Coming off that 1-1 draw against Chelsea two weeks ago, in which they failed to break down a 10-man Chelsea in the second half, Liverpool ran rampant over Leeds. The attackers were firing on all cylinders from the get-go, and Mohamed Salah scored what would become the winner in a 3-0 win. It was a wide-open game that suited Liverpool’s attackers, who had ample space to work.
The result will be slightly marred by the devastating injury to Harvey Elliott, who was carried off on a stretcher after a red card tackle in the second half. Liverpool will lose Elliott likely for the foreseeable future, which is a blow to their midfield. But they looked in-form overall against a quality Leeds side and walked away with three points.
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Leeds
Jurgen Klopp (8.0) –
Klopp put out his usual 4-3-3, a nearly identical lineup to two weeks ago against Chelsea except for Thiago Alcantara stepping in for Jordan Henderson in midfield (and Diogo Jota replacing the injured Roberto Firmino up top). Liverpool pressed Leeds from the start and had no trouble getting out into space, spending considerable time around the final third.
The decision to start Thiago was a good one. It gave Liverpool more creativity in possession, which put Salah and Sadio Mane into the right positions.
Alisson (8.0) –
Alisson made a couple of saves, including a strong two-hand stop early in the game on a point-blank shot and an athletic tip over the crossbar of a long-range second-half chip. Otherwise, he didn’t have too much to do to preserve the clean sheet.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (8.0) –
The wide-open nature of this game was perfect for Alexander-Arnold, who wreaked havoc down the right flank with Salah all game. He picked up an assist on the first goal and sent in multiple threatening balls on the overlap.
Virgil Van Dijk (7.0) –
A solid, ordinary game from Van Dijk. He wasn’t too busy on the defensive end. His header on Alexander-Arnold’s 50th-minute corner fell to Fabinho for Liverpool’s second goal.
Joel Matip (8.5) –
One of the standout performers, of many, for Liverpool was Matip, who played a large part in creating Salah’s goal by taking his space and dribbling into the final third. He was particularly active in this game on the ball, and very solid in the back.
Andy Robertson (7.0) –
A quality performance from Robertson at left back. Apart from a couple of instances in which he was caught out, he had no problems dealing with Leeds’ attack down the right side. With Liverpool pinning Leeds back for long stretches, he was able to get forward frequently.
Fabinho (8.0) –
Fabinho is an unsung presence in Liverpool’s midfield, and he performed very well again. His ability to cut out transition opportunities as the solo No. 6 freed others to range forward, including his fellow midfielders and both full backs. Fabinho was an important force in stopping Leeds’ counter-attacks, which for the most part never got off the ground after the first ten minutes.
Thiago Alcantara (7.5) –
As Liverpool’s creative force in midfield, Thiago was excellent, controlling the game with his passing and connecting the attackers. He finished the game with a lovely assist to Sadio Mane before exiting in second-half stoppage time.
Harvey Elliott (7.0) –
Unfortunately, Elliott suffered a catastrophic injury around the hour-mark and was stretchered off. Up to that point, the 18-year-old was a steady presence as usual, connecting passes and combining with Thiago in attack. Here’s hoping he makes a quick and full recovery.
Sadio Mane (9.0) –
It took until second half stoppage time for Mane to get his goal, but he was the best player on the field for the full 90. He was lively and active in creating chances, dribbling through Leeds defenders and singlehandedly leading counter-attacks. If he had brought his finishing boots, he could’ve had a couple of goals.
Diogo Jota (7.5) –
Liverpool miss Firmino, who was out with the hamstring injury that he suffered two weeks ago, but Jota provided quality forward play in his absence. Jota drifted off the front line when Liverpool kept possession and made the right pass around the box, finishing with four key passes. He is also a relentless presser who hurried Leeds and helped win the ball back for Liverpool. He was subbed off in the 82nd-minute for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Mo Salah (9.0) –
Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal and looked incisive and threatening all game. He created a number of chances and got on the end of an Alexander-Arnold cross to put Liverpool ahead. It was Salah’s clever play around the box that initiated the move.
Jordan Henderson (NR) –
Henderson replaced Elliott and played well in his half-hour of play. He hit a very nice cross that led to Liverpool’s third goal.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (NR) –
Oxlade-Chamberlain was lively in his brief stint.
Naby Keita (NR) –
Keita only entered in second half stoppage time.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Sadio Mane — While Salah is a great contender for man of the match, Mane’s all-around performance deserves the honor.