Liverpool 4-3 Leeds United: Salah hat-trick to ignite the season

Premier League
Saturday 12 September 2020 - 5:30 pm
Anfield
Liverpool4
3Leeds United
Show Match Events
⚽️ Salah4'
12'⚽️ Harrison
⚽️ van Dijk20'
29'⚽️ Bamford
⚽️ Salah33'
Keïta off, Fabinho on ↔️58'
62'↔️ Hernández off, Roberts on
62'↔️ Bamford off, Moreno on
Henderson off, Jones on ↔️65'
66'⚽️ Klich
Firmino76'
81'↔️ Klich off, Shackleton on
⚽️ Salah87'
Alexander-Arnold off, Matip on ↔️89'
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Liverpool hit four past newly relegated opposition at Anfield for the second opening game on the trot.

Last season Norwich were hit for four, but this game featured a combined seven goals plus four goals ruled out through offside and fouls.  Whilst the reds were not at their defensive best, there was also no doubt that Leeds wanted to mark their long awaited return to top flight English football with a big performance.

The reds have now gone 60 home league games without defeat.  The third best home performance in English football history after Chelsea's run until 2008 and Liverpool themselves at the end of the 1970's.

Ultimately it was a penalty four minutes in to the game, and within the last five minutes that ultimately decided the game.  Rare Anfield penalties but both stonewallers.  A handball in the opening minutes and Fabinho hacked down for the resultant penalty.

Englishmen return

The early team news was that both Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold were back involved in the Liverpool starting line up ahead of this game.  Whilst neither of them had brilliant games, they have both been hampered at times over the summer with niggles and injury.

Despite the continued lack of supporters at English football grounds, it was a pulsating opening period to the game.  The reds forcing Leeds back and defender Robin Koch handling the ball just in front of his goalkeeper.

Salah stepped up and smashed the ball into the net.  He has now scored in every opening game of the season since joining Liverpool.

Leeds fired back quickly, Jack Harrison collecting a raking crossfield pass and completely bypassing the rusty Trent Alexander-Arnold before drilling past Alisson.

Virgil involved in two LFC goals (and one for Leeds)

Virgil van Dijk powered in a header from an Andy Robertson corner to restore Liverpool's lead - the ball hit so venomously that it appeared to take the goalkeeper behind the line along with the ball.

But ten minutes later van Dijk was at fault when he relaxed too much trying to clear a ball, allowing Patrick Bamford to nip the ball off him and make it 2-2.  We had half an hour on the clock.  An extra goal per team had already been chalked off too through offside.

As it happened: LFC 4-3 Leeds

Liverpool restored their lead, thanks in part to Virgil van Dijk.

Andy Robertson fired a free kick into the area where the big Dutchman attracted the attention of three Leeds defenders.  Such was their panic at Virgil's presence that their cleared header only found it's way to Mo Salah.

The Egyptian King controlled the ball beautifully, tapping it into the ground, before firing a perfect shot into the roof of the net.  It was the goal of the game - but sadly wasn't the winner.

Liverpool looked bright again in the second half but on the hour, Leeds drew level.

Taking inspiration from Salah's first half effort, Mateusz Klich controlled the ball well himself in the area before unleashing a powerful effort to put the scores level.  3-3.

The reds huffed and puffed as they brought on Fabinho and had Origi prepared on the bench for a final assault.

'Hat trick Salah'

However, it was left to Salah to convert from the penalty spot with minutes left.  Fabinho scythed down inside the area by a wandering Leeds striker Rodrigo Moreno.

This time Salah went for a corner, which he found, and ensured he had his hat-trick and more importantly the reds ended with all three points.

At the full time whistle Klopp looked at the camera before mouthing the word 'wow'.  It was a great game to start the season, but Liverpool will have much work to do defensively.

Next up for the reds is a trip to Chelsea who have spent £200M this summer alone and will be another tough proposition at Stamford Bridge.

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