‘Strong character’ Wout Faes will bounce back – Brendan Rodgers

‘Strong character’ Wout Faes will bounce back – Brendan Rodgers

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers backed Wout Faes to quickly put his Anfield horror show behind him after two first-half own goals cost the Foxes in a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool.

After Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall had fired Leicester into an early lead, Faes missed a shout from goalkeeper Danny Ward 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.

“(The first one) is a decision you make as a defender in the game,” 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.”

Wout Faes, right, plays the ball under pressure from Darwin Nunez
Wout Faes, right, plays the ball under pressure from Darwin Nunez (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Liverpool were grateful for Faes’s mistakes after making a poor start to the game, allowing Dewsbury-Hall to cut through their defence all too easily after four minutes and gifting Leicester the ball in dangerous positions again and again.

Although Jurgen Klopp was happy to take the points, the Liverpool boss 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.”

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp had sympathy for Faes (Barrington Coombs/PA)

For Leicester, who had won three straight away games coming into this one, it was a result that got away given the chances they had to extend their lead before Liverpool’s equaliser, as well as late opportunities to draw level themselves.

“The game worked out perfectly how we wanted to start, we scored a really good goal and looked really dynamic, but the seven minutes you can’t plan for, especially the first one,” Rodgers said.

“In the second half we kept pushing and got into some really good areas, the only criticism is the final pass.”