For Bielsa’s position as the gifted outsider coach, the manager who elevates the mediocre rather than finesses the game’s heavyweights, this will further burnish the reputation. Yet afterwards he preferred to reflect on what his players had done wrong, and summarized his feelings thus: “You can never be happy in defeat”.Enjoy Liverpool vs Leads 4-3
Defensively, Leeds are, it should be said, a work in progress. Bielsa, trundled around his coaching area, staring at his toes and casting anguished glances at a back four that beat the press beautifully but conceded far too many goal scoring chances. Jurgen Klopp’s team found it within them to win – unsettled at times and surprised by the fervor of their opponents but ultimately a great side who find their rhythm in the end.
Afterwards, the Liverpool manager declared himself pleased with his players’ attitude. The week, he said, had been fragmented and they had prepared as best they could for the challenge that they knew awaited them. “Leeds are special,” he said but he feels the same way about his players too, and it was Salah who came through in the end, scoring on the opening day of the season for the fourth straight year.
This was Premier League football as it should be – great players doing great things, including Salah, but also great players making mistakes, lesser reputations helping them to do so and a kind of wildness about the outcome. At times Liverpool and their fabled defence barely recognised themselves. Their attack had many more shots but somehow Leeds had more of the possession. Jack Harrison scored the goal of the game when he buried the first for Leeds.
On their way to the Premier League title last season, Liverpool conceded two first half goals at Anfield just once, in the 5-2 win over Everton in early December although that occasion was nothing like the tornado that the newcomers unleashed.
Twice Leeds equalised in the first half, both within the first 30 minutes of the game, and both goals gave Liverpool reason to doubt themselves – even if it was just for a moment. It was a glorious start to the new season. Leeds’s first from Harrison, the young Englishman on loan from Manchester City, saw him cut in on his right foot past Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez before the ball was dispatched past the right hand of Alisson.
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