Premier League | Liverpool ended their winless run by thrashing Leeds 6-1
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates scoring the team’s fourth goal with Cody Gakpo during the Premier League match against Leeds United on April 17, 2023 | Image Credit: Reuters
Liverpool won for the first time in five games in the English Premier League after beating Leeds 6-1 on Monday.
Liverpool have not tasted victory in over six weeks, since routing Manchester United 7-0.
But after Cody Gakpo’s opener and Mohamed Salah’s quickfire addition for a 2-0 halftime lead, Liverpool tore Leeds apart in the second half. Salah and Diogo Jota finished with a pair each, and Darwin Nunez came off the bench to score late on.
Leeds halved the deficit two minutes after the break when Ibrahima Konate latched on to possession by Luis Sinisterra, who lifted his effort past goalkeeper Alisson to make it 2-1.
But Leeds’ defense collapsed in familiar fashion, suffering back-to-back heavy defeats at home eight days after losing to Crystal Palace 5-1. Leeds have conceded 60 goals in the league, more than any other side,
Liverpool remain eighth in the standings, two points behind Brighton. Leeds’ survival hopes have been dealt another major blow by remaining 16th, two points above the drop zone.
Best performance of the season: Klopp
Jurgen Klopp hailed what he called Liverpool’s best performance of the season.
“The moment in the game I enjoyed the most was the 92nd minute,” said the Reds manager. “It’s 6-1 and we lost the ball and there are four players chasing.
“From a counter-pressing point of view that was definitely the best game we’ve played this season, probably holding as well.
“We were calm in the decisive moments to pass exceptional balls. The second was super play by Mo. Curtis (Jones) to Robbo (Andrew Robertson), then to Cody (Gakpo) then the ball to Mo. Really good. Lots of good ones wait.”
Liverpool took the lead in the 34th minute in controversial fashion. Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to use his arm to control the ball when Junior Firpo was thrown away. But referee Craig Pawson allowed play to continue without VAR intervention after Alexander-Arnold received a return pass from Salah before crossing low for Gakpo to head home.
There was nothing controversial about the visitors’ second goal. Jota robbed Weston McKennie in midfield and Salah slipped, who smashed a left-footed finish into the top corner from the left edge of the penalty area.
The visitors struck twice in four minutes from their first two chances to take full control at halftime.
Leeds hit back two minutes after the restart. Ibrahima Konate was caught in possession by Sinisterra and the Colombian showed strength and composure to dink a neat finish past Alisson.
But Liverpool restored the two-goal lead five minutes later. Jota latched on to Jones’ defence-splitting pass and curled a first-time shot past Illan Meslier.
Leeds posted a long-range effort from Brenden Aaronson and Salah’s effort was ruled offside after a VAR check before Liverpool put the result beyond doubt in the 64th.
Robertson’s cross was assisted by Gakpo and the unmarked Salah converted his 15th league goal at the far post.
Liverpool rubberstamped its superiority with the fifth goal through Jota’s scuffed finish from Jordan Henderson’s cross in the 73rd.
The rout was completed in the final minute, with substitute Nunez’s clinical finish from Alexander-Arnold’s pass ruled out by VAR.