• Thomas Barnes

Late Llorente equaliser prevents Top 4 place for L’pool


With the plans for a new Super League being the centre of attention in the past 48 hours and Liverpool being a team that had accepted the invitation, Jurgen Klopp will want his players to have the PL top four at the forefront of his mind in their encounter with Leeds United.

A late header from Diego Llorente canceled out Sadio Mané’s early strike to prevent Liverpool from going into the top four of the Premier League.

Liverpool began with a bright start with Thiago skipping past Kalvin Philips and his venomous strike is tipped over by Meslier.

Minutes later, Firmino tries his luck from long range, but the Brazilian’s effort is straight down the throat of the goalkeeper.

Liverpool continued their high press on Leeds’ backline, and it was providing Liverpool with plenty of chances. This time a weaving run by Jota is blocked by Philips.

The first threatening attack by Leeds came in the 20th minute. A wicked ball from the left from Jack Harrison required a crucial touch by Ozan Kabak to steer the ball away from onrushing Leeds attackers.

Moments after, Fabinho gifts the ball to Leeds, and Bamford pounces on the mistake but Alisson denies the striker immediately with a ricochet off Fabinho sees it out for a corner.

The half-hour mark brought the first goal of the game as a defensive splitting pass from Jota finds a wonderful run by Alexander-Arnold who provided Mané with the simple task of firing into an empty net.

Liverpool could’ve doubled their lead instantly as another incredible run by Alexander-Arnold is found effortlessly by Thiago. The right-back laid the ball back to Jota who fired way over.

If anyone would want to score in this fixture, it would be James Milner, against his former club. He had a chance to do just that but his left-footed volley whistled way past the post.

A rare attack by Leeds provided Roberts with a chance to strike from the edge of the Liverpool box but the Welshman could only find the gloves of Alisson.

The second half started with another opportunity for Liverpool as Firmino dribbles past a couple of defenders and his left-footed effort is parried out for a corner by Meslier.

The following corner is met by Jota but he could only head over. The Portuguese international will believe he should’ve done better.

Liverpool had a slight scare as VAR reviewed a potential handball by Trent Alexander-Arnold, but they believed the right back’s arm was in a natural position.

Leeds best chance up came within 20 minutes of the second half with a lovely link-up play between Roberts and Harrison which needed Alisson to deny Harrison from close range.

Leeds continued their pressure and another immense save by Alisson was required to keep Liverpool’s lead as Roberts fired at the Brazilian inside the box.

Meslier gave the ball straight to Mo Salah from a goal kick but Struijk did well to get himself in front of the Egyptian’s effort.

The final 10 minutes saw Liverpool soak up a lot of Leeds pressure but a superb Thiago pass picked out Salah who had the chance to put the game to bed, but he could only drag his effort narrowly wide of the post.

Leeds’ pressure is rewarded late on as a perfect corner from Harrison met the head of Llorente who left Allison helpless in preventing the ball from hitting the back of the net.

With seconds left, it was Liverpool who had the last chance as Oxlade-Chamberlain couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and could only stab the ball into the arms of Meslier from inside the Leeds box.

Ratings

Leeds United:

Meslier (5), Alioski (6), Struijk (7). Llorente (8), Ayling (6), Philips (6), Dallas (6), Roberts (6), Harrison (7), Costa (6), Bamford (7)

Subs: Poveda (6), Klich (6), Hernandez (N/A)

Liverpool:

Alisson (8), Robertson (6), Fabinho (6), Kabak (7), Alexander-Arnold (7), Wijnaldum (6), Thiago (7), Milner (7), Jota (6), Firmino (6), Mané (7)

Subs: Salah (6), Oxlade Chamberlain (N/A)

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