The Premier League is back!
It was a short break since the 2019-20 season concluded. Despite cooling off after clinching, Liverpool had a record-setting campaign. Will they start off the 2020-21 season with the same focus? They’ll certainly be tested by a strong Leeds side looking to announce their presence.
Liverpool get on the board quickly after Mo Salah converts a pk from a handball in the box. Leeds answer fast. And that’s how this match goes. Liverpool scores. Leeds equalizes.
Jurgen Klopp has some work to do on his backline. There’s a casualness that continues to plague them. Mo Salah’s hat-trick bails them all out though. A concerning 4-3 win for the Reds. Still, 3 points is 3 points.
Leeds ended up with 52% possession but only managed 6 shots (3 on target) to Liverpool’s 22 (6 on target).
Here are matchday 1 Liverpool vs Leeds player ratings.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (6) –
Goes with a strong starting XI (save Keita). Makes the right subs (i.e. getting Keita out early). However, should’ve yanked VVD to send him a message.
Alisson (6) –
Good effort on the equalizer but just could get there. Came off line well in the 22nd to stifle an opportunity. Couldn’t do anything about the other goals. His backline let him down.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (5) –
Poor defending on Harrison’s equalizer. He’s getting worked over early. Not the kind of showing you’d expect from the PFA Young Player of the Year.
Virgil van Dijk (5) –
Unmarked and confidently buries his head to give Liverpool a 2-1 lead. Scored in last year’s opener too.
However, total casual nonsense and sloppiness leads to another Leeds equalizer. VVD might need to be benched. He’s a little full of himself. Needs a talking to.
Joe Gomez (6.5) –
Definitely better than his center-back partner. Active on clearances and tackles. Solid showing.
Andy Robertson () –
Chalk up another assist for Robbo. Perfect corner into VVD to get the Reds back up 2-1. Overall, was the best of the backline. Very active, especially going forward.
The Looks Great in Training Naby Keita (4) –
We’re into season 3 of Naby Keita looking great in training. When will it translate consistently on the field?
Virtually no contribution of note. Pulled at the 58th minute.
Gini Wijnaldum (8) –
Worked his arse off. Winning tackles, interceptions, disruptions. Great showing by Gini.
Jordan Henderson (6) –
Laboring early. Looks like fitness is an issue.
However, grew into the match.
Mo Salah (10) –
Emphatically hammers the opening pk. Another season opener with a goal. Earns a brace with a wonderful laces strike in the 33rd.
Earns the hat-trick by converting another pk.
Ended with 9 shots on goal, almost half of Liverpool’s total. An absurd 7 completed dribbles too.
Sadio Mane (7) –
Deserved to get on the score sheet. Was buzzing around everywhere. Had 5 shots on goal, 4 key passes and 4 completed dribbles.
Roberto Firmino (5) –
Might be time to give Taki a start. Bobby is in a poor run of form.
Fabinho (7) – Comes on in the 58th for Keita. Looks strong. Earns Salah the penalty that put Liverpool ahead.
Curtis Jones (5) – Doesn’t do much with his 23 minutes. No shots. Just one key pass.
Joel Matip (NR) – Comes on late for TAA.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Mo Salah and his hat trick save the day. Salah is on pace for 114 goals. That would be a Premier League record.