec 19:00
One change for Liverpool as Georginio Wijnaldum returns from injury to replace the absent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the starting line-up.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Milner, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi, Jones, Williams.
Thanks #LFC for a fantastic 2019 #UCL and #ClubWC Champs! Hoping for #PremierLeague in 2020! https://t.co/TKaYztuAfM— shaypat (Shay) 26th Dec 18:12
Early doors today at @Thomas_Magees with @OLSCDetroit. Big game for #LFC today. #COYR #YNWA https://t.co/OCMIKGXYt0— RobinJohnston24 (Robin Johnston) 26th Dec 18:17
And Andy Robbo...
...takes care of the pre-match media duties this evening.
Kasper's praise for Reds mentality...
Leicester City ‘keeper Kasper Schmeichel has been quizzed for his thoughts on Liverpool’s form in tonight’s official matchday programme.
He says: “They’ve hit a rich vein of form which has been unstoppable recently. It’s quite annoying sometimes to see them get those last-minute winners but that’s testament to their character, mentality and persistence. That said, we always feel confident when we play at home and know we have the ability to beat anyone on our day. There are bigger challenges than others but we’re confident going into every game. I’m sure the fans are excited for this one so hopefully we can put on a good performance for them.”
Liverpool have a good Boxing Day record in recent years...
- 2018: Liverpool 4-0 Newcastle United
- 2017: Liverpool 5-0 Swansea City
- 2015: Liverpool 1-0 Leicester City
- 2014: Burnley 0-1 Liverpool
And if you're wondering, in 2016 the Reds played on December 27 and beat Stoke City 4-1 at Anfield.
Sadio Mane has scored in Liverpool's last three successive league outings against Leicester.
If the No.10 finds the net tonight, he will equal Billy Liddell who scored in four consecutive encounters with the Foxes (1955-57).
The Boxing Day stage?
Consider it set...
Rodgers: Reds as tough as it gets in the PL
A snippet from Brendan Rodgers' programme notes...
“I’d like to welcome Jürgen Klopp, his staff and the players of Liverpool to King Power Stadium for tonight’s game,” Leicester's boss writes.
“They arrive with fantastic momentum and will give us as tough a test as we can find in the Premier League this season.”
Last time out (PL)
It's 12 days since the Reds played Premier League football - here's a reminder of how they maintained their charge at the summit with a hard-fought win over Watford...
The manager's view
At his pre-match press conference, Klopp was asked about the prospect of moving 13 points clear of second-placed Leicester with a win tonight.
"We will not be fussed by that," he replied.
"We are not in this situation we are in because we thought things are over before they are over, we are not in the situation we are in because we didn't take each game we played so far 100 per cent serious. The boys were always 100 per cent focused and that's what we will be at Leicester.
"All the talk before - if we would do this or this, what then happens - are absolutely not important to us. They have absolutely no influence."
Covering the @LFC game live from #Qatar #BoxingDay Happy Holidays 🎄⚽️🎄⚽️ https://t.co/SiTZ96W8no— Ian_Rush9 (Ian Rush MBE) 26th Dec 15:34
Who's in charge today?
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett
Fourth official: Craig Pawson
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Stephen Child
More history to be made?
Jürgen Klopp’s team are currently unbeaten in 16 away league games. If they avoid defeat in this match, they will set a new club record of 17 without a loss on the road in the league.
🎄MATCHDAY🎄Hope all of you are spending blessed time with your loved ones 🙏🏾❤ Tonight you can gather your whole fami… https://t.co/TSvHY32AYW— GWijnaldum (Gini Wijnaldum) 26th Dec 13:06
Second 🆚 First The 🔢 ahead of #LeiLiv... https://t.co/79Xa4YXQeK— LCFC (Leicester City) 26th Dec 13:20
What happened during our last visit to Leicester...
- Liverpool have won their last two Premier League away games against Leicester, but have never won three consecutive away matches against them in top-flight history.
- Klopp's side have won 29 Premier League games in 2019 – only once in their history have Liverpool won more top-flight games in a single calendar year (33 in 1982).
