A first-half double from Curtis Jones led Liverpool to an easy 3-0 win at Leicester on Monday night to maintain their Champions League qualification hopes and further deepen their hosts’ relegation fears.
Jones arrived on the end of a Mohamed Salah cross to convert after the half hour mark and quickly thumped in his second in style, again from a Salah pass.
The relegation threatened Foxes kept the deficit down until Trent Alexander-Arnold curled in an inch-perfect free kick in the 71st minute to take the Reds within a point of Newcastle and Manchester United in third and fourth, albeit having played a game more.
Leicester had a slight whiff of a chance early on when James Maddison’s whipped delivery just evaded Jamie Vardy, but the Reds soon began to ramp up the pressure.
Once the visitors stormed into a quick two-goal lead, the grim reality of Leicester’s situation sent the King Power Stadium into a deathly hush, the possibility of points on Monday night quashed by two strikes from Jones.
The first caught Foxes centre back Wout Faes in a totally flustered state, running towards his own box underneath a high ball and allowing Luis Diaz to nick possession with a header before it found Salah out wide. The Egyptian’s clipped cross to the back post picked out the surging Jones, who controlled his finish on the bounce to put Jurgen Klopp’s side ahead.
Liverpool‘s motivation to stay in the top four hunt trumped Leicester’s uninspired efforts to avoid the drop and the second goal came in quick succession, the finish again provided by Jones.
The 22-year-old, who has enjoyed a regular role in the starting XI of late, took a touch from Salah’s pass with his back to goal, swivelled and struck a fierce effort past the limp-looking Daniel Iversen.
Leicester‘s last chance of points at home comes on the final day of the season against West Ham, with a trip to Newcastle next hardly appealing with the Foxes 2-0 down to Liverpool at half time.
They didn’t look capable of gaining any points in the second half and their display makes it difficult to predict where the results they need to stay up will come from. Their best moment of the game came through Harvey Barnes, who drifted infield and collected a one-two with Vardy before his deflected effort from distance was palmed away by Alisson.
It mattered little, however, as a thumped Alexander-Arnold free kick settled the game. Salah laid it off at the set piece to claim his third assist, but the right back’s finish was the real…