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Leeds 0-3 Liverpool: Elliott horror injury clouds big win

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Liverpool sealed a richly deserved 3-0 win at Leeds on Sunday, but the game was clouded by a horror ankle injury for Harvey Elliott on his third Premier League start.

Leeds 0-3 Liverpool

Premier League (4), Elland Road
September 12, 2021

Goals

Salah 20′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)
Fabinho 50′ (assist – Van Dijk)
Mane 90+2′ (assist – Thiago)


In an impressive atmosphere at Elland Road, Liverpool began things rather loosely, not aided by a poor start from both Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane, who switched roles from kickoff as left winger and centre-forward respectively.

Having ducked out of a brilliant Trent Alexander-Arnold cross early on, Jota improved as he chested down a Mohamed Salah pass and fired an instinctive volley on goal, but Illan Meslier was a match for his effort.

The Frenchman could do nothing as an exquisite team move broke the deadlock in the 20th minute, however, led by the rampaging Joel Matip of all people.

Matip’s surge up the pitch saw him free in the final third, and picking out a pass for Alexander-Arnold down the wing, the right-back drilling it across the six-yard box for Salah to finish.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 12, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah goal during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Thiago had it in the back of the net soon after following more creative quality from Matip, but his header was ruled out for offside, before a flurry of chances saw Leeds somehow escape with a one-goal deficit.

HT: Leeds 0-1 Liverpool

A flash of drama shortly after the break saw a VAR check rule out an apparent foul on Mane from Kalvin Phillips in the penalty area, with a last-ditch block from Pascal Struijk denying Salah the follow-up.

But Liverpool had their second goal from the corner, with Virgil van Dijk knocking down Alexander-Arnold’s set-piece and, at the second time of asking, Fabinho bundled it home.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 12, 2021: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' scores the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Struijk soon earned a red card for an unfortunate result to a robust challenge on Elliott, with the teenager forced off on a stretcher with a shocking ankle injury that soured the rest of the game.

The tempo dropped along with the mood, with both sides sloppy and the excellent Matip taking the opportunity to push further and further forward as a pseudo No. 10.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 12, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané scores the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A series of wasted chances looked set to conclude a dismal evening for Mane, but two minutes into a lengthy period of stoppage time and he was on hand to swivel and fire home for a bittersweet 3-0 victory for Liverpool.


TIA Man of the Match: Fabinho

Leeds: Meslier; Ayling, Cooper, Llorente (Struijk 33′), Firpo; Phillips, Dallas; Raphinha, Rodrigo (Roberts 46′), Harrison (James 68′); Bamford

Subs not used: Klaesson, Cresswell, Shackleton, Klich, Summerville, McCarron

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Elliott (Henderson 63′), Thiago (Keita 90+3′); Salah, Mane, Jota (Oxlade-Chamberlain 82′)

Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Gomez, Tsimikas, Milner, Jones

Next match: AC Milan (H) – Champions League – Wednesday, September 15, 8pm (BST)


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