Leicester City rode goals from Shinji Okazaki and Islam Slimani to extend Liverpool’s miserable September, sending the Reds crashing out of the Carabao Cup with a 2-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium.
The pressure on Jurgen Klopp was already intense but after Tuesday’s defeat, it can only increase for despite fielding a side that included £35 million signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and star man Philippe Coutinho, the away side were unable to find a way past Ben Hamer in the Leicester goal.
Despite playing at home, Craig Shakespeare’s men were reduced to chasing possession for majority of the game and somehow managed to weather a Liverpool storm in the opening 30 minutes.
Dominic Solanke, on his first Liverpool start, went close to opening the scoring a couple of times with Kloppp’s men overloading the left flank courtesy of Andy Robertson. The left-back’s sizzling crosses just about evaded his teammates, much to the relief of the home crowd.
There was no Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy in the Foxes lineup for the night with Leonardo Ulloa leading the line alongside Islam Slimani and the absence of their star men was keenly felt the few times they managed to get a hold of the ball.
Coutinho was bright from the start but with Hamer proving to be an able deputy to Kasper Schemiechel, Leicester held firm and the half-time whistle sounded with nothing to separate the teams.
Klopp surprisingly opted to send Ben Woodburn on for Coutinho at half-time and while the youngster did inject some pace into Liverpool’s attack, another substitute’s contribution to the game would prove telling.
Ulloa went down early on in the second-half and Okazaki replaced him in the 53rd minute and the Japanese would score a scrappy opener in the 65th minute against the run of play.
Vicente Iborra, who played his part in Sevilla’s memorable UEFA Europa League triumph over Liverpool, headed the ball down into Okazaki’s path inside the box and while the striker didn’t get the cleanest of connections, it was enough to beat Liverpool keeper Danny Ward.
Danny Ings was sent on by Klopp as Liverpool upped the tempo in search of an equaliser but once again, Leicester managed to score against the run of play.
Islam Slimani, who has impressed in patches in his Leicester career, cut in from the right and sent in an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box 12 minutes from time.
The second goal effectively killed off any hopes of a comeback and had it not been for an impressive save by Ward from Gray’s curling shot later on, Leicester could easily have scored a third.
Liverpool will have a chance to get revenge for their defeat almost immediately as the Foxes host them again again on Saturday night in the Premier League.
And should the Reds be unable to nab three points, clamours for Klopp’s resignation will only grow louder in the coming weeks.