Leeds United 0 Liverpool 3 - Pascal Struijk sent off and Diego Llorente injured in Reds reverse

Diego Llorente went off injured and Pascal Struijk was shown a straight red card as Leeds United fell to a 3-0 defeat in Sunday's Premier League clash against Liverpool at Elland Road.

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 6:30 pm
Updated Sunday, 12th September 2021, 6:34 pm

Liverpool went ahead in the 20th minute when Mo Salah poked home Trent Alexander-Arnold's cutback and Alexander-Arnold's corner set up the Reds second for Fabinho five minutes after the break.

Leeds had lost Llorente to injury in the first half and his replacement Struijk was then sent off on the hour mark after being given a straight red card for a challenge on Harvey Ellliott despite winning the ball.

United kept plugging away and Patrick Bamford almost scored with a spectacular lob from the halfway line but the Reds added a third in second half stoppage time via Sadio Mane.

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REDS REVERSE: Leeds United's players head back to the centre circle after conceding a second goal to Liverpool via a Fabinho strike from a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner. Picture by Tony Johnson.

The contest began at a frantic pace and Leeds squandered a golden chance in the sixth minute as Raphinha cut in from the right and squared to Rodrigo whose fierce shot was fired straight at Alisson.

But Liverpool created a host of openings and eventually went ahead in the 20th minute when Alexander-Arnold was picked out on the right flank and his cutback was met by Salah who poked the ball past Illan Meslier.

The Reds looked to have doubled their lead four minutes later when Thiago headed home Salah's cross but Salah had strayed offside in the build up.

Nonetheless, Liverpool should have been 2-0 up one minute later when Diogo Jota's cross set up Mane who blasted over from close range.

Liverpool were causing chaos and Mane fizzed a shot wide before United were dealt another blow as Llorente went down injured and had to be replaced by Struijk.

But Leeds blew a fine opportunity to equalise two minutes before the break when Rodrigo's cross picked out Luke Ayling who volleyed over the bar from the far post.

Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa brought on Tyler Roberts for Rodrigo during the break but Liverpool went close three minutes after the restart as only a last ditch sliding tackle from Struijk prevented Salah from netting a tap in.

But Leeds were unable to deal with the subsequent corner from Alexander-Arnold which was eventually tucked away by Fabinho after Virgil van Dijk had beaten Liam Cooper in the air.

The Whites looked to respond and Roberts was unable to get enough power on his header to a Stuart Dallas cross.

After being picked out by Jack Harrison, Roberts then sent a side-footed attempt from inside the area well wide.

But just as they were looking to build momentum Leeds were reduced to ten men as Strujk was shown a straight red card following a challenge on Elliott.

Struijk won the ball but Elliott stayed down injured and needed to be stretchered off.

With a one-man advantage, Liverpool pressed for a third and only a fine block from Ayling to a Mane shot prevented Liverpool from netting a third.

Leeds almost pulled a goal back shortly afterwards only for Alisson to thwart Bamford from close range as he looked to slide home a Raphinha cross.

Dan James had been brought on for his Whites debut shortly before but Liverpool continued to create chances and Salah curled an effort over before Mane's effort was diverted wide by Meslier's leg.

Leeds kept plugging away and Bamford went close to bagging a spectacular goal when his lob from the half way line was scrambled over the bar by Alisson.

But the Reds added a third goal in the third minute of added time as Mane easily turned and finished after being afforded too much room in the middle of the box,

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Cooper, Llorente (Struijk 32), Firpo, Phillips, Dallas, Rodrigo (Roberts 46), Raphinha, Harrison (James 68), Bamford. Subs not used: Klaesson, Cresswell, Shackleton, Klich, Summerville, McCarron.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott (Henderson 63), Mane, Salah, Jota (Oxlade-Chamberlain 82). Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Milner, Keita, Gomez, Jones, Tsimikas.

Referee: Craig Pawson.

Attendance: 36,507.

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Thank you Laura Collins