Liverpool see off Leeds threat thanks to Salah treble in seven-goal thriller

Date published: Saturday 12th September 2020 7:23 - Samuel Bannister

Mohamed Salah scored a hat-trick as Liverpool edged out newly promoted Leeds in a seven-goal thriller on the opening day.

It was Premier League champions against the winners of the Championship – and the two teams served up a brilliant curtain-raiser.

Five goals were scored in a fast-flowing first half, while the second half saw just two. There were a total of four additional disallowed goals across the whole game.

Georginio Wijnaldum started for Liverpool despite recent rumours of a departure, but Leeds-born James Milner was left on the bench.

Meanwhile, Marcelo Bielsa gave a debut to Robin Koch at the back for Leeds, but there was no place in the starting lineup for record signing Rodrigo Moreno.

Jurgen Klopp promised to give Leeds a baptism of fire upon their return to the Premier League, and Liverpool certainly did just that, as they won a penalty within the first three minutes.

Leeds debutant Koch handled the ball in the area, giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.

And Mohamed Salah made no mistake with his effort, smashing the ball down the middle for Liverpool’s first goal of the new season.

It means Salah has scored on his first Premier League appearance of each of the four seasons he has spent with Liverpool.

Leeds had the ball in the back of the net themselves a few minutes later, but Helder Costa’s strike was ruled out for offside.

They soon had an equaliser that stood, though, as Jack Harrison latched onto an aerial pass from Kalvin Phillips. Harrison then smartly cut inside and fired past Alisson to make it 1-1 after 12 minutes.

There was another disallowed goal just a few moments later, this time for Liverpool. Sadio Mane chipped into an empty net from distance, but there was an offside in the buildup.

But much like Leeds before, a proper goal soon followed. Virgil Van Dijk headed home from a corner to restore the advantage 20 minutes in.

Van Dijk was at fault 10 minutes later, though, as he was too casual in bringing down a long ball. Patrick Bamford pounced before chipping the ball over Alisson to equalise again.

Liverpool instantly hit back when Mohamed Salah fired the ball in on the half volley at the other end.

Salah completes hat trick in second half

The second half started in quieter fashion, but anyone thinking the goals would stop there was mistaken.

Trent Alexander-Arnold headed into his own net, but the flag had gone up for offside. But Leeds did soon get back in the game.

Mateusz Klich fired another equaliser in for Leeds in the 66th minute to make it 3-3.

Van Dijk thought he had put Liverpool ahead again, but for the fourth time in the game, the goal was ruled out. This time, it was due to a foul in the buildup.

Liverpool were given a huge chance to win it when another Leeds new boy, Rodrigo Moreno – who had come on as a substitute – gave away a penalty.

And this time, Salah slotted into the bottom corner to complete his hat-trick and give Liverpool the three points.


You can see how all the action unfolded, plus all the important stats, via our Live Centre.


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