Whites beaten at Elland Road.
Leeds United 0
Liverpool 3 (Salah 20’, Fabinho 50’, Mane 90’)
Leeds XI: Meslier (GK), Ayling, Firpo, Cooper (c), Bamford, Raphinha, Llorente (Struijk 33’), Dallas, Rodrigo (Roberts 45’), Harrison (James 68’), Phillips. Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Cresswell, Summerville, Klich, McCarron, Shackleton.
Liverpool XI: Alisson (GK), Fabinho, Van Dijk (c), Thiago (Keita 90’), Mane, Salah, Jota (Oxlade-Chamberlain 81’), Robertson, Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Elliott (Henderson 63’). Subs not used: Kelleher (GK), Konate, Milner, Gomez, Jones, Tsimikas.
Prior to kick-off and when the game got going, the atmosphere was electric at Elland Road with the sold-out crowd giving everything in support of their respective teams.
The first big chance of the game went the way of the Whites. Kalvin Phillips sprayed a searching ball out wide for Raphinha, who controlled and tricked his way into the box. He looked up and played in Rodrigo, but the Spaniard’s effort was straight at Alisson who saved well.
The first goal arrived on the 20 minute mark. Good build-up play from Joel Matip and Mo Salah saw the ball go out wide to Trent Alexander-Arnold, who picked his spot in the middle of the box to cross into, finding the on-rushing Salah there to fire the visitors into the lead.
Just a few minutes later, the away end erupted again but this time they were correctly denied by the offside flag against Salah, who had crossed into the box for Thiago to head home. Seconds after, Sadio Mane turned over the bar when presented with an open goal from Diogo Jota’s run and cross.
In a sustained spell of Liverpool pressure, Harvey Elliott was the next to be denied by a block in the box, then a superb Illan Meslier save on the follow up. Just over half an hour in, Leeds were forced into a change, with Pascal Struijk coming on for Diego Llorente.
Bielsa’s side started to then get a foothold in the match and created a good opening, hitting Liverpool on the break. Jack Harrison found space on the wing to cross to the back post, where Luke Ayling volleyed over at an awkward height.
That was the last chance before the interval, with the Whites going in a goal behind in a first 45 that had largely been dominated by the visitors.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-1 Liverpool
Five minutes into the second half, Liverpool got their second. Struijk had initially made an excellent goal-saving challenge on Salah, only for the following corner to then be turned home at close range by Fabinho to make it two-nil.
Introduced for the second half, the next two chances fell the way of Tyler Roberts. Firstly, his close range header was saved by Alisson, before the forward then collected the ball in the box from the next attack and curled wide of the post.
With an hour of the game gone, Leeds were then reduced to 10 players as Struijk was sent-off. Elliott was stretchered from the field and replaced by Jordan Henderson, with everyone’s best wishes going to the Liverpool winger.
Dan James was brought on for his debut by Bielsa, replacing Harrison in a like for like change on the wing for the Whites.
In an exchange of attacks, Mane was to be denied by Ayling in the box when through. Next, Raphinha broke down the wing and squared for Bamford who saw his attempt saved, then straight back up the other end Salah had another effort just wide of the post.
Into the last ten minutes and Leeds came even closer to finding the back of the net. Bamford stole possession on the half-way line and noticed Alisson out of his goal, then looked to lob the ‘keeper, only to see him back-track to his line and turn over the bar.
With eight minutes of stoppage time announced, the visitors made it three. Henderson picked up the ball out-wide, switched it to Thiago who found Mane in space. The forward controlled before firing into the back of the net and that confirmed the three points for the Reds.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 0-3 Liverpool
Venue: Elland Road
Referee: Craig Pawson
Booked: Cooper, Llorente (Leeds) Fabinho (Liverpool)
Sent-off: Struijk (Leeds)