Leeds United 0-3 Liverpool: Premier League – as it happened
Right then, I’ll be off. Here’s Louise Taylor’s match report again. Bye!
Sky have shown a replay of half of the Struijk challenge, the bit before he makes contact with either ball or player, and it is clear beyond all doubt that he is aiming only for the ball. Of course that doesn’t prove that he shouldn’t have been sent off, just that it wasn’t an act of premeditated violence.
Jürgen Klopp talks to Sky:
It is a bad injury. Ankle. I heard it was dislocated, we could put it back. He’s now in the hospital, so we have to wait. He played an incredible game, he’s an incredible player. Now he’s out. We have to be there and we will be there. We will play football without him, but we will wait for him as well because obviously he’s a top player. I saw the situation. I could see his foot not in the right place, that’s why we were all shocked, absolutely. I spoke to the referee [while Elliott was being treated] but nothing important. I’m not sure it’s the right moment to speak about these kind of things.
Klopp struggled to talk about the incident, apparently more because he’s not sure what he can or should say than because he is overcome with emotion, so the interviewer moved to the rest of the game:
We were really good. We played for a long period a top, top game. After the red card and Harvey off we lost rhythm a little bit, gave them too many counter-attacks and set pieces, but who cares in that moment. We played top football, we should have made more of the football we played. But in the end, 3-0 is a top result and we are not that greedy to stand here now and say we should have had six, seven. We had a lot of finishes, a lot of shots, but not good enough. We have space for improvement, but the football we played was exceptional.
Virgil van Dijk has spoken:
All our thoughts and prayers are going to Harvey. Hopefully he recovers quickly and as good as possible from it. We have no idea what the diagnosis is at the moment but it looked bad. Apart from that it was a fantastic win here. A tense game. I enjoyed the atmosphere because obviously we didn’t feel it for a while.
From the moment it happened you saw Mo shout to the side that it was really serious. You saw the reaction of Harvey and you know it’s serious. For the treatment period you do nothing, standing still, and then you have to refocus. We had to deal with it, and we tried to deal with it in the best possible day.
Everyone knew beforehand this would be an intense, hard game, with their fans behind them pushing them forward. So we had to be brave, ready for the battle, and embrace the atmosphere too. A 3-0 win away, keeping a clean sheet, is something to be very happy about. There’s still a sad feeling because of Harvey, but we’ll see what the outcome is for him.
Louise Taylor has filed her match report from Elland Road:
Joy and sorrow swirled in the West Yorkshire air as Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah reached a significant milestone and Liverpool signalled their title intent but lost their teenage midfielder Harvey Elliott to a potentially serious injury.
By the time Leeds were reduced to 10 men after Pascal Struijk’s dismissal for his part in that incident, Marcelo Bielsa’s team were already heading for a defeat which leaves them still seeking their first win of the season.
With a first-time swipe of his left foot, Salah registered his 100th Premier League goal, the Egyptian arriving in precisely the right place at the right time to arrow Trent Alexander-Arnold’s near post cross beyond Illan Meslier.
That cameo served as a rebuke to those Leeds fans who had delighted in serenading Alexander-Arnold with choruses of “You’re just a shite Kyle Walker”. That ditty stuck in their throats as Joël Matip surged forward from central defence before exchanging passes with Salah and then playing in the right back.
Much more here:
On Sky, Jamie Redknapp says he hopes Elliott’s injury is “a clean break”, which suggests the only doubt is how badly broken the player’s leg is, rather than whether it is broken at all. He also describes Struijk’s challenge as “innocuous”.
Here’s the photograph that Harvey Elliott posted on Instagram:
Thiago’s pass for Liverpool’s third was straightforward, but it was brilliantly nonchalant. The Brazilian had an outstanding afternoon in midfield, and is almost offensively cool sometimes.
“I don’t know if this is a football problem or specifically an English football problem, but it’s high time that tackles where you land or follow through on the trailing leg/ankle are banned,” says Ricky Gill. “The concept of ball first means nothing. If you land on someone’s ankle/leg who is running full pelt you are likely to injure them.”
