Premier League champions Liverpool got their 2020/21 campaign off to a winning start, with Jurgen Klopp’s side beating newly-promoted Leeds United 4-3 in a thrilling encounter at Anfield this evening.
Liverpool looked sharp right from the off and would take the lead after just four minutes, Mohamed Salah blasting home a penalty kick after Leeds recent signing Robin Koch was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the area.
Leeds would strike back on 12 minutes and it would come in the form of an early goal of the season contender. Young winger Jack Harrison brilliantly taking down a drilled Kalvin Phillips pass, before beating Trent Alexander-Arnold, driving into the area, and firing a low effort past Alisson.
Liverpool would retake the lead on 20 minutes after Virgil Van Dijk rose highest to power home a perfectly delivered corner from Andy Robertson.
Van Dijk would go from hero to zero not long after, however, the Dutchman’s failure to deal with a routine ball over the top, allowing Leeds striker Patrick Bamford to swoop in and clip the ball past Alisson for the equaliser.
Then in keeping with what was a breathtaking encounter, Jurgen Klopp’s side would take the lead for the third time after just 33 minutes of football. Egyptian attacker Salah bagging his second with a thunderous volleyed effort from just inside the box.
20 minutes into the second half and last seasons Championship champions would draw level once again, Mateusz Klich expertly controlling a Helder Costa cross and volleying home.
Both teams looked understandably tired as the game entered its final stages and it looked likely that the sides would have to settle for a point. However, a clumsy challenge on Fabinho from club record signing Rodrigo handed Salah the chance to win the game from the penalty spot and Liverpool’s number 11 duly obliged, sealing the win and possession of the match ball in the 88th minute.
Speaking afterwards Reds boss Klopp admitted his sides defending left a lot to be desired at times, but overall, the German coach was left beaming by the ‘spectacle’ of a game he had witnessed and paid tribute to Bielsa’s impressive outfit.
“What a game, what an opponent, what a performance from both teams. A proper spectacle, I loved that,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“It is pretty rare you see that many goals in a game, we have left space for improvement in our defending but that is not unusual for a first game. Our players have played a few days ago for their countries so it is possible.
“The opponent forced us to make mistakes, we can do better, we will do better but I loved a lot about the game against a well-organised, passionate side like Leeds. We used our skills to cause them problems, we could have scored more and in the end we used set-pieces which is fine by me.
“It is not like riding a bike, you can lose something in pre-season and it takes time to all come together again. I am really positive about this game. Leeds will have a good season if they can keep up that intensity and they did it in the Championship with more games so why not?”
Next up for Liverpool is an away trip, Klopp’s side set to face big spending Chelsea in a Super Sunday clash next weekend.