Liverpool brushed aside Leicester – and will soon welcome back six of their injured stars

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With Leicester punch drunk under a barrage that bordered on the ruthless, their keeper Kasper Schmeichel screamed with a hint of desperation, “be aggressive, be aggressive”.

It was a plaintiff cry aimed generally towards his team, but in particular at Marc Albrighton, who was shaping to go and cover another marauding Andy Robertson mission down the left.

He charged high, the Liverpool defender skipped past, and Diogo Jota’s almost obligatory goal followed. In that one moment, Brendan Rodgers briefly looked to the skies, more in resignation, than anger.

It is the problem the Leicester manager had wrestled with throughout the international break. How to high line the best pressing side in European football? James Maddison’s anonymous performance told of how difficult that is.

Liverpool were minus several key men but still ran out comfortable winners
(Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

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Rodgers did it magnificently at Manchester City earlier in the season, and his team have looked brilliant in enforcing those tactics away from home, as their 13 goals in four previous away league games this season before arriving at Anfield, testified.

But against his former club things seem very different for the northern-Irish manager. For an hour of this game, Liverpool were irresistible, and could so easily have been five goals ahead. In part, that was because of the indecision from the visitors.

It happened last season too, at Christmas when Liverpool seemed vulnerable at the top after travelling for the World Club Cup, and Leicester were flying in second. Yet the lesson handed out that day by Jurgen Klopp’s side was sobering.

This time, it was worse in a way, for Rodgers. Liverpool were without the spine of their team – centre half, centre mid, captain and leader, prolific goal scoring forward, as well as their player with the most assists and most creative outlet. Among others.

They were vulnerable, but still Rodgers didn’t know whether to stick or twist. Or rather, his side were never comfortable pushing too high against a still deadly attacking force.

Brendan Rodgers' side had no answers
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)

And that is the problems sides will still face against a definitely weakened Liverpool this season. If you go at them, as instinct demands, then Mane or Jota can slice you apart in one movement.

The manner in which they did that here at Anfield on a freezing November night must have warmed the heart of every Reds fan, and sent chills down the spine of their rivals.

They also will get Salah, Henderson, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander-Arnold and Shaqiri back in the next fortnight or so, which makes their attacking options even broader, and even more deadly.

For Rodgers, that was a wake up call. Leicester may well be challengers this season, but the stats of this match told the whole story. Liverpool won’t concede their crown easily.

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