Vardy shines as Leicester beats Liverpool 2-0
Thestriker scored twice, including a wonderful long range effort, as Claudio Ranieri’s men maintained their three-point lead at the top of the Premier League table
Jamie Vardy scored two goals – including a contender for goal of the season – to fire Leicester City to an impressive 2-0 win over Liverpool.
The striker’s first effort was a stunning dipping volley on 60 minutes and his second, 10 minutes later, sealed a win that continues the Foxes’ shock bid for the Premier League title.
Leicester are three points clear of second placed Manchester City – who beat Sunderland 1-0 on Tuesday night – and face Manuel Pellegrini’s side at the Etihad this weekend.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have now only won one of their last five games in the league – conceding 13 in the process – after another disappointing performance.
Leicester made no alterations to their team, while there were eight Liverpool changes from the side that played West Ham in the FA Cup, with captain Jordan Henderson fit to start.
The visitors had most of the first-half possession, but Leicester came so close to scoring on two occasions. First, a swift counter-attack saw Shinji Okazaki find Vardy before getting on the end of the England striker’s cross to head powerfully at goal from close-range.
Okazaki seemed certain to score, but Mignolet got down low to make a crucial reflex save, pushing the ball on to the crossbar and out to safety.
Mignolet was then at it again, this time to deny Riyad Mahrez after Vardy was tackled by Dejan Lovren.
The ball fell to Mahrez, who did not break his stride before unleashing a stunning, curling first-time effort from 25 yards that was only matched by a magnificent one-handed save from Mignolet to ensure it remained goalless at half-time.
Emre Can arrowed a shot just wide from 12 yards after a neat passing move and Kasper Schmeichel had to react quickly at his near post to keep out Alberto Moreno after the break.
It was a piece of individual brilliance that broke the deadlock on 60 minutes when a hopeful long pass from Mahrez found Vardy’s run in a seemingly unthreatening position close towards the right channel outside of the area.
Vardy, though, displayed perfect technique to send an outstanding looping half-volley over Mignolet from fully 30 yards.
Okazaki had a penalty claim denied by referee Andre Marriner after he appeared to be brought down by Mamadou Sakho in the box, but the hosts soon got over that when Vardy made it two on 72 minutes.
After Sakho failed to head clear, Okazaki’s shot deflected into the path of Vardy, who made no mistake with a convincing left-footed finish to seal another impressive victory for Ranieri’s title challengers ahead of a mouthwatering trip to Manchester this weekend.