Salah not the only standout on landmark occasion as Liverpool earn controlling win over 10-man Leeds – player ratings

Date published: Sunday 12th September 2021 6:32 - Samuel Bannister

Mohamed Salah celebrates his 100th Premier League goal

Liverpool remain unbeaten and Leeds winless in the Premier League after the former beat the latter 3-0 at Elland Road.

In a lively battle, goals in either half for Liverpool ensured the points went back to Merseyside. Mohamed Salah scored in the 20th minute to bring up his 100th Premier League goal, before Fabinho took a couple of bites at the cherry to double the lead in the 50th minute. Then, Sadio Mane finished things off in stoppage time.

The one thing that dampened the win for Liverpool was an injury to Harvey Elliott after a challenge from Pascal Struijk, who was sent off as a result.

Leeds United

Illan Meslier: Had plenty of attempts to deal with and tried his best to ensure the deficit remained at two. 6/10

Luke Ayling: Snuck in at the backpost for a chance late in the first half, but misjudged it in mid-air and struck it over. At the other end, made a good block to prevent a Liverpool goal when the score was 2-0. 6

Diego Llorente: Was up to the pace of the game early on, making some blocks, but began to suffer a bit as Leeds became stretched. Had to go off with an injury just after half an hour. 6

Liam Cooper: Earned the first yellow card of the game after being spun by Mane. Tried to go toe to toe with a tricky attack but with little success. 5

Junior Firpo: Making his return to the starting XI after a recent absence due to Covid-19, was involved in a competitive individual battle with Salah. Started well but began to drop off the pace as the game progressed. 6

Kalvin Phillips: Didn’t impose himself on the game in the way he has been doing for club and country recently. 5

Raphinha: An attacking outlet for Leeds after being cleared to play, but sometimes their frontline were not on the same wavelength as each other in the first half. Delivery was good from set pieces and tried to create from open play. 7

Raphinha challenging for the ball for Leeds

Stuart Dallas: Back in midfield after having to cover at left-back in the last game before the break, couldn’t get as involved as usual. A good twist and turn nearly fashioned a chance after the break but there were few other highlights. 5

Rodrigo: Had the first shot on target of the match, but it was straight at Alisson. Struggled to connect with his fellow attackers for the rest of the half and was taken off at the break without having made an impression. 4

Jack Harrison: Direct and confident down the left wing, was eager to create when he got the ball. Ultimately didn’t see enough of it to make too much of an impact, though. 7

Patrick Bamford: A frustrating afternoon on the whole due to seeing little of the ball, not for the want of trying. Worked hard with little reward. But kept himself alive to opportunities and almost caught Alisson out with an effort from near the half-way line in the final 10 minutes. 6

Substitutes:

Pascal Struijk (on for Llorente, 33 mins): Made an exceptional last-ditch challenge to deny Salah a second goal early in the second half. However, that was less the case when he caused what appears to be a serious injury to Elliott around the hour mark. Was given a straight red card as a result. 5

Tyler Roberts (on for Rodrigo, half-time): Struggled to make too much of an impact on the game, just like the man he replaced at the interval. 5

Daniel James (on for Harrison, 68): Entered the action for his long-awaited Leeds debut in difficult circumstances. 5


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Liverpool

Alisson Becker: Certainly the less busy of the two goalkeepers, but alert when he had to be. Displayed a good range of passing as well. 7

Trent Alexander-Arnold: Created Liverpool’s first decent chance with a whipped low cross, but no teammate stretched for it. The next one, though, led to the opening goal, as he put it on a plate for Salah. Likewise, it was his corner that led to Fabinho’s doubler. 8

Joel Matip: Looking ever more comfortable in the heart of Liverpool’s defence, despite few predicting he would have such a role this season. Good on the ball as Liverpool took the sting out of the game in the second half. 8

Virgil van Dijk: Somehow missed a free header after a corner a few minutes before the half-hour mark. In his own half, though, was his usual solid self. 7

Andy Robertson: Got up and down the left flank frequently, although most of the danger came from the other flank. 6

Fabinho: Started the game in combative fashion, but had to adjust after being booked 15 minutes in. Still managed to make interceptions on the ground and in the air, cutting out danger. Then proved himself as a threat at the other end by bundling in Liverpool’s second goal from in the box. A dominant performance. 9

Harvey Elliott: Continued to express the confidence he has been showing since his return from loan. However, his game was cut short when he was challenged heftily by Struijk. Had to be carried off on a stretcher and all will be hoping for a speedy recovery. 7

Thiago Alcantara: Scored a well-taken header after replacing captain Jordan Henderson in the starting lineup, but provider Salah had been offside, so it was ruled out. Even so, was heavily involved in possession throughout the first half. Swept up well off the ball too as Leeds began chasing the game after the break. Capped a fine performance off by setting up the final goal with a clever pass. 9

Mohamed Salah: Saw plenty of the ball early on and made a chance for Jota with a delicate and angled aerial pass. But it is at finishing chances, more so than creating then, where Salah has excelled with Liverpool. He sent a reminder of why by scoring his milestone goal from close range soon after. Continued to cause problems with his speed and dribbling. 9

Diogo Jota: Taking the place of the injured Roberto Firmino up front, linked up well with those either side of him. Found pockets of space from which to make useful passes. 7

Sadio Mane: Missed an empty net by blazing a shot from close range over the bar midway through the first half, but in his defence the pass to him was a touch too quick. Went closer from further out, arrowing a shot from the edge of the box wide. Just seemed a little off it overall compared to what he is capable of – until he got his goal in stoppage time. 6

Substitutes:

Jordan Henderson (on for Elliott, 63): Had been preparing to come on anyway and helped Liverpool keep their composure in a worrying moment. 6

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for Jota, 82): N/A.

Naby Keita (on for Thiago, stoppage time): N/A.

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