Leeds United – Liverpool: Birds Stamp on Wiltering Roses (0-3)
Once again, Leeds United’s man-marking scheme proved to be a playground for elite attackers. Liverpool had multiple weapons of choice to carve through, as their flexible offense constantly teed up one another. However, serious injury to Harvey Elliott dimmed a dominant display.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
The organized chaos, infused by both Leeds and Liverpool, offered a galvanising matchup. Marcelo Bielsa and Jürgen Klopp are cut from the same cloth but stitched their styles from different sides of the football world.
Bielsa added to his offensive catalogue, with Daniel James moving across the north from Manchester United. A long-term target for Bielsa, it’s easy to see how James’ work off the ball is tailor-made for the intense pressing and man-marking approach, deployed by Leeds. They’ve invested heavily in COVID times to keep the squad fresh, but started the season slowly, mauled by Man United on the opening weekend, before unflattering performances in draws against Everton and Burnley.
Liverpool in 2021 is more identifiable in their passing, rather than pressing, but the first half against Chelsea showcased that they are more than capable of suffocating opponents. Their squad depth may not be as strong as other contenders, but Liverpool can make anyone uncomfortable, whilst the addition of Harvey Elliott and the return of Virgil van Dijk has bolstered their title chances.
Leeds made just the one change, from that side that drew 1-1 at . . .