Liverpool 2-1 Leicester City
Goals: Sadio Mané (£11.6m) James Milner (£5.3m) | James Maddison (£7.1m)
Assists: Mané, Milner | Ayoze Perez (£6.0m)
Bonus Points: Milner x3, Mané x2, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) x 1
Liverpool grabbed a dramatic injury-time winner against Leicester City to maintain their 100% winning start to the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
Sadio Mané (£11.6m) opened the scoring for Jurgen Klopp’s side with a well-taken goal to continue the debate over whether he or Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) is the best Anfield-based attacker to own.
Frustratingly for the Egyptian’s backers, he was substituted just minutes before Liverpool were awarded a stoppage-time penalty.
It was Mané who was fouled and James Milner (£5.3m) who dispatched the resulting spot-kick. However, whether Salah’s absence made much of a difference is hard to tell, given that the former England international has often taken penalties ahead of him when he has been on the pitch.
Mané’s first-half strike combined with his assist for the late penalty means the £11.6m forward registered a 12-point score, against the backdrop of Salah’s first blank at home this season.
For the near 41% of owners of the highly-priced Egyptian, he now has just one goal in his last five Premier League outings and the attractive form of Mané may prove to be enough for some managers to make the switch and save £0.9m of their budget.
Some might even want to go further still and look elsewhere for premium options as Liverpool face Manchester United (away), Spurs (home) and Manchester City (home) in the next four Gameweeks. Some top 10,000 managers have been shipping out their Liverpool attackers this week, for example.
While owners of Salah debate his long-term place in their squads, a potential injury to the forward after he was taken off late in the game will have to be closely monitored over the international break.
When asked about it post-match Klopp fumed in response to Hamza Choudhury‘s (£4.5m) the tackle that forced his player to leave the field of play limping.
“How can he be okay? He was limping from the pitch and you ask me if he’s okay! How can he be okay?! Did you watch it back? Watch me, what do you think?” – Jurgen Klopp
Klopp also singled out Choudhury, whose tackle on Matt Ritchie (£5.4m) had drawn criticism last week.
“He should know better. He maybe was unlucky with [Matt] Ritchie [who is out for two months after a tackle from Choudhury], but it was him and he has to calm down. ‘You cannot only go for the man, and then he gets only a yellow card – I don’t know how that works. You see Mo lying in the dressing room and you think, okay…”
Neither Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) or Andrew Robertson (£6.9m) were able to register attacking returns that have so often made up for the loss of their clean sheets points in the 2019/20 campaign, although the former did manage to cling onto one bonus.
The absence of Joel Matip (£5.5m) through injury, who has enjoyed an impressive season so far, did not help the Reds. Joe Gomez (£5.2m) was poor against Salzburg midweek so Dejan Lovren (£5.3m) earned a surprise recall to the side and arguably had a better game than Virgil van Dijk (£6.5m) was caught out for Leicester’s equalising goal.
The return of Alisson (£5.8m) after the international break, of course, could be significant.
On his return to Anfield, former manager Brendan Rodgers can be proud of his side’s performance despite
The Foxes’ performance against Liverpool marked a continuation of their excellent recent form that had seen them register just one defeat so far in the 2019/20 campaign.
For owners of Maddison, whose strike ten minutes from time looked to have sealed a point for Rodgers’ men, a goal from the £7.1m man was welcome news.
For those who had backed Jamie Vardy (£8.9m) to repeat his goalscoring heroics from last weekend against Newcastle, however, a blank against a side who the 31-year-old has typically excelled against in the past will have been disappointing given his recent form.
Interest has also been high in Leicester’s defensive assets such as Çaglar Söyüncü (£4.6m) though a clean sheet would not have been expected upon travelling to the champions of Europe and those managers in ownership of Leicester’s backline are likely to be satisfied at the performance of the increasingly popular Söyüncü (owned by 6.6%) as well as Jonny Evans (£5.0m).
The Foxes’ assets look set to be popular over the coming months as they sit top of our Season Ticker in the next nine Gameweeks.
While this was a game that will provide fuel to the debate regarding Liverpool’s defensive assets as well as the Mané vs Salah dilemma, managers would be unwise to discount Leicester’s battling performance, and arguably against nearly any other side in the division their showing on Saturday would have constituted at least a point.
Vardy and Maddison will continue to prove attractive as attacking assets at competitive prices, yet with another double-digit score in a crucial game, Mané continues to reward those in ownership of the £11.6m forward with another sensational performance and a match-defining contribution.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Adrian; Robertson, van Dijk, Lovren, Alexander-Arnold; Wijnaldum (Henderson 78’) Milner, Fabinho; Mané, Firmino, (Origi 78’) Salah, (Lallana 90+2’).
Leicester XI (4-1-4-1): Schmeichel; Chilwell, Söyüncü, Evans, R Pereira; Ndidi; Maddison (Choudhury 86’) Tielemans, Praet (Perez 73’), H Barnes (Albrighton 45’); Vardy.
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