Leicester City 1-3 Liverpool: 5 things we learned

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Liverpool picked up back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time since October, defeating Leicester City 3-1 at the King Power.

The victory will be no doubt be a confidence booster for the Reds, who have been well under-par this season and go into the must-win Champions League tie with FC Basel next week with form under their wings.

There were several key talking points following the win for Brendan Rodgers' men, and plenty to consider before Saturday's clash against Sunderland.

Steven Gerrard's class remains, but rest is key

Prior to Saturday's game against Stoke City, the Liverpool skipper had played every minute in the Premier League. Towards the end of that run, he was poor and looked tired and that saw him demoted to the Reds' bench against the Potters.

Rodgers brought Gerrard back into the side after a short spell on the side-lines on Tuesday evening and displayed that his talent is ever remaining.

Playing further afield suits the 34-year-old much better, opposed to just in-front of the defence, as he can impact the game more effectively.

He started slowly, but grew into the game as Liverpool began to see more of the ball and it suited Gerrard playing this way.

His positioning allowed his distribution to be a lot better, as he read the play and his awareness of players saw the former England captain play superb through balls and passes.

Gerrard took his goal well, composing himself and his bursting run into the box should have won his side a penalty, being brought down by Kasper Schmeichel. 

It's understandable that the Whiston-native wants to play every game possible, but he must understand that is no longer possible.

The rest given to Gerrard at the weekend has done him the world of good for both himself and his team. 

Liverpool have plenty of cover in the midfield to deal with his absence with talents such as Lucas, Henderson, Emre Can, Joe Allen and Lallana all able to occupy the role.

The success Frank Lampard at 36 has, coming off the bench too is an example he must take into account.

This allows Gerrard to get his much needed recovery time and prepare for games that will prove much more difficult to grasp victory. It's likely he will miss Saturday's clash with Sunderland in preparation of next week's vital game against Basel.

Simon Mignolet is doing himself no favours

Another game goes by and the Belgian put in another dismal display.

Mignolet's kicking is terrible, and too often gives the ball away when not under any pressure. He did so a few weeks ago against Crystal Palace, leading to a goal and again lost the ball far too easily against the Foxes.

He gifted Esteban Cambiasso an open-goal opportunity in the first-half but luckily the Argentine dragged his effort wide and should have scored.

The former Sunderland shot-stopper too didn't leave his line enough to collect crosses and created pressure on his defence.

The lack of communication from Mignolet is worrying and it is taking its toll on the Liverpool back-four when balls are put into the box.

There's plenty of talk a new goalkeeper will join Anfield in January and rightly so.

The 26-year-old knows his faults but is not attempting to improve them. It's clear that he is lacking confidence, however, the only way to gain courage is to tackle the problem.

Mignolet could have a month to save his career on Merseyside and has every chance given how many games are approaching in the festive period, but, must tackle his fears.

Lucas back in the spotlight

The Brazilian was Liverpool's unsung hero against the Foxes.

Lucas' last three displays in a Red shirt highlight the experience the Merseyside club have been missing the the midfield and his services.

Although his services going forwards are limited, he is played in the Liverpool side to protect the defence.

Against Leicester, he made four interceptions in the game and some of them proved vital.

His reading to the play can be described as faultless, as Lucas always positioned himself to deal with the threat of the home side's attack.

Cambiasso was non-existent for the most part of the games, largely down to 27-year-old keeping a close watch to the former Inter Milan man and not allowing him any breathing space. 

The Liverpool defence have badly missed protection in-front of them and has matured as a footballer this term.

You know what you're getting from the ex-Gremio midfielder - nothing flashy, nothing that will take Kopites' breath-away, but a barrier between the opposition's attack and the Reds' defence.

In the 10 games Lucas has featured in this term, Liverpool have picked up seven victories, showing how vital he is for the team.

Rickie Lambert continues to impress

If there was any doubt that Mario Balotelli was going to waltz back into the Liverpool starting XI when he returns to full-fitness, it is unlikely now.

Lambert's goals against Palace and Ludogorets Razgrad have given him a massive confidence boost and he played with such elegance in the Midlands on Tuesday night.

His first touch is one of the best in the Premier League - his control and balance when taking the ball of either his head, chest or foot is faultless and helps him hold it up well.

The England international may be a big target man, but he adapts to Liverpool's play well and has a great sense of awareness. Often, he plays intelligent passes that go unnoticed, but really began attacks for his side, and played in Gerrard superbly in the second-half before he was brought down by Schmeichel.

Lambert's work-rate is too faultless and was rewarded when his pressure saw him snatch the ball and was dragged down by Wes Morgan, leading to the defender's sending off.

It's encouraging that the 32-year-old is really starting to show his true colours and one suspects he will thrive when Daniel Sturridge returns from injury.

Room for improvement, but momentum is what's needed

The scoreline at the end of the 90 minutes flattered Liverpool.

When Leicester went down to ten men, the Reds' should have been all over the home side, pushing to score as many goals as possible.

Instead, it was Nigel Pearson's men who had the upper hand, having plenty of possession in the final third and could have easily snatched one, if not two goals.

All three of Liverpool's goals came from mistakes from the Foxes' defense and with the exception of Gerrard almost winning a penalty, the Merseyside outfit did not create an out-and-out chance.

There was not once when Schmeichel was forced into making a decent save and had a relatively quiet night apart from the goals going past him.

But, a win is a win and it is exactly what Liverpool needed.

There's no secret that Rodgers' outfit are not playing at their best, however, things are improving and will do the side's moral a lot of favours.

Raheem Sterling was busy at the King Power and won plenty of free-kicks in dangerous positions for his side and will be key for Liverpool, especially as Sturridge remains in the sick-room.

The Basel game is a must-win if Liverpool are to reach the knock-out stages of the Champions League and having the possibility of three wins straight (if they defeat Sunderland on Saturday) will give them a psychological advantage.

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Leicester City
Simon Mignolet
Raheem Sterling
Premier League
Steven Gerrard

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