After winning their last four league games last season, Leeds United remain winless in the Premier League so far this season. The Whites have drawn their last two games though and are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games at Elland Road, their longest run without defeat at home in the top-flight since 2001. But Liverpool had other ideas. They bagged a comprehensive victory.
Marcelo Bielsa kept changes to his side to a minimum. There’s just one change to Leeds from their 1-1 draw against Burnley before the international break. Firpo came in for Struijk as Leeds revert to four at the back. Liverpool made two changes from their last game against Chelsea. Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota came in for Jordan Henderson and the injured Roberto Firmino.
This has been an entertaining fixture over the years with Liverpool doing better historically. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last eight league meetings with Leeds and have lost just one of their last nine league visits to Elland Road, going down 4-3 in November 2000 with Mark Viduka scoring all four goals. The Reds have scored in each of their last 15 games against the Whites.
The match started brightly and at a great pace – Leeds launched an attack down their left which broke down when Firpo’s backheel could only find a Liverpool shirt. Leeds came straight back and Rodrigo blasted straight at Alisson from the edge of the box. The Liverpool goalkeeper was equal to the shot.
Meslier confidently claimed Sadio Mane’s looped cross from the byline. Bamford failed to control Meslier’s pass forward and Trent Alexander-Arnold took his time over the throw-in, allowing everyone to get their breath back after a lively opening to the game.
Virgil van Dijk looked to catch out Leeds’ high backline by releasing Salah from deep. Leeds anticipated the pass well. Mane scuffed a shot against Llorente from outside the box and won Liverpool their first corner of the match.
Meslier rushed out of his goal to sweep up as Mane looks to catch onto a loose ball. A second later Jota chested down Salah’s pass from deep and hooks it on the volleyed towards Meslier. Meslier took the sting out of the shot.
After some patient Liverpool build-up, Alexander-Arnold squared the ball for Mohamed Salah who tapped into the net from inside the six-yard box – Liverpool went ahead and it was Salah’s 100th Premier League goal and became the fifth-fastest player to reach 100 goals in the competition after Alan Shearer, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Thierry Henry.
Liverpool switched gears and were in momentum to break through the defence of Leeds.
Mane skied Jota’s cutback from the byline at the far post when it looked easier to score. A second later Elliott smashed a long-range effort against Kalvin Phillips.
Mane twisted and turned to see off the attentions of Struijk near the centre circle. In time Liverpool reached the edge of Leeds’ box again and Elliott lashed a speculative effort wide.
Jota had a shot blocked from outside the box. Cooper tackled Jota just outside the D-box and Leeds were disappointed to see the free-kick go against them. Alexander-Arnold and Salah were eyeing this up but it was not productive.
At the stroke of halftime, Phillips released Raphinha down the left and the Brazilian’s cross was blocked. Leeds kept the ball moving and Ayling shinned Rodrigo’s cross high and wide at the far post.
After the break, Liverpool scored another one.
Van Dijk gets on the end of Alexander-Arnold’s corner and nodded one down for Fabinho whose first shot was blocked. The Brazilian attempted once again and this time smashed the ball home! VAR took a look at a possible offside against Mane, but the goal stood.
Elliott was down injured after a forceful challenge by Struijk. Elliott is down injured after a forceful challenge by Struijk. The medical staff was bringing a stretcher onto the pitch so it looked to be serious. Klopp was shaking his head.
After examining Elliott the referee reached to his pocket and dismissed Struijk.
Leeds were down to ten men but still decided to pressurize Liverpool – well, that did not work as Mane buried the home team after smashing the third.
Thiago received Henderson’s cross from the right and passed inside to Mane, who turned on the spot and smashed the ball past Meslier.
Leeds remain winless while Liverpool left Ellan Road with smiles on their faces.