Final score: Leeds United 0-3 Liverpool
90+8 mins: It’s all over! Liverpool were excellent, but the injury to Harvey Elliott has certainly detracted from a fine performance and excellent result.
90+6 mins: Keita has come on for Thiago.
90+4 mins: Harvey Elliott has posted an Instagram story in which he gives a thumbs up to camera and says he is already on “the road to recovery”.
GOAL! Leeds 0-3 Liverpool (Mane, 90+2 min)
He’s finally got a chance he can’t miss! Thiago finds him in the penalty area, his turn fools Cooper and his shot finds the corner of the net.
90+1 mins: There will be eight minutes of stoppage time.
87 mins: There is so much space in attack for Liverpool now, and they are mainly using it to give the ball to Mane, who is finding novel ways to not score.
83 mins: Bamford steals the ball from Fabinho and shoots from the centre circle, but Alisson tips it over the bar! “All sympathy with Elliot, and of course we haven’t had the benefit of proper replays, but looks an incredibly harsh red card for Struijk,” says Andrew Lees. “Looked a decent tackle. Obviously the outcome was horrible but that can’t dictate the punishment.” See also Son Heung-Min at Everton after he injured Andre Gomes a couple of years back. I would need to see Struijk’s challenge again, and I haven’t been allowed to, but that is what Gary Neville has been saying on commentary.
82 mins: Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on for Jota.
81 mins: How Mane hasn’t scored in this match is a complete mystery. This time Jota passes to him, and he cuts inside Ayling before shooting into Meslier’s heel and wide.
79 mins: Jota dummies Robertson’s pull-back from the left and Henderson runs onto the ball, a yard or two outside the area, and hits a shot that is too weak to worry Meslier.
76 mins: Raphinha, played onside by Alexander-Arnold, is released into an enormous amount of pace on the right wing. He cuts inside and pulls the ball back from the byline, but Alisson gets to it before Bamford.
75 mins: Salah tees up Mane, who should have scored but took a bit too much time and Ayling blocks brilliantly.
73 mins: Alexander-Arnold runs down the right, cuts onto his left foot and scuffs a shot into Meslier’s arms.
71 mins: The game has inevitably changed since the Elliott injury and the Struijk red card. Instead of playing at whirlwind space Liverpool are being a bit more patient in possession, but the slowed-down speed is suiting Leeds.
70 mins: Phillips crosses from the right, and Fabinho heads it practically out of the gloves of the advancing Alisson. Liverpool get away with it.
68 mins: Leeds make their final change, bringing Daniel James on for Harrison.
66 mins: Henderson brings down Firpo and the free kick runs menacingly across the area before bouncing up to Bamford, who heads a difficult small-fraction-of-a-chance wide.
64 mins: The game has now restarted, with Henderson in Liverpool’s midfield and Leeds a man down.
63 mins: Elliott is stretchered off the pitch, but is leaning up as he goes, applauding the fans, which is encouraging.
62 mins: Liverpool were preparing a substitution when the injury occurred, and apparently Jordan Henderson was going to replace Elliott. And in other news, it turns out that Craig Pawson was already intending to send Struijk off but waited for VAR to confirm it was the right decision. Elliott is still being treated on the pitch.
Red card! Pascal Struijk has been sent off!
60 mins: VAR has told the referee to send Struijk off, and out comes the card. The injury is serious enough that Sky are not showing any replays of the challenge that caused it.
59 mins: Elliott was leading a Liverpool break when Struijk brought him down, and Salah, standing nearby, immediately called for assistance and then walked away, head in hands.
58 mins: Elliott is down, and this looks like a serious injury.
56 mins: Two efforts in three minutes from Roberts: a weak header easily caught, and just now a side-footed shot well wide. “Obviously he lacks experience but Harvey Elliot has looked good and should become a top player,” suggests Mike MacKenzie. His impact at Blackburn last year was extremely impressive, and hugely encouraging, but while he’s been neat enough in possession here he hasn’t achieved a huge amount with it.
