Rodgers backs Faes to bounce back as Liverpool's Alisson pays tribute to Pele

Leicester defender Faes scores two own goals as Liverpool recover from early Dewsbury-Hall effort to win 2-1 at Anfield

Leicester City's Belgian defender Wout Faes scored two own goals in the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield. AFP
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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers believes Wout Faes has the character to overcome Friday's horror show at Anfield in which the Belgian defender scored two own goals as Liverpool ran out 2-1 winners.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall got the Foxes off to the best possible start with a goal inside five minutes but that was undone by two lapses in concentration by defender Faes before half time.

The summer signing from Reims first missed a shout from goalkeeper Danny Ward on 38 minutes as he went to cut out a low cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold, horribly slicing the ball as it looped over Ward and in off the back post.

And just seven minutes later it got worse for the Belgian as Darwin Nunez’s shot came back off the post and his attempt to clear the danger saw him fire into his own net again.

Commenting on the first own goal, Rodgers said: “There is no real trouble, the ball is coming into Danny’s hands but as a defender you make those decisions.

“But since he has been with us he has been absolutely brilliant. He normally makes the right decisions. It was just freakish and he has been unfortunate with the second one also.

“It is obviously disappointing for him, more with the first one, but he is a really strong character.

“He has been at the World Cup but didn’t play a minute so it might take him a few games to get his rhythm back. He has shown the level he can get to. Tonight was unfortunate for him but I thought he responded brilliantly in the second half.”

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Considering Liverpool scored none of the three goals, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was happy to take the points, though he had sympathy for Faes.

“Yeah, I had that once in my career where a player scored two own goals and I really feel for him,” Klopp said.

“The first one was absolutely unlucky. How can it be more unlucky? Then the second one, if you play football, you go full speed, you expect the ball to go in, that’s what your brain tells you, and when it hits the post, you cannot react.

“Of course I feel sympathy, there is space for that but whatever I say now will not change that. But the boy will get through this, Brendan will help him and everything will be fine.”

Victory kept Liverpool sixth in the Premier League on 28 points from 16 games while defeat sees Leicester remain in 13th place with 17 points from as many matches.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and midfielder Jordan Henderson placed flowers on the centre circle at Anfield before the match in honour of Brazil great Pele, who passed away Thursday aged 82.

Players in England and Scotland wore black armbands and held a minute's applause before kick off to honour the three-time World Cup winner with similar tributes to follow across the weekend's games.

"I believe everyone from the world of football is feeling something about his loss," Alisson told BBC Sport. "We Brazilians are grieving. He is a huge loss but at this moment we have to look to the things that he did because he changed the world of football, not just for Brazilians but for everybody."

"There is a lot of talk about who was the best and who is the best, but for us he is the best of all time. What he did on the pitch reflected the nation, he put the Brazilian flag at the highest standard, not just him but his teammates as well."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker lays a wreath for late compatriot Pele ahead of the Premier League match at Anfield. PA
Updated: December 31, 2022, 6:55 AM
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