Jamie Carragher claimed both the Liverpool and Leicester City players “should come off the pitch holding their heads in shame” following the Foxes’s 3-1 victory at the King Power Stadium on Monday night, just four days after manager Claudio Ranieri was sacked.
Two goals from England striker Jamie Vardy plus a brilliant Danny Drinkwater volley from outside the box gave Leicester their first Premier League victory of 2017, with Vardy’s opening strike the first goal they have scored in the top flight this calendar year.
It was that run of poor form that led to Ranieri’s sacking last Thursday night, with Leicester subsequently falling into the relegation zone due to the weekend’s results, but with caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare at the helm, they powered their way to a 3-0 lead before Philippe Coutinho scored a second-half consolation for Liverpool.
Jürgen Klopp’s side were extremely poor in comparison, but former Liverpool defender Carragher stressed that both sides should be embarrassed, given how bad the Reds were and how good their opponents proved they can be.
“Leicester were brilliant but they won the game by hunger and energy,” Carragher said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
“That’s not about tactics, it’s about what’s inside you. We just saw a team fully committed.
“I’ve been watching football for a long time and I don’t think I’ve seen two teams who should come off the pitch holding their heads in shame.
“Liverpool for how bad they were and Leicester for how bad their performances have been prior to this.”
Ranieri paid with his job for Leicester’s dismal Premier League title defence this season, but the sacking drew widespread criticism and condemnation given that the club was never expected to challenge for last season’s title, and that the Italian had brought the club more success in one season than in their entire history.
The fact that Ranieri was one of the most likeable managers in the Premier League strengthened the belief that he should have been given more time, and reports emerged over the weekend that the decision to sack him was taken after the Leicester owners met with a group of senior players following last week’s 2-1 Champions League defeat by Sevilla to communicate that the squad had lost faith with Ranieri.
A more telling point came in the 24 hours after his dismissal, where not one Leicester player thanked Ranieri publicly or expressed sadness at his dismissal. Eventually, a number of player posted messages on social media, with both Kasper Schmeichel and Vardy denying having any part in the meeting with the owners or getting Ranieri sacked.
“Tonight is a bad result for traditionalists who think you should stick with their manager and a shot in the arm who think the change was right,” former Manchester United defender and England coach Gary Neville added.
“My view is that Leicester were at it all night. I don’t understand how you can switch a tap on and off.
“Craig Shakespeare is not a magician and do all that in two and three days.
“No coach can work or do anything in three days. That’s the players who did that against a Liverpool side who allowed them to be exploit.”