Liverpool beat Leeds United 2-0 on Sunday to leave Marcelo Bielsa’s side still searching a first win of the season.
The Reds started well and were rewarded with the opening goal 20 minutes in, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold combining for Mohamed Salah to tap in his 100th Premier League goal.
Virgil van Dijk, Harvey Elliott and Sadio Mane all came close to extending the away team’s lead, as they threatened to overwhelm Leeds in the first half – but Luke Ayling spurned a great chance to equalise right before the break.
Immediately after the restart Liverpool doubled their lead through Fabinho, poking in after a corner, before Pascal Struijk was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle which saw him emerge with the ball, but also left Elliott with a serious injury and being stretchered off. Sadio Mane finished matters off with a late third.
Here are the player ratings from Elland Road.
Illan Meslier – 6. No chance on the goals, saved one effort from Jota beforehand. Did stop a couple from Mane thereafter.
Luke Ayling – 5. Wasted a huge chance at the far post, opting to knee the ball rather than stoop to head and sending it well over.
Liam Cooper – 5. Did well to clear a few set-plays and deliveries, but the attacking movement was too much for him to handle.
Diego Llorente – 5. Struggled badly to cope in the first half-hour and then suffered a hamstring injury.
Junior Firpo – 5. Battered around by Salah and Elliott, couldn’t stop Alexander-Arnold’s crosses. Not enough of an impact going forward.
Kalvin Phillips – 6. Tigerish and excellent on the ball in the first stages of the game but then quickly overrun in midfield. Some of his forward passes set away Leeds’ best moments.
Raphinha – 6. Marginalised for large spells. Tried to get involved centrally at times but Leeds didn’t have enough of the ball for him to work his magic.
Stuart Dallas – 4. Really struggled in midfield to get involved in play or stop Liverpool’s build-up work.
Rodrigo – 5. Shot straight at Alisson earlier on when he should have done better. Another overrun in the middle and subbed at the break.
Jack Harrison – 5. An outlet at times and tried a few runs down the wing in the first half but spent most of his time tracking back.
Patrick Bamford – 6. Picked up some positions between the centre-backs and linked play well, but guided two efforts off-target. Fine attempted lob from 40 yards, just tipped over.
Subs: Pascal Struijk (5 – sent-off), Tyler Roberts (5), Dan James (5)
Alisson – 8. A good early save and some fine pinged passes out wide. Saved a header just after the second goal went in, a more routine stop, and then tipped over a lob.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7. Two magic early deliveries from the right and constantly available to help the Reds keep possession. Defensively sound, too.
Joel Matip – 8. Superb foray forward to help open up the defence for the first goal. Wasn’t tested continuously defensively, but broke into attacking areas with regularity.
Virgil van Dijk – 7. Imperious with his recovery runs. Did lose Bamford a few times with runs behind, but always made up the ground.
Andy Robertson – 7. Overlaps, cut-backs, tackles and recoveries – a classic Robertson showing.
Fabinho – 8. Booked early but then baredly missed a tackle or an interception. Simply excellent – and finished a set-piece for a rare goal, too.
Harvey Elliott – 8. Once more trusted in a notable game by Jurgen Klopp and once more showed why. Creative, forward-thinking and hard-working. Sadly suffered a terrible-looking injury in the second half.
Thiago – 8. Superb start on the ball and unluckily saw a goal ruled out for an earlier offside. A big part of the reason Liverpool dominated most of the game for the first hour and set up the third goal.
Mohamed Salah – 8. His movement was so hard for Leeds’ defenders to track, while he powered Firpo off the ball with regularity. Ghosted in to finish for 1-0. Helped repeatedly open up the defence.
Diogo Jota – 6. Hard-working in leading the line without ever being quite as refined with his final ball as he could have been.
Sadio Mane – 6. Like Salah, his movement was relentless and unstoppable. Finishing wasn’t quite as good though, wasting three good chances and misplacing a couple of passes in good positions, too – before finally rattling one in during stoppage time.
Subs: Jordan Henderson (6), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (5), Naby Keita (n/a)
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