Two goals from Curtis Jones and a sublime finish from Trent Alexander-Arnold gave Liverpool a 3-0 win away to Leicester City in the Premier League on Monday, boosting their Champions League hopes while deepening the Foxes’ relegation worries.
Liverpool are fifth in the table on 65 points after 36 games, one behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who have a game in hand over their rivals. Leicester are 19th on 30 points, two behind Everton in 17th spot with two games to go.
Leicester welcomed central defender Jonny Evans back into the starting line-up for the first time since October, but the three-time Premier League winner with Manchester United couldn’t instil the defensive discipline his side needed.
After a sluggish opening, Jones broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute with a superb first-time finish from Mohamed Salah’s cross after Leicester’s high defensive line was caught out by a long ball over the top from Liverpool keeper Alisson.
The 22-year-old Liverpool midfielder put the ball in the net again three minutes later and once more it was Salah who set him up, with Jones taking a touch on the turn before rifling home.
The home crowd did their best to get their team back in the game and Harvey Barnes went close seven minutes into the second half, but Alisson pulled off a tremendous save to keep the ball out.
Alexander-Arnold then snuffed out any hopes of a comeback with a brilliant third after a free kick was touched into his path by Salah in the 71st minute, and he applied a thunderous finish to quiet the home fans once and for all.
Salah should have added a fourth in the 79th minute when Cody Gakpo put him through, but the Egyptian surprisingly dragged his shot wide of the left-hand post with only the keeper to beat.
Liverpool bagged a seventh league victory in a row, but manager Juergen Klopp is unconvinced his side can reel in either Manchester United or Newcastle above them.
“I don’t think it’s likely (finishing in the top four) when you see how they (Man United and Newcastle) play, they have so much quality,” he told the BBC. “It would be a real shame if they slip and we’re not there. So we have to do our job.”
Leicester have only taken two points from their last four games.
With a trip to high-flying Newcastle United and a home game against West Ham United to come, time is running out for the 2016 champions to retain their Premier League status.
“We look at the results and we’ve lost too many games and other teams have been better, it’s as simple as that,” a dejected Evans, who captained Leicester on his return to the starting line-up, told Sky Sports.
“We’ve got two more games left and we have to put in the same effort we showed tonight, the same commitment … but we’ll be competing like we did tonight,” he added.