Euro 2020 Special
 

Premier League: Liverpool Thrash Leeds United As Mohamed Salah Hits Century

00 DAYS
00 HOURS
00 MINUTES

Liverpool have sent a strong message to Premier League title hopefuls on Sunday with an emphatic 3-0 win over Leeds United at Elland Road. The Reds, who stayed relatively quiet in the transfer window, had a subdued start to the season compared to their rivals. Marcelo Bielsa’s side entered the game still looking for their first win of the season in the Premier League. But it is clear that the Whites are yet to find their rhythm this season, recording their second defeat against a bix-six side, after a 5-1 drubbing against Manchester United last month. 

As the Premier League battle marches on, we take a look at how the Liverpool vs Leeds United fixture panned out on the field:

 

RECENT RESULTS

Leeds United started their second season in the Premier League on a shaky note, as Marcelo Bielsa is still shaping the starting XI with eyes on Europe. Their opening fixture saw them get thrashed 5-1 at the hands of season favourites Manchester United at Old Trafford. The next two Premier League fixtures saw the Whites come back from the brink of defeat to level the scores. While Patrick Bamford, Raphinha, Rodrigo and Kalvin Phillips shone at the front, Marcelo Bielsa’s aggressive approach to the game has resulted in goals being conceded in all three fixtures so far.

After a less than ideal season last year after their spectacular Premier League title run-in 2019-20, Jurgen Klopp will be hoping for better outcomes this season. Their performance so far on the field has not inspired confidence – with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United bolstering their teams and registering back-to-back victories. The Reds, on the other hand, have managed to win their first two fixtures against minnows Norwich City and Burnley, before being stalled by a 10-man Chelsea. 

The last two fixtures between both clubs ended with the scores level, as neither team could find the breakthrough in entertaining and tightly-contested fixtures. 

 

LINE-UPS

Marcelo Bielsa has reverted his starting XI to a back four, with Junior Firpo slotting in at left-back and Pascal Struijk dropping back to the bench. 

Starting XI: Illan Meslier, Luke Ayling, Diego Llorente, Liam Cooper, Junior Firpo, Kalvin Phillips, Raphinha, Stuart Dallas, Rodrigo, Jack Harrison, Bamford

Subs: Roberts, Klaesson, James, Struijk, Cresswell, Summerville, Klich, McCarron, Shackleton.

The Reds are without Roberto Firmino, and Digio Jota joins Salah and Mane at the front. Thiago joins Fabinho and Elliot in the middle while Jordan Henderson drops back to the bench.

Starting XI: Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Harvey Elliott, Fabinho, Thiago, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane.

Subs: Konate, Milner, Keita, Gomez, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Tsimikas, Kelleher.

 

HOW THE MATCH PANNED OUT

The Whites started the fixture on the right note – dominating possession and keeping the ball in Liverpool’s half for the first few minutes. Leeds displayed their skill at building counter-attacks in the fifth minute when a long-pass to Raphinha was swiftly delivered to an untracked Rodrigo. It was the only shot on target for the Whites in the first half, as Jurgen Klopp’s men regrouped to take charge of the game. 

Mohamed Salah and Alexander-Arnold led the Reds’ relentless charge against a sketchy Leeds defence, which at times left Liverpool’s attackers untracked. Alexander-Arnold’s low cross to Salah gave Liverpool the lead in the 20th minute. Liverpool would have another goal just five minutes later to the tally if not for a late offside call from the officials. 

It was a similar tale early in the second half as a weak back-four, now missing Diego Llorente, could not contain the onslaught from Liverpool’s front three. It was Fabinho’s turn to deliver with a light-touch goal for the Reds in the 53rd minute, converting Alexander-Arnold’s corner-kick with ease. A challenge from substitute Pascal Struijk saw Elliott badly injured, with Struijk sent off the field and Jordan Henderson coming in place of the injured midfielder. 

Sergio Mane added a third goal in extra time to pile more misery onto the depleted Leeds’ squad, giving Liverpool an emphatic 3-0 victory over the hosts. 

 

HOW THEY PERFORMED

Liverpool ended the game with nine shots on target compared to Leeds’ four – while the former were able to convert three, the Whites failed to convert any. The Whites conceded more fouls, leading to two yellow cards and a red card, and were sloppy in defence. 

Mohamed Salah was the star of the show for Liverpool, as Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho gave the talisman good support at the front. Sadio Mane struggled to give the last touch throughout the night but was rewarded for his persistence with a perfect finish in extra time. Virgil Van Dijk has been effective at the back, blocking most of Leeds’ counterattacks. A passing accuracy of 86% saw Liverpool’s midfield dominate the game in the middle, giving very few chances for Leeds to counterattack.

The Whites as usual were very effective at attacking throughout the night, but the inability to convert numerous chances they created in front of the goal is concerning for Bielsa. Leeds’ defensive woes continued on Sunday, with the club now conceding 11 goals from just four fixtures. They conceded 11 corners and eight freekicks, one of which led to a goal. The Whites are a team known for their explosive style of play, and fans at Elland Road can still be hopeful of a quick turnaround of the team’s fortunes.

 

LOOKING FORWARD

The Whites will head to St. James Park with hopes of victory over a weak Newcastle side. Diego Llorente is potentially injured and Pascal Struijk will miss the next match due to the red card, giving Marcelo Bielsa a tough time for the fixture against Newcastle United. Liverpool, now comfortable in the third spot in the Premier League table, will host Milan at Anfield to kickstart their Champions League tournament on Thursday.

 

●●●

VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT FOOTBALL NEWS STORIES & FEATURES

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.