Liverpool have recorded their best-ever start to a Premier League season courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
The Reds were second best for long spells as Leicester kept them on the back foot, but first-half goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino proved to be enough for them to make it four wins from four at the start of the 2018-19 campaign.
Leicester pulled a goal back through Rachid Ghezzal in the second half following a glaring error from Alisson Becker, who conceded for the first time as a Liverpool player, but it did not prove too costly as Jurgen Klopp’s side held off some heavy pressure to maintain their 100 per cent record.
An early goal did arrive shortly afterwards, though, as Andrew Robertson burst down the left flank before pulling the ball back for Mane, who capitalised on a stroke of luck off Harry Maguire before poking his finish past the keeper from close range.
Leicester slowly began to grow into the match, though, and they tested Alisson Becker for the first time midway through the first half when Demarai Gray broke into the box and went for goal, drawing a smart low stop from the Liverpool keeper.
Salah did have a chance to double Liverpool’s advantage towards the end of the half when he saw a low curling effort tipped behind by Schmeichel, but from the resulting string of corners the Reds did grab a second goal against the run of play.
Firmino escaped the attentions of Maddison to power a downward header into the bottom corner, beating Schmeichel’s despairing dive for his first goal of the season.
It gave Liverpool a flattering lead at the interval, but Leicester did not let their heads drop and picked up where they left off at the start of the second half with Rachid Ghezzal feeding a low cross/shot narrowly wide of the far post.
Leicester did finally get their deserved goal shortly after the hour mark, and it was a moment to forget for Alisson, whose bright and unbeaten start to life as Liverpool goalkeeper came crashing down with an unnecessary risk to gift the Foxes one back.
The Brazil number one tried to take the ball past Kelechi Iheanacho on his own byline, but got it caught under his feet, allowing the Leicester striker to rob him of possession and tee up Ghezzal, who kept his composure to become the first player to score past the Reds this season.
At that stage it looked as though Leicester would push on to get at least a draw from the game, with Liverpool struggling to stifle the hosts’ momentum or build any of their own during an uncharacteristically sloppy and lacklustre performance.
However, Claude Puel’s side could not turn their pressure into goals, and Klopp’s surprise decision to withdraw Salah and captain Jordan Henderson with a little under 20 minutes remaining helped the Reds to regain a degree of control over the game.
Indeed, it was Liverpool that created the better half-chances during the closing stages with Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold failing to hit the target, although the full-time whistle will have still come as a relief to the visitors.