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LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo arrives before the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Cody Gakpo takes robotic approach to final 8 games after “step in the right direction”

Cody Gakpo says Liverpool must move on quickly from Monday night’s 6-1 trouncing of Leeds as they bid to salvage their disappointing season.

Liverpool snapped a four-match winless run in the Premier League in some style as goals from Gakpo and substitute Darwin Nunez sandwiched doubles from both Mo Salah and Diogo Jota.

Luis Sinisterra struck early in the second half for Leeds, but their survival hopes were dealt another mighty blow as they slumped to a second-successive mauling at Elland Road.

Gakpo told Liverpool’s official website: “Everybody knows we struggled a little bit this season in the away games and then if you play a game like this, this is the way it should feel every game.

“But it’s a good step in the right direction.”

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool, who stormed to their first win in five in all competitions – are still nine points adrift of the top four – but closed the gap on the top six to three with a game in hand.

Gakpo swiftly switched his focus to Saturday’s home game against Nottingham Forest.

The Netherlands striker added: “We won this game, it was a good game, but now we have to look forward and we have to win the next game.”

Liverpool appear to have rediscovered their top form before the run-in, with several players providing high points.

Jota scored his first league goals in over a year and Colombia forward Luis Diaz made his first appearance since October off the bench after a knee injury.

Manager Jurgen Klopp was also delighted for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who displayed his full passing range from a roving midfield role to help dismantle Leeds.

“He won the ball back for the first goal from that position as well,” Klopp said. “It was impressive.

“The highlight was the last pass [for Nunez’s goal], but he had a few more. Wherever Trent is, he can be decisive with his passes very often for us.

“That’s how it is and you could see that he enjoyed it.”

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates with team-mate Cody Gakpo (R) after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Leeds look to be in freefall after following up a 5-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace with another woeful defensive performance, which head coach Javi Gracia could not explain.

He said: “I don’t have – in this moment – an explanation for that.

“But what they can say is the players always thrive, the players always work hard during the week, try to prepare for the next game.”

Leeds, who are still just two points above the bottom three, must pick themselves up again after shipping 11 goals in back-to-back home games.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (2nd from L) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the fifth goal during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 60 league goals now conceded this season is more than any of their top-flight rivals.

“In this game and to be honest in the second half in the last game, we didn’t compete at our level,” Gracia added.

“We need to improve that because we have seven important games left. We have to give our best face.”