Leeds United v Liverpool: Pictures
Mohamed Salah continued his personal vendetta against Leeds with two more goals against them as a rampant Liverpool pushed them closer to the relegation cliff-edge. For Leeds a harrowing defeat was their game in hand on the clubs below them gone and their goal difference depth-charged. With seven games to go, their two-point buffer above the relegation zone is gossamer-thin.
They have the worst defensive record in the Premier League and with 11 goals conceded in their last two games at Elland Road, the fortress has become concerningly crumbly. They are in deep trouble.
The sight of Salah is bad news for a lot of defences but none more so than Leeds’. No Liverpool player has scored more Premier League goals against them. Monday night’s double took Salah’s to nine. With Diogo Jota also striking twice after Cody Gakpo had broken the deadlock it was one-way traffic.
The pounding was revenge for Liverpool for their only home league defeat of the season – a 2-1 loss to Leeds at Anfield in October. The problems for Jurgen Klopp’s men this season have come on the road but they were ruthlessly assured on their travels across of the M62 last night as they took Leeds to pieces.
Having been put to the sword 5-1 by Crystal Palace in their last game at Elland Road, Leeds set up to sit back and try to hit Liverpool on the break. Javi Gracia’s plan sort of worked initially with Leeds carving out the best of what passed for early chances but it unravelled though once Liverpool took the lead in the 35th minute.
Trent Alexander-Arnold blocked off a pass out of defence by Junior Firpo and although the ball struck the Liverpool full-back’s elbow play was allowed to continue, presenting Alexander-Arnold with the opportunity to exchange passes with Salah down the right and then slide the ball across perfectly for Cody Gakpo to tuck the chance away.
Leeds had a case for a free-kick but when you are in the soup near the foot of the division the breaks tend to fall the wrong way. Four minutes later it was 2-0 as Jota robbed Weston McKennie in his own half, drove 50 yards and set up Salah for a thumping finish past Illan Meslier in the Leeds goal.
Leeds were offered false hope when Luis Sinisterra cashed in on a terrible defensive lapse from Ibrahima Konate to pull a goal back two minutes in. As the French international struck up a match and lazily lit a Gitanes, Sinisterra nipped in and chipped neatly over the advancing Alisson.
But in the 52nd minute a beautiful pass from Curtis Jones put Digo Jota in and the Portuguese made no mistake. Aaronson went close to pulling one back for Leeds, grazing the intersection between crossbar and post with a curling effort just before the hour.
Salah had a second goal disallowed when Virgil van Dijk was fractionally offisde from a smart free-kick move. However the Egyptian was not to be denied in the 64th minute as he struck again after a surging run down the left by Jota and touch on by Gakpo.
Jota pounced again 17 minutes from time, finishing a training ground move which reduced the Leeds defence to dummies imperiously from the edge of the area, to trigger a mass exodus from the home support.
Luis Diaz came on for the final ten minutes for his first appearance since October and to cap what was pretty much the perfect night for Liverpool, his fellow sub Darwin Nunez added a sixth at the death. The boos, from those remaining inside Elland Road, rang out loud and long.
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