Another twist in the title race! With Manchester City losing against Newcastle last night, Liverpool entered tonight's game against Leicester having the opportunity to move seven points clear in the title race.
The home side got off to the perfect start when Sadio Mane put them ahead after only two minutes, but they failed to capitalise. Some lax defending allowed Harry Maguire to equalise for Leicester just before half time, and Liverpool failed to regain the lead in the second period.
There is an argument to be made, however, that Maguire should not have still have been on the field. He could well have seen red after a last man tackle on Sadio Mane, escaping what many thought was a straight red card challenge.
Liverpool fans were certainly aggrieved by the decision.
Townsend handles the ball inside the box, no pen, goes on to score against Liverpool.
Maguire somehow escapes a pretty obvious red card, goes on to score against Liverpool.
But of course “FA is helping Liverpool to win the league”🙄
— Alexey Yaroshevsky (@YaroLFC) January 30, 2019
Maguire should be off. Mané is running towards the goal. Leicester's defenders are standing still. And the ref doesn't think he's through on goal. Absolute joke.
— Viktor Fagerström (@ViktorFagerLFC) January 30, 2019
Harry Maguire who should’ve been sent off equalises against us.
— - (@AnfieldRd96) January 30, 2019
Call me bitter but Harry Maguire shouldn't be on the pitch to score that, how was that challenge on Mané not a red card offence?
— RF9 🇧🇷 (@SambaRole) January 30, 2019
While that was a borderline call, most would agree that the home team should have had a penalty in the second half. Naby Keita was about to pull the trigger after finding himself one on one with the goalkeeper, only to be brought down from behind by Ricardo Pereira. Referee Martin Atkinson did not see it that way, however, and failed to award the spot kick.
It certainly looked like a foul. Again, Liverpool fans were not happy with the lack of conviction from the referee.
We were completely shit tonight, but two things, Harry Maguire shouldn’t have still been on the pitch to score and that was a stone wall penalty on Keita! But don’t matter cause tHe Fa WaNt LiVeRpOoL tO wIn ThE lEaGuE 🤦🏽♂️
— Karl (@KarlThyer) January 30, 2019
So what happens to referees when they fuck decisions like the Keita Penalty up???
— Red Daz (@Mozza1304) January 30, 2019
We have ourselves to blame for not killing the game at 1-0 and gave away a foul right before half time to make it 1-1. Didn’t look like we wanted to win in the second. Ref didn’t help either, no red card for Maguire or a stonewall penalty on Keita.
— Samuel (@SamueILFC) January 30, 2019
What's that, still only 1 Kop-end penalty in nearly 2 years? It's a joke. Keita was tripped as about to shoot - how blatant do you want?! Anyway, very nervy performance from the Reds, but extend lead at the table so not a disaster (but a missed chance). Need Gomez & TAA back ASAP
— Paul Tomkins (@paul_tomkins) January 30, 2019
Liverpool have moved five points clear at the top of the league, but this feels like an opportunity missed. Pep Guardiola will no doubt point to this result as an example of Liverpool's frailties, especially as we enter the title run in.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that failing to win tonight will not impact his team's morale moving forward, with some massive games coming up over the next few weeks.