The mark of any great team is to rise from the depths of ordinary to reach the peaks of sublime.
Well, Liverpool are certainly in the league of the greatest Premier League teams ever, as they rose from a rather ordinary display against Chelsea in the 1-1 draw to a sublime 3-0 whitewash of Leeds United at Elland Road last evening.
A small number of Kopites who made the trip from Liverpool and millions more watching around the world were certainly more than satisfied as the three Reds’ stalwarts in Salah, Fabinho and Mane registered their names on the score sheet.
With this triumph, Liverpool are now unbeaten in their last 11 encounters against Leeds having won 8 and drawn 3 with their last loss coming more than two decades back in April 2001 as the Merseyside Maulers were conquered 2-1 at Anfield on that occasion.
Leeds United with this fourth successive loss since the inception of the season have piled up their most miserable campaign in any top-flight competition since 1958-59. Certainly not a good space to be in if you are a Peacocks’ fan.
So, without further ado lets dissect this rather pleasing performance The Reds showed in a game that also saw a red card:
Centurion Mohamed Salah, the difference maker in the first 45
Marcelo Bielsa’s team started this contest as the more assertive side creating their first opportunity on target in just the 4th minute as Rodrigo blasted a straight attempt at Reds’ keeper Alisson who was equal to the shot.
The visitors came back strong after the initial scare as Jota mounted a chance in the 14th minute when the Portuguese took down a Salah pass with his chest and hooked it on the volley to Leeds’ keeper Meslier who did well to take the sting out of the shot.
The momentum for The Reds would finally result in a hurrah in the 20th minute as the enigmatic Egyptian, Mohamed Salah put the visitors in front with a super strike to reach 100 goals in The Premier League after he was fed with a brilliant pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool were up by a goal to nil early as the team gathered around the Egyptian to congratulate him on becoming the fifth fastest to reach the century landmark in this competition.
Minutes later Mane had a chance to put the visitors two to the good as his shot went above the post. Liverpool were certainly looking up for this one.
The Reds would continue to dominate the remainder of the first half albeit the second was not to be found much akin to a treasure hunter looking for the elusive treasure only to be disappointed in his excursion at least for the moment.
Fab Fabinho and Majestic Mane seal the deal
As the second 45 began, Liverpool continued their dominance as Mane and Salah both fired their shots wide.
Leeds were lucky not to concede and one could just feel the second goal was around the corner.
Well the goal came in a matter of moments as Fabinho did well to capitalize on a corner from Alexander-Arnold scoring on his second attempt as VAR did check on Sadio Mane being offside albeit the goal was given.
The Brazilian midfielder had his first for The Reds in 15 months.
Seven minutes later Liverpool were dealt with a destructive blow as their teenage sensation Harvey Elliot was tackled rather roughly by Pascal Struijk who saw a red as the Liverpool midfielder was carried off the field on a stretcher.
Jurgen Klopp was furious with this tackle and rightfully so!
In time we should know the magnitude of Elliot’s injury and wish him all the best on a speedy recovery.
In the 75th minute, Leeds had a chance to get one back as Bamford’s attempt was saved with much confidence by Alisson.
At the other end, Liverpool would continue their offensive onslaught as Sadio Mane came close to giving The Merseyside Maulers their third, only to be denied by the Leeds keeper.
Alisson again was up to the task in the 83rd minute, keeping a long-range effort out by Bamford jumping high to thwart the ball away.
Liverpool would finally have their third in injury time as Sadio Mane after numerous unsuccessful attempts on goal finally found fulfilment with a super strike on goal after he was fed with a fine pass by Thiago who did well to latch onto a long cross from captain Henderson.
As the referee called time, Liverpool were rightfully anointed as the 3-0 winners.
The winning momentum needs to continue for The Reds
With three wins and one draw so far in the season, The Reds are looking good and need to build on this momentum as the contests will most certainly get tougher in time.
Liverpool should continue to mount those offensive onslaughts and goals will surely become a regular feature in their play as we have seen this far.
The Champions League opener against AC Milan is upon The Reds next in a matter of a few days and nothing short of a win in the opener of Europe’s most prestigious club competition will suffice.
Having said this, make no mistake any Italian opposition is never a cake walk and The Merseyside Maulers will definitely have to bring their A game to the fore amid a 50,000 strong Anfield.
After all, when Kopites roar, Liverpool soar.
‘Unity is strength – Let’s Go Reds – You’ll Never Walk Alone!’