Curtis Jones’ two goals in the first half propelled Liverpool to a straightforward 3-0 victory against Leicester on Monday night, keeping their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive and increasing their hosts’ relegation concerns.
After the halfway point, Jones pounced on a Mohamed Salah cross to score and then quickly and stylishly slammed in his second, also from a Salah assist.
Trent Alexander-Arnold curled in an inch-perfect free kick in the 71st minute to pull the Reds within a point of Newcastle and Manchester United in third and fourth, despite having played a game more. The relegation-threatened Foxes had been holding the deficit in check up until that point.
Jamie Vardy narrowly missed James Maddison’s whipped delivery early in the game for Leicester, but the Reds soon started to apply more pressure.
The King Power Stadium became silent as the terrible truth of Leicester’s situation set in after the visitors quickly took a two-goal lead. Jones’ two goals put an end to the chance of points on Monday night.
First, a high pass forced Foxes center back Wout Faes to sprint towards his own area, where he gave Luis Diaz the opportunity to steal the ball with a header before it reached Salah out wide. Jones was set up by the Egyptian’s chipped cross to the back post, and he controlled his quick finish to give Jurgen Klopp’s team the lead.
The second goal was scored quickly after the first, with Jones again providing the finish because Liverpool was more motivated to stay in the top four chase than Leicester was to escape the drop.
With his back to goal, the 22-year-old took a touch from Salah’s ball, spun around, and fired a ferocious attempt beyond the limp-looking Daniel Iversen. The forward has been a frequent starter recently.
With the Foxes behind Liverpool 2-0 at the break, Leicester’s final chance to get a point at home is against West Ham on the final day of the season. A trip to Newcastle is the next option, but it doesn’t seem all that tempting.
In the second half, they didn’t appear capable of scoring any points, and their performance makes it impossible to forecast where the outcomes they need to remain up will come from. Their greatest opportunity came from Harvey Barnes, who moved infield and exchanged passes with Vardy before Alisson palmed away his deflected long-range shot.
However, it didn’t really matter because a thunderous Alexander-Arnold free kick ended the match. The right back’s finish, which once again had Iversen powerless in the Leicester goal, was the actual highlight as Salah laid it off at the set piece to earn his third assist.
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