Defeat at Anfield.
Liverpool 6 (Salah 15’ pen, 35’ pen, Matip 30’, Mane 80’, 90’, Van Dijk 90’)
Leeds United 0
Liverpool: Alisson (GK), Fabinho, Van Dijk (C), Thiago (Henderson 68’), Mane, Salah, Jones (Milner 77’), Diaz (Origi 84’), Robertson, Matip, Alexander-Arnold. Subs not used: Kelleher (GK), Konate, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Tsimikas.
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling (C), Firpo, Forshaw, Raphinha, Dallas, Rodrigo (Roberts 45’), James (Gelhardt 61’), Struijk, Harrison, Klich (Shackleton 45’). Substitutes: Klaesson (GK), Bate, Cresswell, Summerville, McCarron, Kenneh.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Booked: Firpo, Ayling (Leeds)
Leeds United suffered a heavy defeat away at title-challenging Liverpool, conceding three goals in each half at Anfield.
The Reds started the game well and tested Illan Meslier early on. January recruit Luis Diaz had two efforts, one which forced the Leeds ‘keeper into a save and the other deflected wide off his own teammate, Sadio Mane.
Inside the opening 15 minutes, the hosts did take the lead, from the penalty spot. Andy Robertson’s cross struck the arm of Stuart Dallas and a penalty was awarded, from which Mo Salah tucked the ball into the corner to put his side one ahead.
The Whites were then to create a chance of their own. A slick move involving Dan James and Rodrigo saw the Spaniard play in Jack Harrison. The Leeds winger crossed into the box where Raphinha fired into the net, but he was denied an equaliser by the offside flag.
Shortly after that disallowed effort, a one goal deficit became two. Stepping out from central defence, Joel Matip played the ball out wide to Salah. The defender carried on his run into the box and fired into the back of the net from Salah’s accurate ball into the box to find him.
Two minutes later, a tough first half continued for Marcelo Bielsa’s side when Liverpool were awarded a second penalty of the game. Salah stepped up again from the spot and picked the same side, firing into the top corner to make it three goals to none.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Salah looked odds on to make it four. The forward raced through on goal and chipped the ball over Meslier, but fortunately for Leeds, Junior Firpo was sprinting back to clear off the line.
The whistle to end the first 45 minutes at Anfield went shortly after, sending the home side in at the break with a commanding advantage.
HALF TIME: Liverpool 3-0 Leeds Inited
Two fresh faces arrived from the changing room for the second half with Bielsa opting to make a double switch. Jamie Shackleton and Tyler Roberts replaced Rodrigo and Mateusz Klich.
Salah continued to look a threat in the second period, just as he had in the first. Cutting in from his right-wing position, the Premier League’s top-scorer forced Meslier into another good save, after Mane had previously struck just wide before him.
The third and final change for Leeds came when Joe Gelhardt came on in place of James. The young forward looked to get into the the game immediately from his centre-forward position.
Alisson, between the posts for Liverpool, did have to be alert just after the hour mark. Adam Forshaw forced the ‘keeper to make a save after Harrison’s run created a chance and Raphinha also called his fellow Brazilian into action moments later with a left-footed shot.
Continuing to push up the pitch in search of a way back, Firpo then found space down the left flank. He picked out Dallas on the edge of the box, with the Leeds man shooting wide on his left foot.
With 10 minutes remaining at Anfield, Liverpool made it four. Introduced from the bench, Jordan Henderson collected a through ball on the right of the box and passed across the face of goal, where Mane was waiting to fire home and extend the advantage.
Then in the 90th minute of the match, the Reds continued to put the pressure on and found a fifth goal. This time Divock Origi got into the box and his initial shot fell kindly for Mane, who had an open goal in front of him to get his second of the game.
The relentless hosts then won a corner shortly after the restart and made it six. Robertson’s set-piece was accurate and straight onto the head of Virgil Van Dijk, who powered the ball into the net. The full-time whistle went just after to bring an end to the game.
FULL TIME: Liverpool 6-0 Leeds United