Liverpool’s change in style under Jurgen Klopp paid off as they scored six at Elland Road in an emphatic 6-1 win over Leeds United. They were patient in the first half, and then devastating when they needed to be as they scored with their first two attempts on goal.
The first half an hour wasn’t thrilling as both sides strived to work the other out, and Liverpool’s possession was not penetrative. Trent Alexander-Arnold was deployed in the inverted full-back role, moving into central midfield when the Reds had the ball, and Leeds were able to keep them at arms length.
Then they exploded into life, albeit with a touch of fortune. Junior Firpo attempted to clear but the ball hit Trent Alexander-Arnold’s arm. Even though it clearly hit his arm, play continued and Mo Salah passed the ball over to Cody Gakpo who tapped the ball into an empty net. It sparked the game into life and moments later Diogo Jota placed the ball into the path of Salah who let the ball run across his body and fired the ball into the near post.
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Liverpool had exerted their dominance onto the game, and it was a more considered approach. Just as we’ve seen with Man City this season, they can just pass their opponents into submission, without the need for high-energy and risky football. Klopp’s side for so long were no as the relentless pressers but this testing season has certainly changed them.
Instead of chasing Leeds, they just showed their superiority and were rarely troubled. The only issue they faced was the one they got themselves into at the start of the second half when Ibrahima Konate lost the ball on the edge of his own box and Luis Sinisterra nicked it before dinking the ball over Alisson.
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It was a goal that got the crowd back onside, but Liverpool responded in devastating fashion. Curtis Jones won the ball in midfield and then picked out a perfect pass to Diogo Jota who curled one past Islan Meslier to end his run of 23 Premier League games without a goal.
The second half was played with far more intensity from the visiting side, as the confidence that has deserted them this season began to flow back through their veins. Andy Robertson went on an energetic burst forward before getting the ball over to Salah who made it four with ease.
Five came when Jordan Henderson who fizzed one to the edge of the box and Diogo Jota got his second of the night and he found the corner via the post. Some way to end the goal drought he has been on. Then, Trent popped one over for substitute Darwin Nunez who ran in behind the defensive line and finished to make it six.
Six of the best for Liverpool in a terrific away performance, but this was truly tragic for Leeds. Last time out at home they conceded five v Crystal Palace, and now their defensive woes have got even worse. They hover just two points above the drop zone, but their goal difference has taken a hammering.