Football Round Up | Liverpool stunned by Leicester City in EFL Cup as Messi heroics help Barcelona beat Eibar

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Football Round Up | Liverpool stunned by Leicester City in EFL Cup as Messi heroics help Barcelona beat Eibar

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SportsCafe Desk

09/20/2017

Liverpool’s nightmarish form continued in the EFL Cup third round as goals from Shinji Okazaki and Islam Slimani saw the Reds lose 2-0 at King Power Stadium. Barcelona remained atop the La Liga table with an easy 6-1 victory over Eibar at the Nou Camp, with Lionel Messi scoring four goals.

Leicester City 2-0 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s men saw an early elimination from the EFL Cup as Liverpool’s toothless display saw Leicester City emerging victorious with two second-half goals from Shinji Okazaki and Islam Slimani. The Reds had started the game with tremendous pace and dominance with the manager opting to start with Phillipe Coutinho in the first eleven.

Liverpool had 70% possession throughout the game and had attempted a total of 13 shots. However, as was the case with their weekend game with Burnley, nothing productive came out of it. Manager Craig Shakespeare had to bring on Okazaki in place of an injured Leonard Ulloa early in the second half and the Japanese fired them ahead in the 53 minute picking up a loose ball inside the penalty area.

Thirteen minutes later, Slimani sealed the win with an absolute stunner from outside the box with a left-footed drive, which had too much venom for young goalkeeper Danny Ward to handle. The Reds are yet to win a game in September and Klopp will hope to turn things around as Liverpool visit Leicester yet again in the weekend for their Premier League tie.

Barcelona 6-1 Eibar

Barcelona had come to the game with the disheartening injury news of star summer signing Ousmane Dembele, who is sidelined for four months with a hamstring injury, and manager Ernesto Valverde had decided to bench most of his first-team players for the midweek tie.

He had made six changes to the side from their last weekend’s game that saw Luiz Suarez on the bench as well. Barcelona were toothless up front for the first 20 minutes till Lionel Messi fired them ahead from the spot. It was all bread and butter stuff after that for the Catalans as new signing Paulinho, who was making his first start of the season, doubled the lead in the 38 minute going into the first-half 2-0.

The second-half started with Dennis Suarez restarting the scoring at the 53minute following which Eibar’s Enrich pulled one back for the visitors from David Junca’s cross. That was the visitor’s last contribution to the game as the rest of the half was all Lionel Messi.

The Argentine looked unstoppable and impeccable in his movements and placements as he slotted the ball home to restore Barca's three-goal lead and just two minutes later completed his 28La Liga hat-trick with a low shot beyond Eibar goalie Dmitrovic.

As Eibar pushed all out in the last few minutes, Messi was at the end of it again placing the ball at the back of the net from Aleix Vidal’s cut-back. Barcelona maintain their 100% start to the campaign with a resounding five-point lead over Real Madrid in the La Liga table.

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