Mohamed Salah became the fifth-fastest player to reach 100 Premier League goals as Liverpool won 3-0 at 10-man Leeds United in a match marred by a serious injury to teenager Harvey Elliott.
Salah capped a dominant first-half display from Jurgen Klopp’s men when he coolly converted Trent Alexander-Arnold’s low cross on 20 minutes.
Leeds went close early on through Rodrigo but were fortunate not to be further behind at the interval as Sadio Mane, Elliott and Virgil van Dijk all failed to make the most of big opportunities.
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Fabinho doubled Liverpool’s lead when he scrambled in a right-wing corner on 50 minutes before the game turned sour on the hour.
Substitute Pascal Struijk launched into a strong tackle on Elliott leaving the 18-year-old in anguished pain on the floor. The reaction of both sets of players and Klopp and Co on the bench suggested it was a serious injury and the game was halted for the youngster to receive treatment.
Struijk was shown a straight red card as Elliott was stretchered off the field and there was a subdued conclusion to the game with the visitors continuing to waste chances before Mane finally scored in injury time.
The result sees Liverpool climb into a share of second spot with Chelsea, behind leaders Manchester United on goals scored. The Reds have won eight of their last nine away matches in the Premier League and are 14 games unbeaten.
Leeds, who brought on Dan James for a late debut, stay down in 17th place after failing to win any of their first four top-flight matches in a season for the first time since 1958-59.
Liverpool will now turn their attention to Wednesday’s Champions League Group B clash with AC Milan before hosting Crystal Palace in the league on Saturday. Leeds travel to Newcastle on Friday night.
Mo Salah has joined the Premier League's 100 club
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - Liverpool joy muted as they await news on Elliott
The headlines would usually be reserved for Salah the centurion who achieved the feat in his 162nd game. The Egyptian is just the second African to net a ton in the English top-flight after Didier Drogba with only Alan Shearer (124), Harry Kane (141), Sergio Aguero (147) and Thierry Henry (160) securing the milestone total quicker than the 29-year-old.
However, the tone of the post-match discussion will be more sober and focus on what happened to Elliott with just 30 minutes to play. The youngster had enjoyed a fine start to the season having featured in all four games for the Reds. He impressed on loan at Blackburn last term and also received huge praise from Klopp for his role in pre-season.
He looked like he could go on to have a major impact on the campaign but now faces a spell on the sidelines. The injury was unfortunate and no major blame was immediately placed upon the visibly disappointed Struijk. The scenes were slightly similar to the ones where Everton’s Andre Gomes suffered a shocking injury during a home game with Tottenham in November 2019.
Liverpool will hope the teenager can make a similar recovery to the Toffees midfielder if it is confirmed to be as serious as the on-pitch reactions suggested, and it was great to see social media flooded by messages of support from fans and players of rival clubs. Fingers crossed Elliott makes a full recovery and is back in double-quick time.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Mo Salah (Liverpool)
The forward was a livewire from the kick off and linked brilliantly with Mane in particular to cause the home side countless problems. Could have added to his tally had Liverpool made more of numerous situations in the second half.
He has looked sharp from the off this season and Kopites will be confident he can go on to score the flood of goals that would no doubt provide a major boost to their hopes of a serious title bid.
Leeds: Meslier 7, Ayling 6, Firpo 6, Cooper 6, Llorente 5, Dallas 6, Phillips 6, Harrison 6, Raphinha 6, Rodrigo 5, Bamford 6. Subs: Struijk 4, Roberts 6, James 6.
Liverpool: Alisson 7, Alexander-Arnold 8, Robertson 7, Van Dijk 7, Matip 8, Fabinho 8, Thiago 8, Elliott 7, Mane 7, Jota 7, Salah 8. Subs: Henderson 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain n/a, Keita n/a.
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20’ - GOAL! Leeds Utd 0-1 Liverpool (Salah): Salah nets his 100th Premier League goal! The striker slots home a first-time finish from Trent Alexander Arnold's low cross.
26’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Mane scoops a shot over the bar on the stretch from inside the six-yard box after a rampant run and cut back from Jota down the right.
44’ – LEEDS UTD CHANCE! Ayling is left free to meet a deep cross at the far but knees a poor effort over the bar. It’s a rare Leeds attack but he should have at least got it on target.
50’ - GOAL! Leeds Utd 0-2 Liverpool (Fabinho): Van Dijk nods down a right-wing corner and Fabinho fires into the net at the second time of asking.
60’ – LEEDS UTD RED CARD! Struijk is sent off for a challenge on Elliott that leaves the Liverpool midfielder stricken on the floor and needing treatment from medical staff. The reaction of both sets of players and the benches suggest it could be a serious injury.
81’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Meslier gets a touch on Mane's shot to divert it behind after the forward was provided with another gilt-edged chance to get on the scoresheet. He's had a fair few this evening.
83’ – LEEDS UTD CHANCE! Alisson scampers back towards his own line and just about tips Bamford's sensational long-range lob over the bar.
90+2’ - GOAL! Leeds Utd 0-3 Liverpool (Mane): Mane finally gets his goal. It's met by a relieved grin from the forward as he takes Thiago's wonderful cut back from Henderson's cross and lashes it into the corner.
- Salah is the 30th player to have scored 100 Premier League goals, with only four players reaching the milestone in fewer appearances than the Egyptian.
- Since the start of last season, Leeds have conceded more Premier League goals via corners than any other team (13).
- Alexander-Arnold recorded his 35th Premier League assist today, aged 22 years and 340 days. In the competition's history, only Cesc Fábregas, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs have reached this total at a younger age.
- Liverpool had 30 shots against Leeds, taking their tally to 100 for the season in the Premier League. They're just the second side since 2003-04 to have had 100+ shots in their first four Premier League games in a single campaign, after Chelsea in 2009-10 (109).
- Mane scored his first goal with his 10th shot in this match against Leeds, the most shots he's ever had in a single Premier League game.
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