Liverpool missed the chance to open a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League table as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Leicester City on Wednesday.Jurgen Klopp’s Reds appeared on course to capitalise on Manchester City’s surprise loss at Newcastle United 24 hours earlier when Sadio Mane fired them ahead inside three minutes at Anfield.But, just like their nearest challengers on Tuesday, a nervy Liverpool failed to hold onto their early advantage, though a point at least extends their advantage at the summit with 14 games remaining. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? After James Maddison had inexplicably missed a free header from close range, Harry Maguire steered in a half-volley to make it 1-1 in first-half stoppage time.Snow fell prior to kick-off on Merseyside, but Liverpool quickly warmed to their task. Mane’s low, right-footed drive slipped across the wet surface and beyond Kasper Schmeichel’s dive to put the hosts ahead.The early strike appeared set to signal an avalanche of goals for the Reds, Schmeichel turning aside a Roberto Firmino effort before an unmarked Mane carelessly headed the resulting corner well wide.However, Leicester posed the greater threat as the opening half wore on, eventually equalising in added time through Maguire – only booked minutes before after clipping Mane as the forward looked to run onto a throughball – as Liverpool failed to reorganise in defence after a partially blocked shot was headed back into the penalty area by Ben Chilwell.The visitors should have been level earlier, too, but Maddison nodded Marc Albrighton’s inviting cross beyond the target, letting Alisson – who had turned over possession with a lazy clearing kick – off the hook.Liverpool’s goalkeeper was called into action early in the second half by one of his team-mates – Firmino spared by his fellow Brazilian after poking Maguire’s low cross towards his own net.Shouts from the Kop for a penalty were dismissed by referee Martin Atkinson when Naby Keita fell under a challenge from Ricardo Pereira but Klopp’s side were below par following such a fast start.3 – Liverpool have conceded in each of their last three Premier League home games, after only conceding in two of their opening nine home league games of the season. Slip. pic.twitter.com/MjnrUKsF66— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 30, 2019What does it mean? Reds fluff their lines after City slipPoints, not performances, are all that matter for Liverpool. A quest for a first title in the Premier League era received an unexpected boost from former boss Rafa Benitez and Newcastle, yet they wasted a glorious opportunity to move further clear of City.Worryingly, after conceding three in their victory over Crystal Palace last time out, they again looked shaky in defence. Admittedly injuries to Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have left Klopp short of options – Jordan Henderson played as a makeshift right-back – but they must quickly regain the solid foundations that have underpinned their challenge so far.Maguire makes his mark in both boxesWhile his goal was crucial, Maguire’s best work came at the back. The England international shackled Mohamed Salah in particular, the Egyptian failing to have a shot on target, as the Foxes became the first team from outside the ‘big six’ to deny Liverpool victory this season.Van Dijk caught coldVirgil van Dijk was fit to maintain his ever-present league record in this campaign after overcoming illness in time to feature. However, the centre-back – such a pillar of strength for Liverpool this season – allowed Maguire to escape his attention for Leicester’s equaliser after Andy Robertson had needlessly given away a free-kick out wide.Key Opta facts:2:01 – Sadio Mane’s opener for Liverpool was their quickest goal in the Premier League since April 2016, when Daniel Sturridge netted against Newcastle (1:07). Intense. pic.twitter.com/8U3dar4iwd— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 30, 2019- Liverpool failed to win at Anfield for just the second time in the Premier League this season (W9 D2), having also drawn against Manchester City in October 2018.- Liverpool attempted just 10 shots in this game against Leicester – the only occasions when they’ve had fewer in the Premier League this season were both against Manchester City (seven, both home and away).- Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has now scored 10+ goals in each of his five seasons in the Premier League, with eight of his 10 goals this term coming at Anfield.- Each of Harry Maguire’s three league goals for Leicester this season have come away from home – only Wilfried Zaha (4) has netted more among players to have scored 100% of their goals in away games.What’s next?After back-to-back league games at Anfield, Liverpool head on the road for a clash with West Ham on Monday. Leicester, meanwhile, host Manchester United the previous day. read more
Mr. Annan, who arrived in Pakistan accompanied by his Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, is scheduled to meet tomorrow with President Pervez Musharraf and Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar. Responding to a question during a press encounter at the Islamabad airport, the Secretary-General said that he had been personally in touch with both India and Pakistan, as well as others, about the need to de-escalate tensions. “I have been very pleased with the statement made by President Musharraf eleven days ago, and I think these are very important statements, and I think this is a step in the right direction, and we need to build up on that,” he said. “And I hope that would also lead to defusing the tensions.”Mr. Annan made a similar comment earlier in the day when on his way to Islamabad from Tokyo, he made a brief stopover in Bangkok.Asked about the possibility of an escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan, the Secretary-General stressed that the two countries could only solve their problems through political and diplomatic means.”I think what we need to do is to encourage the two parties to resolve their differences through dialogue, including the questions of Kashmir,” Mr. Annan said. “And I hope than once the current tensions have been reduced, we will not stop there and consider that satisfactory but move on with the search for a longer term solution.”In Bangkok, the Secretary-General met Min Surakiart, the Foreign Minister of Thailand, to discuss UN activities and operations in Afghanistan. At a press conference afterwards, the Secretary-General reiterated his positive assessment of the Tokyo pledging conference on the reconstruction of Afghanistan. “It was very well attended and the results were good,” he said of the two-day forum that ended on Tuesday. “And we would hope to see the pledges made transformed into cash as quickly as possible, particularly resources that we need for this year.” On Friday morning, the Secretary-General will leave for Kabul for a series of meetings with members of the Interim Administration, including Chairman Hamid Karzai.