Liverpool – Leeds United: Salah’s Hattrick Secures Win Against Intense Leeds (4-3)
This was a game that lived up to all expectations as Liverpool and Leeds produced a thrilling game on the opening day. Leeds’ intense man-marking approach helped set the tone as the game became a high tempo affair in which the individual skills of Liverpool’s forwards - most notably Salah - were needed to create openings. With the ball, Leeds were direct and constantly threatened the space behind Liverpool’s defense. It took a late Salah penalty to finally decide the game.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Leeds United could hardly have been given a tougher fixture on their return to top-flight football after sixteen years of absence, as they travelled to Anfield to face title holders Liverpool. Nevertheless, the prospect of Marcelo Bielsa coaching his first Premier League game against a Jürgen Klopp team promised an interesting tactical battle.
Liverpool lost the Community Shield on penalties against Arsenal and showed a rare bit of vulnerability in their trademark pressing along the way. To face Leeds, Klopp made three changes from the side that started the Community Shield. Neco Williams stepped out of the team for Trent Alexander-Arnold to take his usual right fullback spot. Fabinho and James Milner dropped to the bench to be replaced by the captain Jordan Henderson and Naby Keïta, who completed the midfield alongside Georginio Wijnaldum in Liverpool’s usual 4-3-3 system.
For Leeds, new signing Robin Koch was put straight into the starting lineup after arriving from SC Freiburg two . . .