The captain returns, Salah’s hat-trick and the best photos as Liverpool edge out Leeds

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A wild night at Anfield paved the way for Liverpool’s first victory of the new Premier League season, with Leeds providing a stern test in the 4-3 victory.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men have been in the fortunate position to have had the weight of expectation off their shoulders for much of 2020 having picked up the title in rapid fashion.

But they were always to be provided with a baptism of fire as the reigning Premier League champions once the opening clash against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United was pencilled in.

And it lived up to the billing.

Before the clash got underway, however, there were two welcome sights for those of the Red persuasion with Jordan Henderson back in the starting lineup for the first time since July 8, and Nike making their debut as the club’s kit suppliers in a competitive fixture.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson during the pre-match warm-up before the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s players in anthem jackets before the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Anfield remained without fans but the atmosphere within the stadium was anything but calm in either dugout as five goals found the net in the opening 45 minutes.

Mohamed Salah was the one to notch the opener with a rocket from the spot, making him the first Red to score four successive goals on the opening day in what was an inspiring performance.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (C) celebrates after scoring the first goal from a penalty-kick during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Leeds would equalise through Jack Harrison before Virgil van Dijk struck with a thumping header to open his account for 2020/21 – Andy Robertson with the pinpoint delivery.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk scores the second goal with a header during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring the second goal during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk (C) celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mate Andy Robertson (L) during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was not all smooth sailing for the Dutchman, however, as his lapse in judgement led to Leeds’ second equaliser as a topsy-turvy opening term saw both sides trade blows back and forth.

But Salah would come to the rescue once more with a precision finish into the top corner, and although it came with a muted celebration it was certainly one which will have seen Reds around the world rise to their feet.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates after scoring the third goal to make the score 3-2 during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The interval offered the chance to take a breather before another two goals were added to the scoresheet in the second half.

The first came the way of Leeds’ Mateusz Klich to make it 3-3 after another dismal defensive effort to set up a tense final 25 minutes where the Reds fluffed a number of chances.

But there was only ever going to be one man to drag Liverpool to the three points, with another penalty at the death duly converted by the Egyptian king.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the fourth goal, his hat-trick, from a penalty-kick to make the score 4-3 during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scores the winning goal, his hat-trick, from a penalty kick as Liverpool win 4-3 during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp congratulates hat-trick hero Mohamed Salah after the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It ensured the match ball was heading home with Salah after securing his third hat-trick for Liverpool – and the boss was duly delighted by the sight… and no doubt simultaneously relieved.

The win, albeit anything but convincing, ensures Liverpool start their bid to retain the title with an all-important three points. A tally they will look to add to when they meet Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next weekend.

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