Leicester 3 Liverpool 1: Jamie Vardy strikes twice in first game without Claudio Ranieri

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Jamie Vardy racing away on goal, tackles flying in and that in-your-face passion – it was all there again. Unfortunately the Italian was only there in spirit after his controversial sacking last Thursday night.

If he was watching he probably shed a tear as home fans lit their phones in the 65th minute to pay tribute to their title-winning boss.

Craig Shakespeare is at the helm now and certainly did his chances of getting the job permanently no harm at all. He saw his side rock Jurgen Klopp’s men with two stunning first half goals and then finish the job off.

Phillippe Coutinho got one back for the visitors as they cranked up the pressure towards the end and Leicester had to scrap it out.

But the damage had already been done. Vardy and Danny Drinkwater gave Leicester their first goals of 2017 and suddenly you could feel the gloom starting to lift.

Vardy hit Liverpool with his second on the hour to make it 3-0 and Klopp cut a dejected figure on the touchline.

It was more like the kind of performance that had seen them romp to the title last season than the lukewarm stuff that saw them slip into the bottom three at the weekend.

Nine games without a win, not a single league goal this year and the unsavoury Ranieri business has left the Foxes on the ropes.

But this was more like it and that must have been the message from Shakespeare after a blistering opening 45 minutes.

The Foxes served notice of their intentions from the start with the visitors missing Dejan Lovren and skipper Jordan Henderson through injury.

 

Leicester raced out of the blocks and Klopp’s men found themselves struggling to cope with a couple of trademark long throws from Christian Fuchs.

First Fuchs hurled one in the fifth minute and found Robert Huth who glanced the ball on forcing Simon Mignolet to go full tilt.

Then Fuchs hurled another missile towards the penalty area which was headed out only as far as Vardy who couldn’t connect properly with his shot.

In the 15th minute, Leicester really should have taken the lead when Huth’s aeriel menace caused problems again but he headed a superb chance over.

A goal seemed inevitable and in the 27th minute Vardy came up with the goods to score Leicester’s first league goal of the year.

Albrighton slipped a first time ball through the heart of the Kop defence and Vardy raced away just like he used to and buried it into the bottom of the net.

In the 39th minute Leicester doubled their lead in stunning fashion when Danny Drinkwater rifled a superb 25-yard shot past Mignolet.

Phillippe Coutinho and Emre Can brought saves out of Kasper Schmeichel but it was nothing he couldn’t deal with.

And then on the hour Vardy rocked them again with a power header from eight yards which flew into the net after Fuchs had planted a cross straight onto his head.

Coutinho raised Liverpool’s hopes of getting something back when he slotted home from just inside the box in the 68th minute.

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