Competition
  • Champions League

Vardy at the double in reminder of Ranieri's glory

  • first half
  • 15'
  • 30'
  • second half
  • 60'
  • 75'
  • 90'
Leicester

27' Vardy

38' Drinkwater

59' Vardy

68' Out Okazaki in Amartey

79' Out Mahrez in Gray

90' Out Albrighton in Ben Chilwell

Liverpool

67' Coutinho

65' Out Mane in Alberto Moreno

65' Out Lallana in Divock Origi

83' Out Lucas Leiva in Ben Woodburn

LEICESTER 3 - 1 LIVERPOOL

Vardy at the double in reminder of Ranieri's glory

Vardy celebra un gol

Getty

Leicester moved out of the drop zone after the heartache of Claudio Ranieri's dismissal, with a Jamie Vardy inspired win over Liverpool.

Post-Ranieri revival

Jamie Vardy scored twice as a revitalised Leicester City started life without sacked manager Claudio Ranieri by sinking Liverpool 3-1 on Monday to spark their Premier League survival hopes.

Ranieri, 65, was dismissed last Thursday, nine months on from Leicester's fairytale title win, and fans honoured him with banners, masks and a smartphone light show in the 65th minute. His former charges were unrecognisable from recent weeks, with Danny Drinkwater also on target as they snapped a run of five straight defeats to climb out of the relegation zone to 15th place.

Jamie Vardy of Leicester City scores his second and his sides third goal.

Jamie Vardy of Leicester City scores his second and his sides third goal.

Mirror-image of league positions

Vardy's first-half opener was Leicester's first league goal in seven games and made them the last team from Europe's five major championships to find the net in 2017. While the display will give Leicester's fans hopes of a late-season rally under caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare, it leaves questions about why things had gone so badly wrong under Ranieri.

Liverpool could have provisionally gone third with victory, but instead they remain fifth, 14 points below leaders Chelsea and a point behind fourth-place Arsenal having played a game more. Jurgen Klopp's side, who replied through Philippe Coutinho, have won only one of their last seven league games and look a shadow of the team who looked poised to challenge for the title just weeks ago.

Liverpool's German manager Jürgen Kloppnot happy.

Liverpool's German manager Jürgen Kloppnot happy.

The signs were there

The first sign that Leicester's players might be about to wind the clock back came on the team sheet, where Shinji Okazaki replaced Ahmed Musa from last week's 2-1 Champions League loss away to Sevilla. Save for the presence of Wilfred Ndidi and the absence of the departed N'Golo Kante, it was the team that won the title and there was energy and aggression to Leicester's play from the off.

Vardy set the tone within seconds, flying in on Sadio Mane with a challenge that perhaps should have earned him a caution, and before long the visitors' goal was bring peppered. Simon Mignolet was tested three times in the first 18 minutes, fielding a header from Robert Huth, pushing Okazaki's flicked header behind and parrying from Vardy, while Huth headed over.

The breakthrough came in the 28th minute and it was lifted straight from Leicester's 2015-16 songbook. Marc Albrighton's slide-rule pass freed Vardy to scuttle in behind Joel Matip and steer a shot past Mignolet for his first goal in eight league games. The King Power Stadium erupted and the home fans were on their feet again in the 39th minute as Drinkwater got in on the act. Albrighton's cross from the left was headed away by James Milner and fell kindly for Drinkwater, who speared a sumptuous 25-yard shot into the bottom-right corner.

"Put it 20 yards ahead of him," Vardy says to his midfielders.

"Put it 20 yards ahead of him," Vardy says to his midfielders.

More like the champions of last year

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel showed alertness to thwart Coutinho and Emre Can either side of Drinkwater's strike and Coutinho tested him again early in the second half. Vardy put the hosts 3-0 up on the hour, leaping above Can to glance a fine header past Mignolet from Christian Fuchs's in-swinging cross.

An ode to the popular Ranieri from the home fans had just faded away when Coutinho netted in the 69th minute, slotting in from Can's pass to deny Leicester a first clean sheet in 11 matches.

But despite late pressure, they succeeded in holding Klopp's men at arm's length, with Schmeichel denying substitute Divock Origi and fumbling a Coutinho strike just wide of his right-hand post.

Wes Morgan of Leicester City celebrates with team mates after the full time whistle.

Wes Morgan of Leicester City celebrates with team mates after the full time whistle.

Questions will be asked in both camps: where had that performance been when Ranieri was in charge, and what has happened to the Liverpool side of the first half of the season that was blowing teams apart?

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