Gerrard makes triumphant return for Reds

Premier League

Gerrard makes triumphant return for Reds

The sight of Steven Gerrard running towards them, arms stretched with a beaming grin is one Liverpool supporters may resign themselves to largely being a thing of the past. But his goal to help turn things around on his return to the side may just be the catalyst to greater things.

Dropped or rested, depending on the viewpoint on Saturday, the Merseysiders’ captain once again found that little piece from within to seize this game by the scruff of the neck, reacting quickest to a loose ball. Liverpool, in trouble in the first half with a Simon Mignolet own goal putting Leicester ahead although Adam Lallana soon levelled, never looked back after Gerrard’s strike.

When Wes Morgan was sent off for the hosts it was game over, with Jordan Henderson’s late goal completing victory from another Gerrard-inspired move.

“I think the last three performances have been superb. We need to keep trying to improve. It’s not about me. It’s about a great team performance.”

Despite his match-winning return, Gerrard was coy afterwards on his Liverpool future.

“I will decide when I’m ready,” he said. “There’s nothing to say on the contract. When there is, the fans have known me long enough, I’ll come out and I’ll say what I need to say.”

Gerrard had been left out in the 1-0 win over Stoke on Saturday but returned as one of three changes. Surprisingly Leicester manager Nigel Pearson named an unchanged side despite failing to win in the last eight matches that had seen them drop to the bottom of the Premier League as a result.

Leicester had the game’s first real opportunity as they broke from the back with Leonardo Ulloa finding his strike partner Jamie Vardy but his effort went tamely at Simon Mignolet.

Raheem Sterling was unable to take advantage of Liverpool’s first chance as he ran on to Rickie Lambert’s cross which was too close to Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester should have really taken the lead when Mignolet’s clearance went straight to Esteban Cambiasso 30 yards out but the Argentine’s side-footed effort went wide with the goal gaping.

But the hosts went on to take the lead on 21 minutes. Riyad Mahrez’s run found Vardy whose shot was saved by Mignolet. Ulloa retrieved play and his shot hit the post with the rebound going in off the unfortunate Liverpool goalkeeper.

The visitors did level on 26 minutes. Morgan’s header from Lucas Leiva’s cross fell straight to Lallana, who fired past Schmeichel from 10 yards.

Leicester continued to attack though with Marcin Wasikewski seeing a deflected header go just over from Matty James’ corner.

Rodgers brought on Alberto Moreno at the break, who went left back, in place of Javi Manquilllo with Glen Johnson switching to the right.

Liverpool went on to take a 54th-minute lead with Gerrard starting and finishing the move. The captain fed Sterling, whose cross was cut out by Morgan only for Gerrard to react quickest to the loose ball to beat Schmeichel with a composed finish.

Gerrard went close to a second when his shot just wide but Leicester were still very much in the game with Wasilewski disappointingly misfiring from a Mahrez cross.

But the home hopes were hit on 63 minutes as Morgan brought down Lambert and was red carded.

Gerrard then thought he should have had a penalty after a coming together with Schmeichel after being sent clear by Jordan Henderson.

That livened up proceedings with Mahrez denied by a fine Mignolet save with Cambiasso’s shot on the rebound hitting Ulloa and going wide.

Leicester continued to make it nervy for Liverpool with Vardy seeing a shot deflect just wide from James’ corner.

But Liverpool wrapped up the game on 83 minutes as Gerrard’s cross was cut out by Wasilewski but only as far as Sterling whose shot was saved by Schmeichel before Henderson fired into an empty net.

LEICESTER CITY (4-4-2): Schmeichel 6; De Laet 6, Morgan 5, Wasilewski 5, Konchesky 6 (Albrighton 80 6); Mahrez 6, James 7, Cambiasso 8, Schlupp 6; Vardy 7, Ulloa 7.

LIVERPOOL (4-5-1): Mignolet 4; Manquillo 5 (Moreno 46 6), Skrtel 5, Toure 6, Johnson 6; Lallana 7 (Allen 71 6), Henderson 7, Lucas 7, Gerrard 8, Sterling 7 (Lovren 90); Lambert 7.

Referee: Lee Mason.

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