Liverpool wander against Leeds and come within three points of Manchester City

Liverpool received Leeds at Anfield for the late match of the 19th day of the Premier League. With a series of eight consecutive successes in all competitions, the Reds had the opportunity to come back just three points behind leaders Manchester City and take off ahead of third Chelsea. As for the Whites, they chained four matches without the slightest victory in the league and were only five points from the red zone. To do this, Marcelo Bielsa, whose position has been threatened for a few weeks, aligned his standard attack composed of Rodrigo in the axis, with Raphinha and D. James on the wings. Jürgen Klopp offered his usual 4-3-3 and trusted Curtis Jones, for his first tenure in three weeks, alongside Fabinho and Thiago in midfield.

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The first period clearly turned to Liverpool’s advantage, immediately dominating in terms of possession and danger in the opposing penalty area. The locals took advantage of the hand of Stuart Dallas in his zone of truth to offer the opportunity to Mohamed Salah to take Ilan Meslier on the wrong foot from the penalty spot (1-0, 15th). Yet defender, Joël Matip turned into a striker and took advantage of the service of the Egyptian to adjust Meslier (2-0, 30th). The latter still had to appear on his line against Salah: following a fault by Luke Ayling’s last defender on Sadio Mané, the CAN 2021 finalist cheated on a doorman too fair to hold number 11 of the Reds in check, author of his fourth goal in three matches in all competitions (3-0, 35th).

Liverpool manage their lead

Upon returning from the locker room, Jürgen Klopp’s players had not lost possession of the ball against Marcelo Bielsa’s men without any real reaction. The Argentinian coach was trying to make his people react with two changes (Rodrigo and Klich out, Roberts and Schakleton in). But the Reds continued to demonstrate their superiority in front of their home crowd, but lost a few duels against a solid Ilan Meslier in the second half despite his defensive feverishness. The French international hopeful managed to defeat Salah (59th) then Curtis Jones (71st), found too easily in United’s zone of truth. But the native of Lorient could do nothing against Sadio Mané in the last ten minutes of the match.

The African champion with Senegal took advantage of a bad recovery from the former Hake, recovered by his Colombian teammate Luis Diaz. The Reds’ winter rookie launched Jordan Henderson, who crossed for the Lion with one touch to shoot the opposing goals (4-0, 81st). And at the very end of regulation time, Mané, as a surface fox, found himself alone in front of the goal area after the good call from incoming Divock Origi and pushed the ball into the empty nets (5-0, 90th). Virgil van Dijk took part in the Liverpool festival by taking the ball with a header (6-0, 90th + 3). A convincing victory (6-0) which allows Liverpool to put pressure on the Cityzens and to relaunch themselves in the title race, with their attacking trio (Jota, Salah, Mané) occupying the podium of PL scorers. Leeds continue to sink and remain stuck in 15th place in the standings.

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