Leeds showed exactly how they will tackle the Premier League under Marcelo Bielsa in a 4-3 defeat by champions Liverpool at Anfield. They may not get any points, but there were lots of positives to take from that.
FULL TIME: #LUFC go toe-to-toe with the defending champions but fall to a late penalty. 4-3— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 12, 2020
Liverpool took a early lead through Mohamed Salah from the penalty spot after a harsh handball call against debutant Robin Koch.
Leeds improved after the goal, Helder Costa had a goal disallowed for offside. Then Kalvin Phillips found Jack Harrison with a great pass - he touch a great 1st touch, and a better second one to beat Joe Gomez before driving the ball into the bottom corner with his right foot.
Kalvin Phillips + JACK HARRISON pic.twitter.com/G97r82vD60— Mundo Bielsa (@MundoBielsa) September 12, 2020
Liverpool regained the lead through a Virgil Van Dijk header from an Andy Robertson corner, Robin Koch lost him completely and it was a really poor piece of defending. However, Leeds got back on terms again through Patrick Bamford. He intercepted a Van Dijk clearance and finished well.
Then, 3-2, again from a set-piece. This time a Robertson free-kick was headed out by Pascal Struijk to the edge of the box. Salah was hanging back as everyone dropped into the box, it fell to him and he lashed it home with a great finish. What a first 45 minutes back in the Premier League.
Just the 5 goals in the first 45 minutes. Still all to play for in the second half! 3-2— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 12, 2020
Leeds got back on level terms just after the hour mark. Mateusz Klich played it wide to Helder Costa, Klich continued his run into the box and Costa found him with a great ball. Klich took a great touch and volleyed into the bottom-left corner.
It was another penalty that gave Liverpool the win. Rodrigo gave away a really stupid penalty, turning his back and dangling a leg, Salah calmly covnerted it.
Time now to look at each player and how they performed. As always you can tell me how wrong I am @mightywhitespod or @ThruItAllLUFC on twitter.
Illan Meslier - Poor clearance coming off his line would have cost Leeds a goal had Andy Robertson not been a long way offside. Van Dijk’s header was straight at him but he went back over the line with it - maybe could have done better but that might be harsh. Made an excellent save to prevent a Struijk own-goal. Some good distribution, some sloppy. Started the second half with another good save from Georginio Wijnaldum and then came off his line well to deny Salah. 6.5/10
Luke Ayling - Couple of good early pieces of defending against Sadio Mane. Put Bamford clean through with an excellent piece of play. The most defensively sound out there in a Leeds shirt. 7.5/10
What can you say? Missing our most experienced player and captain, did ourselves proud.— Joel Goldman (@mightyscoop) September 12, 2020
Stunning goals from Harrison and Klich.
Bamford off the mark.
Costa, Ayling and Phillips all sensational.
One daft penalty, one massively unjust.
The rollercoaster begins#lufc #livlee pic.twitter.com/QNHY1ddxwY
Robin Koch - Early penalty given against him for handball. The shot deflected off his knee and hit his arm, very harsh decision. Lost Van Dijk for Liverpool’s second goal, that was really poor and can’t be excused by his recent arrival. Improved after that poor opening 20 minutes which I will put down to combination of nerves and unfamiliarity with his teammates. Put Harrison through in the second half with a fantastic long pass which lead to Leeds second disallowed goal for offside. 5/10
Pascal Struijk - Looked a mile better than the aberration we saw against Cardiff City the last time he played centre-back in the first team. Good strength and calm in possession. His header out that fell to Salah was a bit unlucky, but he should have headed the ball out for a corner rather than attempt a blind back header, poor decision. 6/10
Stuart Dallas - Good play out from the back in the build to Leeds’ second goal, although his pass forward was off target. Struggled to defend against Salah, but so does everyone. 6.5/10
Kalvin Phillips - Excellent pass to Harrison in the build up to his goal. Made a few really good tackles. Did the usual stuff well. 7/10
Mateusz Klich - Found space in attacking areas whenever Leeds went forward in the first half. Had to do a lot of chasing throughout the game. Similar until 65 minutes when he made it 3-3 with an excellent touch and volley, having been the man to play it wide in the first place. Made a brilliant block to deny Wijnaldum. Subbed late looking very tired. 7.5/10
GOAL! Klich scores for Leeds United. Fantastic finish #LIVLEE #LUFC— FTTV World (@FTTV10) September 12, 2020
Pablo Hernandez - A couple of moments in the first half but not driving things in attack in the way he normally would. Quiet day by his standards. 5.5/10
Helder Costa - Had a calm finish disallowed, rightly, for offside. Couple of good moments on the ball. Excellent ball to set up Mateusz Klich for Leeds’ third goal. 6.5/10
Jack Harrison - Scored a fantastic goal. great first touch, good skill to beat Gomez and a great finish. Involved in some intricate play at times which got Leeds up the pitch well. 7.5/10
Patrick Bamford - Really good movement early on and was unlucky not to receive the ball when in great areas. Went clean through from an Ayling pass but tried to go around Allison instead of shooting. Made no such mistake the second time, intercepted a Van Dijk clearance and finished well with his right foot. Lead the line well and took one of his two chances. 7.5/10
⚽️ “Van Dijk has presented it to Bamford...” As we wait for the second half, check out our second goal of the game pic.twitter.com/vbXGG69fk1— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 12, 2020
Rodrigo (for Bamford, 62mins) - Barely touched the ball. Gave away a stupid penalty. It was the sort of challenge that you would rightly criticise a small child for if they made it. 4.5/10
Tyler Roberts (for Hernandez, 62mins) - Got on the ball a little bit. One bad giveaway to Salah in a dangerous area. 5/10
Jamie Shackleton (for Klich, 81mins) - N/A