53 mins: The ball is played through for Bamford to run onto. Van Dijk gets ahead of him and goes down very easily, causing the home fans to howl but not the referee to whistle. That really was a curious VAR check, with Mane only even possibly affecting one player on the line, who wouldn’t have been able to stop the shot anyway, and even then he ran out of the way.
GOAL! Leeds 0-2 Liverpool (Fabinho, 50 mins)
Alexander-Arnold’s corner finds Van Dijk, whose header hits Bamford and drops to Fabinho, who finds the net at the second attempt. There’s a long VAR check for possible offside based on Mane being in an offside position but basically minding his own business, and the goal stands!
49 mins: Incredible goal-saving challenge! Mane and Jota combine well on the left and suddenly Mane is racing through. Into the area he goes, but with two players to his right he decides to go it alone, runs into a defender - and Phillips runs into him - and the ball rolls to Salah, who was about to pass into an empty net when Struijk threw a leg out and somehow deflected it wide!
46 mins: Liverpool get the second half started.
The first half was fast and it was fun. There was only one goal but it might easily have ended 1-3, and Marcelo Bielsa has decided to make a change for the start of half two: Tyler Roberts is on for Rodrigo.
Half time: Leeds United 0-1 Liverpool
45+3 mins: The whistle sounds, and Liverpool go in a single goal up. The visitors have been superb and deservedly lead, but Leeds have threatened enough to know that there is potential in this game yet if they can manage to avoid letting any more goals in.
45+2 mins: Mane runs at the defence, but the touch to his left that is intended to open up a shooting chance is a bit heavy and he gives the ball away instead.
45+1 mins: At the end of a breathless half of football there will be two minutes of stoppage time.
43 mins: Chance for Leeds! Rodrigo’s cross from the left dips to Ayling beyond the far post, but he seems uncertain whether to head it in or volley it, and ends up kneeing it over the bar!
41 mins: From the free kick Alexander-Arnold shoots into the wall.
40 mins: The ball bounces off Elliott’s foot into his arm. The crowd screams for handball but the referee waves play on and Liverpool’s front three find themselves with only three players defending against them. Jota holds onto it a bit too long and then his pass forces Mane wide, but in the meantime Jota is tripped and Liverpool have a very good free-kick-based shooting chance.
38 mins: Elliott’s low 20-yarder rumbles just wide.
36 mins: Liverpool win a throw-in, and Robertson spends an astonishing amount of time with the ball about his head working out what to do with it. Then when he finally does throw it in, the referee makes him redo it.
33 mins: Llorente goes down injured, and is eventually led from the field by physios while Struijk comes on to replace him.
31 mins: Llorente is booked for pulling Jota, and Mane sends a low left-footer zipping across goal and just wide.
30 mins: Bamford plays the ball back to Rodrigo, who feeds it into the path of the striker again but he miscontrols and Robertson intervenes.
28 mins: Liverpool are absolutely purring at the moment, and are playing with such pace, movement and quality that they are practically irresistible.
28 mins: And the corner drops to an unmarked Van Dijk, whose header is poor and deflects wide.
27 mins: Now Elliott has a chance, but Meslier saves.
26 mins: Mane misses an open goal from five yards! Jota gets in down the right this time - Firpo is not having a fun afternoon - and from the byline pulls back a crucial yard behind Mane, who has to stretch, should surely still score, but scoops it into the air rather than the net.
25 mins: Liverpool have a goal disallowed. Salah is played through on the right, checks onto his left foot and lifts a beautiful cross to the far post, where Thiago heads in. Salah, though, was offside, and his beautiful cross was for nothing.
23 mins: Fabinho’s long, lofted and slightly overhit pass to Salah gives the Egyptian almost no chance of getting ahead of Firpo and keeping it on the pitch. He does both, another indication that generally seems to be in the mood today.
GOAL! Leeds 0-1 Liverpool (Salah, 20 mins)
Liverpool make the breakthrough, and the creative genius behind it is Joel Matip. He brings the ball from the defence through to the edge of the area, exchanges passes with Salah, puzzlingly turns down an obvious opportunity to play the Egyptian in and gives it instead to Alexander-Arnold, whose low cross is turned in by Salah at the near post!
