Leicester city produced a superb display in their post Rnieri era with a convincing 3:1 victory over fifth placed Liverpool on Monday night.The win saw the foxes leap-frog out of the relegation zone climbing up to 15th position.
It was a much-improved display from the Foxes under caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare, who took over after the departure of the man who led them to last season’s emphatic title triumph.
The first strike of the year in the league came courtesy of Jamie Vardy who collected Marc Albrighton’s precise long pass before racing clear and finishing low past Simon Mignolet to score his second goal in a week.
Danny Drinkwater then scored a crucker and second for Leicester by showing a superb technique to lash home his first goal of the campaign from outside the box following a clearance from a long throw.
A moment later,it was Vardy again as the English striker sealed the win with a glancing header from Christian Fuchs’ cross in the second half before Philippe Coutinho found the back of the net to hand the visitors a consolation goal.
The win ended a run of five straight league defeats as the defending champions look to make amends with the remaining twelve matches to wrap up the league campaign.
Liverpool would have climbed to third with a victory but the defeat saw them register five loses in their past seven matches in all competitions.
However,Ranieri’s name was everywhere at the King Power in pre-match conversations, on banners and in chants as was his face, courtesy of paper masks worn by some Foxes supporters.
The need for victory was the agenda and they were excellent from start to finish as Shakespeare drew a committed, energetic and ruthless display to improve his chances of steering the club to safety – and possibly succeeding Ranieri on a permanent basis.
Shakespeare looked relaxed as he watched his side go riot against the reds who were rated title challengers earlier in the beginning of the season.
“The professionalism of the players has never been questioned by me. Having taken training with them, I know the the criticism has hurt and perhaps there was a little more fire in the belly because of that.
“They know they are guilty of under-performing – but this is only one result and we must build on that,” Shakespeare said.
Leicester hosts another relegation-threatened side Hull City on Saturday at the King Power Stadium followed by the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Sevilla on 14th March.
Liverpool will host Arsenal in Saturday’s 17:30 kick-off and follow that up with another home game the following Sunday when Burnley travels to Anfield.