Liverpool extended their incredible unbeaten record at Anfield in the Premier League to 64 matches to set a new club record with a 3-0 victory over Leicester City.
Liverpool depth key to title defence?
Could the depth provided by players such as Diogo Jota and James Milner hold the key to Liverpool's title defence this season?
Jurgen Klopp's side, who were missing Mohamed Salah, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, defied their injury problems as Jonny Evans' own goal (21) and Diogo Jota's header (41) gave them a 2-0 lead at half-time.
Liverpool, who last tasted defeat at Anfield in April 20017, further extended their lead four minutes from time through Roberto Firmino's header (86) as they secured a victory which sees them break a club record for games unbeaten at home in the top flight, which has stood since 1981.
The win moves Liverpool level on points with Tottenham at the top of the Premier League while Leicester, who lost away from home for the first time in the league this season, stay fourth.
I think the fact that coming into this game, there was talk of Leicester ending this unbeaten run or Liverpool dropping points. Psychologically this feels like a big win.
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How Klopp's Liverpool put themselves in the history books...
Leicester had an early shout for a penalty when the ball struck Joel Matip's arm in the penalty area, but VAR Andre Marriner did not send referee Chris Kavanagh to his pitchside monitor for a second look.
After that early scare, it was Liverpool who dominated the early proceedings, with Curtis Jones and Jota forcing Kasper Schmeichel into a couple of early saves.
Liverpool: Alisson (7), Robertson (8), Milner (8), Matip (7), Fabinho (7), Keita (7), Wijnaldum (7), Jones (7), Mane (8), Jota (9), Firmino (8).
Subs: Williams (6), origi (n/a), Minamino (n/a).
Leicester: Schmeichel (7), Justin (7), Fofana (6), Evans (5), Fuchs (6), Mendy (6), Tielemans (6), Barnes (6), Albrighton (6), Maddison (6), Vardy (5).
Subs: Under (6), Praet (6).
Man of the match: Diogo Jota
However, it was one of Schmeichel's own team-mates who actually beat him to hand Klopp's men the breakthrough. Evans was too preoccupied with Sadio Mane before James Milner's corner bounced off his head and flashed beyond the Leicester goalkeeper.
He got into a wrestling match with Mane. He was looking the wrong way and it hit him on the back of the head.
The hosts then doubled their advantage just before the break when Jota met Andrew Robertson's cross and glanced a header past Schmeichel to double his side's advantage.
The one blow of the night for Liverpool will have been the injury picked up by Naby Keita, who was replaced by 19-year-old Neco Williams early in the second half.
However, it did not bother the hosts, who almost extended their lead when Evans almost conceded a second own goal, only for his header to hit the upright.
- Fabinho returned from a three-match absence to ease Liverpool's injury worries slightly. The midfielder, back after a hamstring problem, was slotted alongside Joel Matip in central defence with James Milner at right-back as manager Jurgen Klopp was able to field only one of his first-choice back four in Andy Robertson. With Mohamed Salah unavailable due to a positive Covid test his job was given to Diogo Jota, with Naby Keita making his first start in central midfield since last month's shock 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa.
- Leicester full-back Timothy Castagne failed to make the squad, meaning a fifth successive match out with a hamstring injury, but Wesley Fofana was fit to start after a knee problem during the international break.
Firmino then saw a shot cleared off the line by millimetres before Mane's strike deflected off Schmeichel onto the upright.
Firmino's persistence eventually paid off though, his header rounding off an impressive night for Liverpool, who went level with Tottenham at the top of the table.
Carra: Season starts now for Liverpool
Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher:
"I think the fact that coming into this game, there was talk of Leicester ending this unbeaten run or Liverpool dropping points.
"Psychologically this feels like a big win. It almost feels like the season starts now. Not just this season, but every season once you get the international football out of the way, teams can get into a real run and gather some real momentum.
"It did feel like a big win, and the fact that Manchester City lost this weekend, who I still feel are Liverpool's biggest title rivals."
What sets Liverpool and Man City apart from the rest?
"I still feel they've got better players and are better teams. We're only eight or nine games in so let's not dismiss what we've seen over the past two or three years. I hope teams make a better fist of it this time.
"We've spoken about how points totals won't be how they've been before, but I still think those two teams have the best managers and two of the best squads. Liverpool proved today that with a few people out that they can cope.
"Chelsea have invested well and Jose Mourinho is now getting to grips with his team at Tottenham, so it should be a lot more competitive this season, but you can't just forget what City and Liverpool have done the past two or three years so they are still the two teams to beat."
What the managers said...
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "We deserved it. The boys played an incredible game against a top, top, top opponent. I don't take things like this for granted. The boys were on fire football-wise. The front line defended really well. We should have scored more goals.
"I like the overall performance - the result and clean sheet. We defended incredibly well. The front line didn't play too often together but how they did today was not bad."
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers: "We, first half in particular, were too passive and defending the space, but didn't have enough contact, gave away poor goals. We had a good opportunity on the counter with Harvey Barnes, but overall when you are passive like that your football is not quite the same, we weren't aggressive enough.
"Second half was a little bit better, more aggressive in our press, that allows us to play better football. Liverpool deserved to win. The guys coming back from the international break, not as cohesive as what we have been.
"It's mentality, you have to get up to the ball, we were happy for them to have it in their own half, but as soon as it comes into your organisation we were not as aggressive as I would like. Much better second half. Unlike the game last year, when we lost at home, this is a game we can reflect on easily and analyse and move on."
Man of the match - Diogo Jota
What a night for Liverpool and Diogo Jota!
The Portugal international became the first Liverpool player to score in his first four home top-flight league appearances with an excellent glancing first-half header.
Plenty was made ahead of the game as to whether Liverpool would miss Mohamed Salah, and while the Egypt international will go straight back into the side when available, Jota made sure there was not any talk about him after the game.
It was another really impressive display from the 23-year-old since his summer move from Wolves.
Opta stats - Liverpool march on at Anfield
- Liverpool have only conceded three goals across their last seven games across all competitions (W6 D1), with this their fourth clean sheet within this run.
- Roberto Firmino has scored two goals in Liverpool's five league games at Anfield this season; he only scored once in 19 Premier League home games in the whole of 2019-20.
- Since the start of the 2018-19 season, only Liverpool teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold has made as many assists as Andy Robertson (26) in the Premier League.
- Since Brendan Rodgers took charge of Leicester, the Foxes have lost all three of their Premier League meetings with Liverpool; conceding nine goals in the process - their most against any opponent in the competition under Rodgers.
- Jonny Evans' own goal for Leicester was his sixth in the Premier League; in the competition's history, only Richard Dunne (10), Jamie Carragher (7) and Martin Skrtel (7) have ever put more through their own net.
Liverpool are in Champions League action on Wednesday when they face Serie A side Atalanta; kick-off 8pm. They are back in Premier League action on Saturday lunchtime when they travel to Brighton; kick-off 12.30pm.
Leicester travel to Sporting Braga in the Europa League on Thursday (5.55pm) before hosting Fulham in the Premier League on Monday November 30, live on Sky Sports Main Event; kick-off 5.40pm.