Liverpool 4-1 Leicester City: Roberto Firmino strikes twice in Reds win
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 11/09/16 11:52am
Two goals from Roberto Firmino helped Liverpool beat Leicester City 4-1 in the first game at the renovated Anfield on Saturday evening.
An attendance of 53,075 - Liverpool's largest since 1977 - watched the hosts go in front after 13 minutes through the Brazilian, before Sadio Mane doubled their advantage in the 31st minute.
A disastrous error from Lucas Leiva allowed Jamie Vardy to cut the deficit, but Adam Lallana restored Liverpool's two-goal advantage with a stunning strike shortly after half-time.
Firmino then added further gloss to the scoreline in the 89th minuute, passing the ball into an empty net after Kasper Schmeichel mistimed his challenge on Mane.
Jurgen Klopp's side produced the perfect attacking performance to open the new £115m Main Stand, scoring four goals for the second time in four Premier League matches.
The result sees them climb to fifth in the table, while Leicester drop to 15th and turn their attention to a first Champions League fixture against Club Brugge on Wednesday.
Claudio Ranieri picked the same starting XI that beat Swansea, but they found themselves a goal down early on.
James Milner, in for Alberto Moreno at left-back, picked out Firmino and the Liverpool forward skipped inside Robert Huth and wrong-footed Schmeichel.
The hosts were well on top and could have extended their lead when Mane teed up Daniel Sturridge, but the England international saw his close-range effort expertly saved by the Foxes stopper.
It was a temporary reprieve for the visitors, though, as Mane latched onto Sturridge's audacious back-heel and chipped past Schmeichel.
It was no more than Liverpool deserved for their fast start, but a shocking mistake from Lucas gifted the visitors a route back into the match seven minutes before half-time.
A poor first touch from the Brazilian put him under pressure, and his attempted pass presented Vardy with the easiest of opportunities. There was a question mark over whether the goal should have stood, though, as Shinji Okazaki appeared to be in the 18-yard box before the ball had left the penalty area from Simon Mignolet's goal kick.
Despite being second best for much of the half, Leicester almost went in level as Robert Huth's looping header bounced off the crossbar and over.
Claudio Ranieri introduced Ahmed Musa at half-time as Leicester look to capitalise on their good fortune, but they soon slipped further behind as Lallana rifled into the top corner for Liverpool's third in the 56th minute.
Vardy squandered the chance for an immediate reply, blasting straight at Mignolet after a fine through ball by Riyad Mahrez.
The champions attempted to build pressure as the game wore on, but the better chances fell to their opponents as Jordan Henderson blazed over and Schmeichel denied Mane.
The Leicester goalkeeper was at fault for Liverpool's fourth in the closing stages, rushing out of his goal and missing his tackle on Mane, who teed up Firmino to grab his second goal of the season.
Liverpool: Mignolet (6), Clyne (7), Matip (7), Lucas (4), Milner (7), Wijnaldum (7), Henderson (7), Lallana (8), Mane (8), Firmino (8), Sturridge (7)
Subs used: Moreno (6), Stewart (6), Coutinho (6)
Leicester City: Schmeichel (7), Simpson (6), Huth (6), Morgan (6), Fuchs (6), Mahrez (5), Drinkwater (6), Amartey (6), Albrighton (5), Okazaki (5), Vardy (6)
Subs used: Hernandez (6), Musa (6), Ulloa (6)
Man of the match: Roberto Firmino