18 mins: Alan Terlep has done some maths, regarding the fun fact in my preamble. “The odds that Leeds would play these six games in a row against teams with names in the second half of the alphabet are about 400 to 1,” he calculates, “but the odds that at least one team this year would pay 6 games in a row against those opponents is 89%.”
16 mins: It’s now 1-1 in bookings, after Fabinho is punished for tripping Raphinha.
15 mins: A lovely chipped pass from Salah to Jota, inside the area, who chests it down and volleys too close to Meslier.
13 mins: Where Leeds do manage to keep the ball, or win it high up the pitch, there is potential there for them. Phillips’ pass is only just too strong for Bamford, who would have been clean through.
12 mins: Cooper is booked for holding back Mane. The game is starting to coalesce into some kind of pattern now, and it involves Liverpool winning the ball back quickly and moving the ball to their attackers just as rapidly. What they haven’t yet done is get into the penalty area.
10 mins: Mane’s shot deflects wide after Harrison’s pass is intercepted.
7 mins: Alexander-Arnold sends a glorious cross skidding across the penalty area, but just too far ahead of Jota.
5 mins: Chance! And saved! Salah runs down the right, cuts inside Phillips and dives over his leg. The referee waves play on and Leeds hoist a long pass to Raphinha on the right, who runs into the box and passes infield to an untracked Rodrigo. It’s an excellent opportunity from just inside the area, but he lashes his shot at Alisson.
4 mins: A chance for Bamford, who was probably offside but is allowed to run onto the ball and slice a shot wide anyway.
3 mins: Leeds kicked off, and have had most of the ball since then, but the game has been played at hirdy-girdy speed and it’s all a bit chaotic.
1 min: Peeeeeep! This football match has begun!
The players come out, with Elland Road sounding in good voice this afternoon.
I thought Liverpool’s trainingwear reminded me of something I’ve previously seen someone wear ...
... and then I realised what it was:
So Leeds will revert to a back four, with Junior Firpo slotting in at left-back and Pascal Struijk dropping to the bench in their only change. Liverpool are without Roberto Firmino as expected, with Jota taking his place in the front three, and bring Thiago in for Jordan Henderson.
Team news is in, and here are the key names today:
Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Llorente, Cooper, Firpo, Phillips, Raphinha, Dallas, Rodrigo, Harrison, Bamford. Subs: Roberts, Klaesson, James, Struijk, Cresswell, Summerville, Klich, McCarron, Shackleton.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Elliott, Fabinho, Thiago, Salah, Jota, Mane. Subs: Konate, Milner, Keita, Gomez, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Tsimikas, Kelleher.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
There is only one Premier League game today, a throwback to those days when televised matches were actually unusual. And it should be a good one, with Leeds becoming increasingly desperate to bank their first win of the season, Liverpool determined to prove themselves title contenders once again, and neither of these sides known for goalless draws (both teams’ last domestic stalemate, fact fans, was against Manchester United, and they haven’t drawn 0-0 against each other this century). The omens are good for both sides – Leeds haven’t lost at home in the league since February; Liverpool haven’t lost away in the league since two weeks earlier in February – which makes the omens pretty useless for match predicting purposes. Anyway, clearly something’s got to give here – unless this match, like these teams’ meeting at Elland Road in April, ends in a draw, in which case nothing will have given. I hope that’s clear for you.
Only read beyond this point if you are seated and of strong disposition. What follows could leave you so astonished you lose balance or even, briefly, consciousness, so proceed with caution. The Guardian will not be held accountable for the feelings of intense excitement or, indeed, disappointment the next two sentences might have.
****END OF WARNING****
Fun fact: But really, are you absolutely sure you should be doing this? You wouldn’t want to hurt yourself, after all. There will be no further warnings, and you will only have yourself to blame.
Actual fun fact: Only seven teams in the Premier League have names that start with a letter in the second half of the alphabet. Leeds play them all in their next eight games, and after today play six of them in a row. What are the odds?
Anyway, hello! Here’s a thing about Jurgen Klopp saying stuff about stuff: