LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Leicester defender Wout Faes scored two own goals at Anfield to hand Liverpool a 2-1 victory on Friday which moved the hosts within touching distance of the Premier League’s top four.
The Belgian center-back had calamitous seven-minute spell before halftime to help Jurgen Klopp’s team come from behind after poor defending of their own had allowed Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to waltz down the middle of the pitch unopposed to score from Leicester’s first attack.
Both teams and sets of fans came together before kickoff to celebrate the life of Pele, and also former Reds striker David Johnson, but the first half was characterized more by mistakes than good attacking play.
Liverpool’s holding midfielder Fabinho was left out of the side due to the imminent birth of his first child and his absence was felt inside just four minutes after some amateurish defending.
When Dewsbury-Hall picked up the ball 50 yards out following a long goal kick, he easily brushed off Jordan Henderson and ran unopposed betwee Andy Robertson and Virgil van Dijk before clipping a shot over a bewildered Alisson Becker.
It was the seventh time in 2022 that Klopp’s side had conceded in the opening five minutes.
After a poor opening 15 minutes, Liverpool finally found some semblance of cohesion, with Mohamed Salah stabbing wide from Darwin Nunez’s counter and cross. Salah then had a goal ruled out for offside after goalkeeper Danny Ward blasted a kick into the Egyptian.
But the former Liverpool keeper was left furious when he yelled out for Faes to leave Alexander-Arnold’s low cross for him to claim at the near post, only to see the defender slice an attempted clearance up and over Ward and in at the far post.
Nunez was then played through on goal by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and dinked a shot over Ward that bounced back off the far post. The back-tracking Faes tried to clear the ball but only succeeded in hammering it into the net.
He became just the fourth player to score two own goals in the same game in the Premier League.
Liverpool needed the help on an evening when its forwards repeatedly fired off target in front of goal. Salah should have put the result beyond doubt from Nunez’s brilliant through-ball but scuffed wide with his right foot.
Alisson got down well to save from Barnes, before Nunez fired over after a one-touch pass sequence involving Salah and substitute Naby Keita.
Still, it’s now four successive league victories for Liverpool for the first time since April, which has moved the team within two points of fourth-place Tottenham. Leicester has now lost back-to-back games after the World Cup break and remain just four points above the relegation zone.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.