Jurgen Klopp beats his landlord to leave Pep Guardiola disappointed again
Paul Gorst gives his Liverpool verdict after the 2-1 win against Leicester City in the Premier League
By Paul Gorst Liverpool FC correspondent
10:09, 6 OCT 2019
Jurgen Klopp may call on Brendan Rodgers as his Merseyside landlord, but it is the Liverpool boss who has become lord of the manor at Anfield.
Another three points sees the Reds continue to claim squatters' rights at the top of the Premier League.
For more than two months, the title-chasing Reds have led the way.
The international break now affords them top spot for the remainder of the month, whatever happens.
They are settled in at the summit. Another fraught Anfield occasion put the patrons' emotions through the wringer before the hosts delved deep to summon yet more ways to fashion three precious points against this likable Leicester outfit.
Klopp famously rents his house from his predecessor having moved to the city four years ago after Brendan Rodgers' sacking and he explained the unusual dynamic when he was inevitably asked before his latest Premier League contest earlier this week.
“We love living there," said the Reds boss on Friday. "We pay our rent for him, so I’m not sure he has to work but he still does. You’re welcome!" It will be some time before the German is served his eviction notice at Liverpool.
And after Liverpool made it eight straight wins to open up a lead of the same proportions at the summit, it's becomingly increasingly clear that it is Klopp's side who look most at home at present.
In fairness, Liverpool love their home comforts. By the time they return to Anfield when a beleaguered Tottenham visit on October 27, it will have been over 18 months since the Reds were beaten in front of the Kop in the league. A run that stretches 44 games back to April 23 2017.
The Reds extended an almost unfathomable winning run in the top flight to 17 games with victory against Rodgers' upwardly mobile Leicester outfit at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
It was enough to heave the pressure back on to Manchester City who face the tricky prospect of a game with Wolves on Sunday afternoon.
It's also enough - whatever the outcome of that game at the Etihad - for the league leaders to ride off into the international break safe in the knowledge that their 100 per cent start to the season places them enviably at the top with a five-point buffer, minimum.
How disheartening it must be for Pep Guardiola and his side to know that this relentless Liverpool outfit, a side who chased them down so hard last season, a team who forced them to win their last 14 games to win the championship by single, solitary point, now have more than their noses in front with over two months of the campaign done and dusted.
Twice at Goodison Park last week, Guardiola referenced Liverpool and the challenge they are setting for his side in their attempts to make it three successive titles. Unprompted, Guardiola decided to fix his attention on Klopp's men, knowing they are built to last in what will be another high-stakes battle at the pinnacle of the English game.
Klopp's Liverpool are only likely to dominate the thoughts further for Guardiola after this latest collection of three points. Whatever the Reds boss is paying Rodgers every month, he is far more likely to find the rent more accommodating in Guardiola's head at present.
Liverpool took the lead in the 41st minute of what was a flat first half. James Milner's beautifully shaped cross just evaded Jonny Evans and Sadio Mane did the rest as he went clean through. The Senegal star is in such good form that you never expected him to do anything but score when he sized up Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester goal.
Milner had toiled, scrapped and battled for much for the first half but provided a moment of class with his left-footed pass that arched around Evans and bounced into the path of Mane. The veteran is the elder statesman in this Liverpool squad and with his contract situation now firmly in focus, the Reds would be wise to try and wrap up an extension for the evergreen midfielder sooner rather than later. If only for last-minute penalty duty.
Meanwhile, Rodgers, who had so-nearly guided Liverpool to the title in thrilling fashion five years ago, was afforded a warm reception from the Kop, but any danger of his return distracting from the action was swiftly curtailed.
Roberto Firmino nearly made it 2-0 after the break when he escaped the attention of the impressive Caglar Soyuncu before firing just wide moments before Schmeichel beat away Robertson's drive inside the penalty area.
The more the game stayed at 1-0, the more Leicester felt they could snatch an equaliser and Adrian was fortunate Jamie Vardy hesitated after going through inside the area before a Ben Chilwell cross caused the Spanish goalkeeper a problem shortly after.
Vardy had previously enjoyed plenty of success against Liverpool, scoring on many as seven occasions, but the jet-heeled striker barely had a sniff with Virgil van Dijk back to his imperious best at the back alongside Dejan Lovren who came through his first Premier League start since May with flying colours.
However, the Foxes did find a way through with 10 minutes left to play. Substitute Ayoze Perez managed to escape the attention of Fabinho before laying in James Maddison. His first-time shot slipped under Adrian to even it up.
Once more, Liverpool, that bastion of mental strength they have become under Klopp, dug into their reserves. Once more, they came up with an answer when it was so sorely needed it.
A mix up between Marc Albrighton and Schmeichel handed Mane the chance to capitalise. He was brought down before a penalty was awarded.
Anfield celebrated it like a goal before doing so once more when a VAR check was complete. The nerveless Milner strode up and tucked it away with minimum fuss. The coolest man in L4 celebrated as the Kop went wild.
What a moment that could prove to be in this title race. Liverpool march on. Seventeen straight Premier League wins. Eight points clear.
They will take some stopping, you can bet your house on it.
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