Liverpool made a successful return to the Premier League with a 3-0 win at Leeds United on Sunday, overshadowed by a serious injury to Harvey Elliott.
Mohamed Salah gave the Reds a deserved lead in the first half with a typically accurate finish from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s Assist – his 100th career goal in the league.
Jürgen Klopp’s team created numerous chances to score and took advantage of one early in the second period when Fabinho trudged over the line after a corner.
But the day and the result – enhanced by a goal from Sadio Mane in stoppage time – were made by the sight of Elliott acidified, who was lying on a stretcher an hour after his treatment because of a tackle by Pascal Struijk in which the Leeds man was sent off.
Klopp made two changes in his starting XI: replacing Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota Jordan Henderson on the bench and the injured Roberto Firmino.
A rough atmosphere greeted the teams as they appeared in front of a packed crowd on Elland Road and Leeds tried to use this advantage with his energy and pressure in the early stages.
They earned their first chance of the competition in the fifth minute and countered at breakneck speed when Salah’s claims were dismissed after a foul deep in opposing territory.
Raphinha led the attack down the right, waiting for the right moment to serve Rodrigo in the middle, whose hard, rising goal was beaten by Alisson Becker.
Liverpool played calmly despite the pressure from the hosts further and from a precise delivery from Salah into her penalty area, Jota controlled his chest and nudged the goal, his attempt was overturned by Illan Meslier.
Joel Matip carried the ball to the edge of the Leeds penalty area and headed for first Passes with Salah the game on Alexander-Arnold on the right wing.
He sent a solid, flat cross along the front of the home goal and Salah was there to clinically go beyond Meslier and highlight the personal milestone of a century of Premier League hits.
First, Thiagos cheers were interrupted after the No. 6 headed into Salah’s spot-on cross at the post as the latter in Offside when he received the ball in the build-up.
Mane then misjudged his goal when Jota drove through the Leeds defense, back over the right channel, and selected his teammate with a cross. Too high by the Senegalese.
Then Elliott was rejected twice in quick succession when Liam Cooper blocked an initial explosion before his further attempt to get past Meslier was thwarted by the Leeds goalkeeper.
Liverpool’s control continued to grow and both Mane and Elliott came close with low strokes from 20-yard range, although the difference in the score sheet remained only one.
And Leeds might have equalized a minute before break, but Luke Ayling was up Finish harmlessly from Alisson’s crossbar, which was found by Rodrigo at the back post in the room.
Mane and Jota combined an intelligent pass change that finally released the former to jump clear on goal.
But the Number 10 was prevented from delivering a clean finish while assessing the angle as Kalvin Phillips chased back to put pressure on him.
Virgil van Dijk hit it with a header, i he fell for Fabinho nearby, whose first attempt from close range was blocked by Patrick Bamford only to have the midfielder shoved over the line when asked .
The teenager was fouled by substitute Struijk – which resulted in a red card from referee Craig Pawson – and needed immediate medical attention before leaving the field on a stretcher.
Leeds tried to fight back at 10 Mann rallying, however, took an excellent final block from Ayling to keep Mane from scoring a third goal when he was freed by Salah’s diagonal pass into the box.
Ayling once again frustrated Mane, who this time was invited by shooting an iota tee-up across Leeds territory, and Alisson had to rush to overcome Bamford’s immersion from the center circle.
But man e finally got there, spun, and sent Meslier a finish in the second minute of eight replays to secure the Reds a result that would put them at the top of the young Premier League standings.