MATCH REPORT: Liverpool v Leeds United Premier League Wednesday 23rd February 2022


This game was meant to be played on Boxing Day, but it got rearranged for this midweek and the 2nd of a tough run for Leeds, as Liverpool looked to close the gap on Man City to three points, Leeds were looking over their shoulder. With all their injuries and form dipping, could Leeds produce a shock result or would Liverpool thrash them?

It was played at Anfield.

After four minutes, Liverpool won the ball back and Diaz’s curled shot deflected off Mane and behind.
Two minutes later, Alisson was hunted down by James who got a toe to the ball but Alisson stopped him from turning ball into an unguarded net before Liverpool cleared.

Liverpool penalty and 1st goal- Handball by Dallas
Just before the quarter hour, Liverpool attacked, Robertson crossed and it hit Dallas on the hand, the crowd appealed for a penalty and the referee pointed to the spot, Salah stepped up and scored into the bottom right corner.
Eight minutes later, Diaz got the ball on the left, slowed Ayling down then left him for dead after darting down the left, had Salah in support in the area but chose to go alone and didn’t quite catch it a she would have liked.

After 26 minutes, first Leeds attack as James’ touch released Rodrigo in acres of space in the Liverpool half, Leeds swarmed forward and Raphinha got the final touch on the cross but he was offside so no goal.

Just before the half hour, Liverpool countered as Diaz’s overlapping run found Robertson unmarked 12 yards out but he shanked his shot and Meslier gathered.

2nd Liverpool goal Brilliance from Matip
A minute later, Matip had freedom of the pitch to drive into midfield, he shifted the ball to Salah and continued his run into the box where Salah fed him in on goal, and scooped a brilliant goal over Meslier.

2nd Liverpool penalty and 3rd goal Ayling fouled Mane
Three minutes later, Mane was in on goal, Ayling nibbled at his heels but Mane was away, tried to go round Meslier but went down after more contact from Ayling, the referee after hesitation pointed to the spot for the 2nd time, VAR checked and agreed, Salah went same as his first one into the top corner, Leeds again were getting battered, and was going to be a long night for Leeds.

After 42 minutes, Liverpool freekick into the area found Fabinho who had a open goal, but ballooned it over.
In the 1st minute of stoppage time, Salah strode into the final 3rd but Leeds blocked his route to goal. A minute later, the ball broke for Alexander-Arnold in midfield, he sent a superb 1st time ball to release Salah upfield , he had Meslier to beat to complete his hat-trick and lifted it over keeper, but Firpo raced back to hack ball clear.

Halftime score: Liverpool 3-0 Leeds United
Liverpool were good, although 2 penalties helped them , Leeds defending was poor again, it would try to be a damage limitation exercise in the 2nd half for Leeds.
After 48 minutes, Diaz plucked the ball out of the air, flicked it in the air couple of times and then bamboozled 3 Leeds defenders with super turn into the space, Leeds cleared before Salah could reach the cross.
Seven minutes later, Thiago sprayed perfectly weighted pass wide which Robertson took in his stride before shifting to Mane who dragged a left footed shot wide from 20 yards.
Just before the hour, Salah cut inside off the left, shaped to shoot a few times before finally shooting for far corner, but Meslier got it at the 2nd attempt.

Just after the hour, Salah knocked ball to Jones who raced down right and into Leeds area, where he chose to square for Salah who opened his body, leant back and shanked his shot over
Two minutes later, Raphinha raced into space down the left, Leeds players raced forward in support but Raphinha’s quality was poor as went behind for goal kick.
After 66 minutes, Roberts led Leeds charge through midfield before finding Raphinha who cut inside off the right onto his left foot and stung Alisson’s palms with a rasping shot.
After 70 minutes, Roberts released Firpo in space down the left and cut back fell to Dallas who swung his left foot at the ball and dragged the shot well wide.

With fifteen minutes left, Mane lifted the ball into Leeds area and Alexander-Arnold tried plucking it down but Leeds cleared, a minute later, Robertson swung a delicious ball in from the left towards Mane and Salah, fell for Salah but a wicked bounce took the ball away from him.

4th Liverpool goal  Mane into roof of net
After a better 2nd half by Leeds, Liverpool eventually got their 4th as Henderson pounced on Meslier’s poor kick, found Salah and spun in behind defence to run onto an unbelievable reverse pass by Salah and selflessly squared for Mane who rifled one into the roof of the net.
After 87 minutes, Salah raced and won a Liverpool corner, cleared as far as Milner on edge of box, he leathered a shot towards goal which was cleared.

5th Liverpool goal  Open goal for Mane
In the 90th minute, a 2nd goal for Mane as Milner played a perfectly weighted pass down left for Origi to chase , got to the ball ahead of Meslier who smothered the shot, ball ricocheted to Mane who scored into an open net.

6th Liverpool goal- Van Dijk free header, shocking Leeds defending and humiliating

In the 3rd minute of stoppage time, there was still time for one more Liverpool goal as Robertson curled a corner into the box, and Van Dijk had freedom of the area to head forcefully into the net.

Fulltime score: Liverpool 6-0 Leeds United
A sensational win for Liverpool who close the gap at the top to three points behind Man City, for Leeds they are definitely in a relegation battle this season, as they are now only three points above the drop zone and teams around them have started picking points up. It is squeaky bum time for Leeds.

Leeds fans love Bielsa, but he never changes his style, is that why they keep conceding goals, is it down to Injuries? There were some fans on a post match phone in calling and messaging saying they’ve lost faith with him.

Highlights of this game are at this link:
Next for Leeds is their 3rd game of this tough week at home to Tottenham on Saturday 26th February at Elland Road with a 12:30pm kickoff.

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