Liverpool boosted their hopes of Champions League qualification with a 3-0 win over Leicester on Monday night, recording their seventh straight Premier League victoryCurtis Jones scored two goals, while Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a trademark free-kick to secure the win for the Reds.

Liverpool is now just one point behind Manchester United and Newcastle in fourth and third place respectively, although both teams have a game in hand. Leicester, meanwhile, remain 19th and two points from safety with just two matches left to play.

The victory was a cause for celebration for Liverpool, who have struggled this season but have finally found form. Whether it will be enough for them to secure a top-four finish remains to be seen, but their recent success has put them right in the mix. Leicester, on the other hand, were booed off the pitch by their own fans at full-time, as they continue to struggle in their battle against relegation.


breaks down the winners & losers from the King Power Stadium..

WINNER: Curtis Jones

The resurgence of Liverpool’s ‘other’ local hero continues. Trent Alexander-Arnold may be well established as ‘the Scouser in the team’ for Jurgen Klopp, but if Jones carries on like this then there will two academy graduates in the Reds’ starting XI going forward.

This was the 22-year-old’s ninth successive start, by far the best run of his young career, and he decorated it in stunning fashion, his two first-half strikes breaking open a game that had to that point looked as if it could be an awkward one.

They were two fine finishes, too; a well-timed arrival and left-foot steer for the first and then, just a couple of minutes later, a perfect touch and right-foot rocket into the far corner for the second.

“He’s in the form of his life,” said Reds legend Jamie Carragher, covering the game for Sky Sports, and he is right. Jones’ goals – he has three in his last four games now – will earn him plaudits, but he is staying in Klopp’s team because of his all-round contribution, on and off the ball, and both were strong again here.

Liverpool still need new midfielders, that’s clear, but whoever they sign will have to be pretty good to move Jones out of the team, on this evidence.

LOSER: Newcastle

All eyes on St. James’ Park on Thursday night, then. Newcastle must have felt, at various points this season, as if they had done enough to secure Champions League football next season, but with less than two weeks of the campaign left, the heat has been well and truly turned up on Eddie Howe’s side.

They’re still in the box seat, just, but how they’d love a win over Brighton to give them that bit of breathing space. Lose, and the pressure will really be on the Magpies’ final two matches.

They’ll certainly back themselves to win the first of those, at home to Leicester next Monday, but a final-day trip to Stamford Bridge is certainly no gimme, even allowing for Chelsea’s struggles.

If they slip, Liverpool look as if they will be poised to capitalise.

WINNER: Trent Alexander-Arnold

The shrug said it all, really. Sort of a ‘you don’t expect anything else from me, do you?’ to his adoring supporters.

Another day, another consummate performance from Alexander-Arnold, who has embraced his new hybrid role, a right-back without the ball but a free-roaming midfield creator in possession, as if it were the easiest and most natural thing in the world.

It isn’t, by the way. It takes a player of supreme skill and supreme intelligence to play like this, to influence the game so thoroughly in the middle of the pitch while continuing to get through your defensive duties with such diligence.

Alexander-Arnold, though, is a player of supreme skill and supreme intelligence, and the free-kick which capped his display here was the perfect cake-topper, an Exocet into the top corner which brought back memories of a similar effort at Chelsea back in 2019.

Liverpool won the title that year, you will remember. They won’t win it this year, but if their No.66 continues to play like this, it won’t be long before they’re right in the mix once more.

LOSER: Jamie Vardy

Have you ever been to watch a band you used to love, only to realise the singer’s voice is gone, and that their glory days are well and truly over?

That’s how it felt watching Leicester here. The Foxes are sleepwalking towards relegation, and while it is their defence (and their goalkeepers) which has cost them this season, nobody encapsulates their decline better than their No.9.

What a player Vardy has been for this club. What memories he will leave behind. He won the league with Leicester City, for crying out loud!

But he’s way past his best now, unable to do the things which made him great. He’s 36 and he’s scored three goals in 34 league matches, and he looked like a shell of a striker here, isolated and alone and looking utterly fed up for the most part.

He had 12 touches in 90 minutes, his most notable contribution coming when he was bumped dismissively to the floor by Ibrahima Konate in the second half.

Vardy smiled after that ill-advised shoulder-to-shoulder, and perhaps that says it all. Even the edge, that nasty streak which helped him scale quite remarkable heights at the King Power, seems to have been blunted. That’s what a relegation fight can do to a player.

WINNER: Jurgen Klopp

Whisper this quietly, because football has a habit of making bold predictions look silly, but something is stirring at Anfield. After a season of struggle, there has been a reawakening in recent weeks, and you can bet your life Pep Guardiola and Manchester City will have noticed it.

This was Liverpool’s seventh Premier League win in a row, and while they have probably found their form too late to sneak into the Champions League qualification spots, the momentum they have picked up of late should not be underestimated.

Remember the back end of 2020-21? Alisson’s header, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams and a run of 10 games unbeaten to end the campaign? That was enough to secure, against the odds, a top-four finish, and the Reds followed that up with a quite remarkable season the following year.

Could history be about to repeat itself?

LOSER: Dean Smith

When you’ve achieved what Leicester have achieved in the past eight years, you have to allow for, and be understanding of, the potential for a season of underachievement.

But what the Foxes have done in this campaign is, quite frankly, nothing short of disgraceful. How can a team with Vardy, with James Maddison and Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans, with Ricardo Pereira and Patson Daka and Kelechi Iheanacho, find themselves here, below Nottingham Forest and Leeds, and the worst Everton team in a generation? Leicester have scored more goals this season than sixth placed Aston Villa, only two fewer than Manchester United in third. How the hell are they 19th in the table?!

And how on earth did the club’s board deem that Dean Smith, a manager sacked by Norwich earlier this season and Aston Villa before that, would be able get a better tune out of these players than Brendan Rodgers? Rodgers made mistakes at the King Power, but he’d have kept Leicester up had he been given a bit more time.

Smith, on this evidence, has no chance.

By Lylla

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