Leeds players back Marsch with victory at Anfield (video)
Liverpool vs Leeds recap: For the second straight week, the Reds were beaten by a side occupying the Premier League’s relegation zone, as Jesse Marsch’s side snatched a 2-1 victory at Anfield on Saturday.
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It was Leeds’ first victory over Liverpool in nearly 22 years, and the first time Liverpool were beaten at Anfield in a year and a half.
The victory sends Leeds (12 points) all the way up to 15th in the PL table after snapping their eight-game winless run despite turning in a series of quality performances. Liverpool (16 points), meanwhile, fall to 9th after Brighton battered Chelsea 4-1 earlier on Saturday.
Rodrigo gave Leeds the lead after four minutes, but Mohamed Salah hit back 10 minutes later to make it 1-1, as it would remain until the 89th minute. Crysencio Summerville found himself in a sea of red shirts, but found a way to get the ball off his foot and sneak it in the far post, releasing approximately 100 tons of pressure from his manager’s shoulders.
What we learned from Liverpool vs Leeds
Unequivocally, Marsch is the right man for the job
This week, Jack Harrison came out, speaking on behalf of his Leeds teammates, in full support of Marsch as calls for a change in manager grew louder enough to be heard. Harrison made it clear that the players still believed in Marsch and that they were still working hard for him. On Saturday, every Leeds player, to a man, backed up those words with actions.
For 90 minutes they were every bit Liverpool’s equals, as they matched the Reds every step of the way. A draw was the least they deserved, and the victory long overdue.
Comparing Leeds today and Leeds of exactly one year ago, it’s night and day the difference in terms of the consistent quality of performances and the steady improvement of the side from the point at which Marsch took over last season, and again from the start of the current campaign. Making a change now would only be making a change for change’s sake. Leeds are one of the toughest teams in the PL to beat, and typically those teams see losses turn to draws and draws turn to losses with a bit of patience*.
*Or, Patrick Bamford finishing a golden scoring chance. Even just one.
A bit of luck goes Leeds’ way
Speaking of overdue, let’s talk about luck. Sure, more than anyone else, Joe Gomez was responsible for the opening goal, but anyone who’s watched Leeds a handful of times this season knows they were long overdue a bit of good fortune at their opponents’ expense. Also, it’s worth mentioning (because he does this kind of thing all the time) that USMNT star Brenden Aaronson played a massive role int he goal, putting Gomez under enough pressure that he didn’t bother to look to find Alisson before desperately getting rid of the ball. Those small details matter and they speak very clearly and loudly, especially when you’re in the midst of a long winless run and not getting your just rewards.
A statistical note: Rodrigo hadn’t scored a goal since Aug. 21, when Leeds beat Chelsea 3-0 at Elland Road. And with that bit of information in mind, when do you think Leeds last won a Premier League game? Anyone?
How to watch Liverpool vs Leeds live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 2:45pm ET, SaturdayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Liverpool’s squad has been stretched by injuries but the fact they are 12 points off the top of the table is a huge shock. That said, they are only five points off fourth-place Newcastle and have a game in-hand. So all is not lost. Defensively they still look shaky and there is a real inconsistency about this Liverpool side. That is not something we are used to seeing. They are yet to lose at home this season, with all four of their Premier League wins coming at Anfield.
As for Leeds, the home fans at Elland Road let Jesse Marsch know exactly how they felt as boos were plentiful during and after their home loss to Fulham last time out. All of the advanced stats say that Leeds should be much higher up the table given their performances but the main stat, points won, looks pretty dismal after 11 games. After four-straight losses that have nine points from their first 11 games of the season. Marsch knows his side have to start picking up points fast. The only problem? They travel to Liverpool and Tottenham in two of their three games before the World Cup break.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson is keeping them in games with some superb stops, while Andy Robertson coming back in at left back has been a huge boost. Darwin Nunez is also starting to find his feet in attack. Leeds and USMNT playmaker Brenden Aaronson is having a fine first season in the Premier League but his all-action displays aren’t leading to wins for Marsch’s men.
Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options
Naby Keita, Joel Matip, Diogo Jota, Naby Keita and Arthur Melo all remain out, while Thiago Alcantara should be available as he recovers from an ear infection. Given his team selection in midweek, it seems like Klopp could bring in Ibrahima Konate, Fabio Carvalho and James Milner to the lineup. After that he doesn’t have many options and the fact their Champions League midweek game against Napoli next week isn’t worth anything means he may go with the same lineup which played against Ajax (with Thiago coming in to midfield) and then rest plenty of his starts next midweek.
Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options
Adam Forshaw, Leo Fuhr Hjelde and Stuart Dallas remain out, while USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams is a doubt after suffering a muscle injury and so too are Joe Gelhardt, Rodrigo, Luis Sinisterra and Liam Cooper. The big question is who does Marsch start up top? Will Gelhardt, Summerville and Bamford start? Something needs to change in attack because Leeds just aren’t putting away enough of the big chances they are creating.