Premier League

Liverpool Thrash Leeds to Close Gap on City

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Liverpool moved to within three points of Premier League leaders Manchester City with a rip-roaring 6-0 win over Leeds at Anfield on Wednesday.

Mohamed Salah converted two penalties and assisted Joel Matip before the break against a shell-shocked Leeds and the hosts maintained dominance after the interval with Sadio Mane netting a double and Virgil van Dijk heading home a sixth in stoppage time.

With a 6-0 win over Leeds at Anfield on Wednesday, Liverpool drew within three points of Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Against a shell-shocked Leeds, Mohamed Salah converted two penalties and assisted Joel Matip before the break, and the hosts maintained their domination after the break, with Sadio Mane scoring twice and Virgil van Dijk heading home a sixth in stoppage time.

The visitors’ open style against top opponents was exploited by Jurgen Klopp’s side, with the first half played at a furious pace.

Fabinho snatched the ball in midfield and found Luis Diaz, who fed Andy Robertson down the left flank with 15 minutes remaining. Stuart Dallas certainly blocked Salah’s strong cross with his hand, and referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot, with Salah sending Illan Meslier in the opposite direction.

Just 15 minutes later, Matip grabbed the ball around the halfway line, looked up, and found Salah down the right wing, who threaded an inch-perfect back pass for Matip to blast past Meslier.

Liverpool’s German-born Cameroonian defender Joel Matip (C) celebrates with Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Leeds at the Anfield stadium, in Liverpool, north west England on February 23, 2022. – (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

Team News

Jurgen Klopp made five changes to the Liverpool lineup that beat Norwich on Saturday. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson returned to the full-back positions, and Fabinho, Thiago, and Curtis Jones were brought into the starting lineup as the new midfield trio. Liverpool bench included Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Gomez, and Kostas Tsimikas.

Marcelo Bielsa made two changes to the Leeds United team beaten by Manchester United on Sunday. Raphinha returned to the starting line-up after starting Sunday’s 4-2 defeat on the bench, while Junior Firpo got the nod from the start in a defensive reshuffle as Robin Koch (concussion) and Diego Llorente miss out.

Liverpool ramped up the pressure as the half progressed, with Salah threading another pinpoint pass for the onrushing Mane, who looked to round Meslier before being upended by Luke Ayling’s trailing leg to concede another penalty, which Salah converted with aplomb, again.

Klopp’s side continued to rattle Leeds, cutting through midfield with ease and inventive combinations to find pathways into the box. It should have been four before the break, with Trent Alexander-Arnold whipping a free-kick behind the defensive line and Matip’s touch finding Fabinho, who blazed wide.

Liverpool remained dominant after the break, but the pace of the game slowed as Leeds appeared to assert a degree of damage control, with Salah missing a second opportunity to seal his hat-trick, blazing his effort over the bar after being found by Curtis Jones.

Mane scored his first goal 10 minutes from time. Jordan Henderson won a loose ball from a poor Meslier clearance before feeding Salah, who produced a stunning reverse, return pass for the England midfielder to then sweep a searching ball across the box for Mane to fire home.

Substitute Divock Origi created the fifth goal, breaking down the left flank and colliding with Meslier, with the ball spinning into the path of Mane to double his haul.

The sixth and final blow for Leeds came in stoppage time with Virgil van Dijk heading home unopposed from a Robertson corner.

Mohamed Salah was named Man of the Match.

Before the interval, the Egyptian could have had a hat-trick, but he still had three goal involvements, converting two penalties and assisting Matip, as well as playing the incisive pass for Mane that led to the second penalty kick.

Whats Next?

On Sunday, Liverpool will face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final.

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Main image credits: Embed from Getty Images

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A 26 year old business management graduate with a flair for words. Football saved my life, so I dedicate a large part of my life to it. I love sport in general & I am obsessed with greatness, genius or anything out of the ordinary.