Liverpool 2 vs 1 Leicester City: Wout Faes own goals give below par Liverpool victory

faes after scoring own goal v liverpool

Liverpool were made to count their blessings, as two bizarre own goals from Leicester defender Wout Faes handed them all three points in a lacklustre encounter.

Prior to kick-off, both sets of players and fans paid tribute to football legend Pelé, a three-time World Cup winner, who died on Thursday aged 82.

The result means the Reds do indeed end 2022 on a winning note, although perhaps not what their shaky Anfield performance deserved.

And they made the worst possible start, as Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was allowed to stroll through the Liverpool defence and slot home after just four minutes played.

Leicester keeper Danny Ward played a long-ball forward, and striker Patson Daka flicked the ball into the path of Dewsbury-Hall, whose pace and composure left defenders Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip in no-man’s land, as the visitors took a shock lead.

The 24-year-old academy product recently broke into the first team and his goal justified why boss Brendan Rodgers rates him so highly.

With Liverpool on the back foot, they began to show signs of a fightback as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain whipped a delightful through-ball forward to Darwin Núñez.

The Uruguayan showed his electrifying pace to shrug off Faes, and squared the ball across to Mohamed Salah, but the Egyptian slammed his effort wide, much to his own annoyance, and he certainly should have at least hit the target, when well placed.

Liverpool continued to probe as midfielders Thiago Alcântara and captain Jordan Henderson neatly kept possession on the edge of the Leicester City penalty area, playing the ball over to Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The Reds full-back controlled the ball, whipping in a right-footed cross, a seemingly harmless ball which Foxes keeper Ward called for Faes to leave, but the Belgian swung out his left boot, to only lob the ball sensationally over the Welshman as it spun into the back of the net.

 

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A post shared by Virgil van Dijk (@virgilvandijk)

Safe to say the shot-stopper looked furious as he gave Faes a ticking off and a little shove in the back.

And the famous phrase goes that lightning never strikes twice, a way of reassuring people that the same thing won’t happen again.

However, in Leicester’s case the same thing did happen again, and in the same place, as lightning struck twice with Faes scoring another comedy own goal.

This time, Ward’s goal kick forward landed just beyond the halfway line, and was met by a towering Matip who headed onto Oxlade-Chamberlain, who sent Núñez away.

The £85 million striker raced away and chipped a left-footed strike against the post, and Faes just booted the ball into the net, to send the home crowd into ecstasy.

It gave the Belgian the unwanted statistic of being only the fourth player in the Premier League era after Jamie Carragher, Michael Spector and Jonathan Walters to score two own goals in the same match.

Liverpool went into half-time ahead, knowing that the visitors had failed to beat them at this ground in 22 years.

Not since May 2000, when goals from Tony Cottee and Paul Gilchrist gave Martin O’Neil a famous win over the late Gérard Houllier.

In the second-half, Liverpool squandered several good opportunities to extend their lead.

First, Núñez played in Salah with a fine ball through, but the 30-year-old dragged a tame shot well wide, when you would have bet your bottom dollar, he would have hit the back of the net in that position.

It was then Núñez’s turn to be wasteful at front of goal, as Liverpool played one of their best attacking moves of the match, with Henderson teeing up Thiago, as the Spaniard sent a Xabi Alonso inspired pass forward to Salah, who passed to substitute Naby Keïta and the Guinean onto the Uruguayan.

But Núñez miscontrolled the ball twice before side-footing well over the bar, as the 23-year-old continues to waste a hatful of chances at front of goal.

Liverpool managed to see it out to make it four consecutive Premier League wins, for the first time since a 10-match winning streak between January and April earlier in the year.

And more impressively for Jurgen Klopp’s team, it was the sixth time in the Premier League in 2022 they have come from behind to win after conceding the first goal, the joint most in a calendar year alongside Tottenham.

For Leicester, they have lost 10 of their last 12 at Anfield, and continue to languish in mid-table.

What the managers said

Former Kop boss Rodgers was quick to defend the performance of Faes following his two-match changing own goals.

“There was no real trouble coming in, the ball is coming into Danny’s hands, but as a defender you have to make those decisions,” he said.

“Since he has been with us he has been brilliant. It was just freakish and he was unfortunate with the second one, but I thought he responded brilliantly in the second half.”

Meanwhile, Klopp admitted to his disappointment with how his side played at times.

“The result is very pleasing but it was not our best performance. We conceded from a goal kick – I can’t remember many like that before – and so we were 1-0 down against a counter-attacking team with a clear idea,” he said.

“We knew we had to improve in the second half, and we did, but they still had their moments.

“Credit to Leicester, it’s no coincidence they have a decent away record, but we had massive chances to finish the game off and didn’t take them.

“We had to fight our way through.”

James Spencer

My name is James and I have supported Liverpool since I was 6 years old. My favourite players growing up were Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia. My most memorable match would be the UEFA Cup Final win over Deportivo Alaves that finished 5-4 to Liverpool! I am studying journalism in Manchester although I am a Liverpool fan through and through.

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