- Sadio Mane has been directly involved in 10 goals in his last nine starts in all competitions (four goals, six assists), registering at least one assist in his last four starts. He could be the second Red to assist in five consecutive starts in 2019 after Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The other 12:- Rush, McManaman, Barnes, Fowler, Heskey, Gerrard, Owen, Riise, Hyypia, Henderson, Coutinho and Milne… https://t.co/ExHGAPhpZQ— ged0407 (Ged Rea) 26th Dec 12:30
Jürgen Klopp shared a special Christmas message for Liverpool supporters around the world.
"It is, naturally, a time to briefly reflect on an incredible year for these boys, this club and, of course, our supporters," the boss said.
"I think you know me well enough by now, I am not a guy for looking back, not when there is work to do. But how can I ignore what we have all experienced in this year?
"I have just one word for it: wow."
Read it in full by clicking here.
🎁 Boxing Day! 🔴⚽ @LFC @premierleague #TorresLegacy #TBTorres https://t.co/1VP0qwRUK7— Torres (Fernando Torres) 26th Dec 10:24
Brendan Rodgers has stressed the need for his side to be at their very best if they're to secure a positive result this evening.
Previewing the game, the Foxes boss said: "We had a really good game up at Anfield against them earlier on in the season.
"Of course, we [had] to defend well, but we should have come out of that game with a draw.
"I think it’s a combination of everything. You need to be at the very best level in your game.
"Obviously, we’re playing at home, so the intensity of the crowd can really help us as well and, when the opportunities come, you have to be able to take those opportunities, as well as defending well.
"So, it’s a combination of mini facets in the game that you need to be at a really high level in and that’s what we aim to do."
TV channels and live coverage details
Tonight's match will be shown live on Amazon Prime Video in the UK - click here to sign up and get a 30-day free trial when you join.
You can listen to the game live with our free audio commentary service and follow the build-up, action and reaction as it happens right here with us on this blog.
For Reds fans outside of the UK, global TV listings for the game can be found here.
Can you remember Liverpool's starting line-up from the 4-1 victory at Leicester City in October 2001?
Robbie Fowler grabbed the headlines by netting a hat-trick, but who else did caretaker manager Phil Thompson field in his first Premier League game in charge?
Take our quiz below...
⛔🥅 ⛔🥅 ⛔🥅 10000% FOCUS ON @premierleague AGAIN! 💪🏻🔴 #ADR13N https://t.co/f8tQrYf6KO— AdriSanMiguel (Adrián San Miguel) 24th Dec 13:53
Earlier in the season
James Milner scored an injury-time penalty to give Liverpool a dramatic 2-1 victory over Brendan Rodgers' side at Anfield in October. Watch the highlights from that clash below...
The teamsheets will land at 7pm GMT but we already know Liverpool will be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The midfielder is sidelined at least for the remainder of 2019 after suffering an ankle injury in the Club World Cup final.
Fabinho, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip remain sidelined for the Reds.
Leicester, meanwhile, are hopeful Harvey Barnes (ankle) will recover from a knock to be available. Matty James (Achilles) is a long-term absentee for the Foxes.
Melwood had a bit of a makeover the other day to reflect yet more success from team on the pitch...
Check out 70 photos from Liverpool's preparations for this clash in our gallery below...
Sadio put in a brilliant performance when we last faced @LCFC 🙌🔴 https://t.co/VssfN18eyS— LFC (Liverpool FC) 26th Dec 09:25
Here's how the Premier League table shaped up on Christmas Day...
Last time out
Klopp's men won the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time in the Reds' history with an extra-time victory over Flamengo in Qatar. Relive that night below...
Did you know?
Liverpool have won their last four Boxing Day matches in the Premier League by an aggregate score of 11-0.
A superb @Robbie9Fowler hat-trick 👌🔴 Enjoy highlights from a memorable 4-1 win at @LCFC back in 2001 ⏪🙌 https://t.co/Rzm8duuWyq— LFC (Liverpool FC) 25th Dec 20:03
Jürgen Klopp previewed this Boxing Day affair by taking questions from journalists at Melwood. Watch what he had to say in the video below...
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas. It's now time to sit back, relax and enjoy the festive football that's on offer.
The newly-crowned world champions are in action as Liverpool travel to Leicester City this evening.
Stay with us throughout the day for the best of the build-up, action and reaction from the King Power Stadium.