Leeds 0-3 Liverpool
Premier League (4), Elland Road
September 12, 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Gomez, Tsimikas, Milner, Jones
Next match: AC Milan (H) – Champions League – Wednesday, September 15, 8pm (BST)