You’d never have expected it after half an hour, but Liverpool hit Leeds for six, with all of the front three on target – including Diogo Jota‘s first goals in over a year!
Leeds 1-6 Liverpool
Premier League (30), Elland Road
April 17, 2023
Gakpo 35′ (assist: Alexander-Arnold)
Salah 01′ (assist: Jota)
Jota 52′ (assist: Jones)
Salah 64′ (assist: Gakpo)
Jota 73′ (assist: Henderson)
Nunez 90′ (assist: Alexander-Arnold)
Jurgen Klopp named an unchanged team, keeping Thiago, Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz on the bench.
The Reds had plenty of the ball early on, but didn’t create a chance and instead it was the hosts who should have taken the lead in the 7th minute when Rodrygo had a free header off a free kick.
Liverpool had 79 percent possession in the opening 20 minutes, but only one shot, compared to Leeds‘ three attempts on goal.
In fact, Liverpool’s first shot on target didn’t arrive until the 35th minute when Cody Gakpo tapped in the opening goal from inside the six-yard box.
The lead was doubled in style shortly after when Mo Salah fired into the top corner after Leeds lost possession in midfield and Diogo Jota played in the Egyptian.
Two goals inside four minutes turned the game on its head.
Half time: Leeds 0-2 Liverpool
- All of the front 3 on target
- Jota nets first goal in over a year
- First away win vs. non top-6 side this season
- Reds remain 8th in table
Leeds were back in the game within two minutes of the restart when Ibrahima Konate became the latest Liverpool player to gift an opponent a goal, forward Luis Sinisterra finishing well past Alisson after Konate messed up on the ball.
However, the two-goal lead was restored within five minutes when Curtis Jones played a lovely ball for Jota and the Portuguese finished well for his first goal since April last year.
Salah had the ball in the net again soon after but Van Dijk was offside from what was a well-worked set piece return.
Liverpool didn’t have to wait long to get their fourth though, Salah finishing off a superb counter attack that saw Andy Robertson bursting down the left and ended with Gakpo laying on for the No.11 to curl home in trademark style.
Klopp has repeatedly said that his side are suffering from a lack of confidence and all of a sudden they had some swagger back, looking likely to score and the forwards brimming with belief.
Henderson’s cross landed at the edge of the box and Jota fired it with renewed vigour for his second.
There was another positive too, with the introduction of Diaz – along with Nunez, Firmino and Milner – for the final 10 minutes, the Colombian returning for his first appearance since October.
A superb ball from Alexander-Arnold in the final minute was controlled and finished by Nunez for the sixth.
After failing to score a single goal against a team in the bottom half prior to this game this season, Liverpool emphatically put that statistic to bed.
They also recorded their first win in 43 days and their first away win against a team outside of the top six.
Next up is another relegation-threatened side, Nottingham Forest, at Anfield on Saturday.
TIA Man of the Match: Mo Salah
Referee: Craig Pawson
Leeds: Meslier; Kristensen, Koch, Struijk, Firpo; McKennie, Roca; Harrison, Sinisterra, Aaronson; Rodrigo
Subs: Robles, Wober, Cooper, Ayling, Forshaw, Summerville, Greenwood, Gnonto, Rutter
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho (Thiago 85′), Henderson (Milner 81′), Jones; Salah (Diaz 81′), Gakpo (Nunez 81′), Jota (Firmino 81′)
Subs not used: Kelleher, Elliott, Tsimikas, Matip
Next Match: Nott’m Forest (home, Saturday 22 April)