Leicester closer to EPL relegation with Liverpool loss
Liverpool have plunged Leicester City closer to relegation and kept alive their own chances of finishing in the Premier League top four with a 3-0 win.
Curtis Jones was the unlikely scorer of the first two goals on Monday before Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped a free kick into the top corner to wrap up a mismatch at King Power Stadium between teams heading in opposite directions.
For Liverpool, a seventh straight victory in an end-of-season rally moved the fifth-placed team a point behind both Newcastle and Manchester United in the race for the final two Champions League qualification positions, behind Manchester City and Arsenal.
Liverpool have two games left — against Aston Villa at home and already-relegated Southampton away — while Newcastle and Manchester United have three to play.
"I think with that we will definitely play in the Europa League next year, which is great," Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said.
"Our job is to keep the pressure (on Newcastle and Manchester United), but if not this is already better than we could have expected six or seven weeks ago."
For Leicester, morale could hardly be lower with their top-flight status seriously under threat just seven years after winning the league in one of the great underdog stories in the history of sports.
The Foxes have won just one of their last 14 league games and are in next-to-last place, two points from safety with two games remaining. They are at third-placed Newcastle and at home to West Ham.
"I thought the first 25 minutes until they scored, we were playing well. The first goal caught us out and the quick second goal kills us off," Leicester captain Jonny Evans told Sky Sports.
"We haven't been good this season and that's just the bottom line. We've two more games left and we'll have to put in the same effort we showed tonight."
Jones is an academy product enjoying a fine end to an injury-hit season. The 22-year-old midfielder had scored only once this season before running onto Mohamed Salah's right-wing cross to the far post and neatly side-footing home a finish in the 33rd.
The groans from the home fans inside the stadium were already audible and they increased three minutes later when Salah again picked out Jones, who controlled the ball in a central position at the edge of the area, spun and smashed a dipping effort into the far corner.
Asked whether it was one his best performances for the Reds, Jones told Sky Sports: "I think so, yeah, definitely.
"It was a game where I had the ball a lot and I scored two, so that's good. We got the three points and we keep going."
Salah completed a hat-trick of assists when he tapped a free kick backward with the sole of his foot to give Alexander-Arnold a clearer view on goal to curl a shot high and beyond goalkeeper Daniel Iversen in the 71st.