LIVERPOOL-BORN Ian Marshall heaped more embarrassment on the Anfield club last night. His late goal gave Leicester a Premiership double over the declining Merseysiders, who were booed off their own ground for the second time in four days.
Liverpool, without England strikers Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen for the rest of the season, deployed Madrid-bound Steve McManaman in an attacking role alongside the experienced Karlheinz Riedle and the experiment should have produced immediate dividends.
Oyvind Leonhardsen, making a rare start in an injury-troubled campaign, set up the England international on the edge of the six-yard line but McManaman confirmed the career-long view that shooting is his Achilles heel as he shot wildly over when it was easier to score.
Liverpool did most to break the first-half deadlock, their captain Paul Ince being unfortunate to see a crisp volley fly a couple of feet wide and Leonhardsen driving into the head of an unsuspecting Matt Elliott.
Leicester had their chances, though, and almost capitalised on a couple of fumbles by goalkeeper David James from speculative attempts by Neil Lennon and Steve Guppy.
Marshall, leading Leicester's attack because of Emile Heskey's throat infection, could have marked his triumphant return to Merseyside even earlier but the former Everton utility player failed to react quickly enough when Tony Cottee - another former Goodison favourite - helped Arnar Gunlaugsson unlock the Liverpool defence.
Cottee worried Liverpool again when he anticipated a curling Guppy cross to the far post but Dominic Matteo was well placed to block the close-range effort, while the diminutive striker was close again when shooting just wide after the ball rebounded to him off James.
There was barely a minute of normal time remaining when Marshall raced on to an Andy Impey clearance and shot powerfully without breaking his stride to beat James from 20 yards.
Goals: Marshall (90 mins).
Half-Time : 0-0.
Booked: No Liverpool players.
Attendance : 36,019 (lowest Anfield crowd of the season).
Team: James, Song, Babb, Matteo, Carragher, Thompson (Dundee 67), Redknapp, Ince, Leonhardsen, McManaman, Riedle.
Substitutes (not used): Staunton, Ferri, Friedel, Kvarme.
Referee : G. Poll (Tring).
League position: 10th (44 points after 33 matches).
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