By Emmanuel Ebimoh
Mohammed Salah scored a hat trick, including two penalties, to give Liverpool a hard-fought victory at Anfield against newly-promoted Leeds United in their first game of the 2020/2021 season.
The Reds, who are the reigning champions of the English Premier League, had their hands full when they faced Leeds United in a game that many would have predicted to be an easy ride, but it turned out to be a battle to the final whistle.
Liverpool struck the first blow through a controversial penalty decision and Mohammed Salah stepped up to put the Reds in front after just 4 minute in the game. However, Leeds United, on their return to the Premier League after 16 years away, didn’t have to wait long for their equaliser as Jack Harrision found the back of the net with a cool finish in the 12th minute.
Then, in the 20th minute, Liverpool’s defender, Virgil van Dijk was left unmarked in the Leeds United’s penalty box and he made them pay with a thumping header to give Liverpool the lead at 2-1. But then again, the very determined Leeds team came back in the 30 minute to put the game at 2-2, much to the despair of Liverpool’s coach, Jurgen Klopp.
All through last season, one thing stood as the hallmark in Liverpool’s dominance – it was their ability to dig out a win out of nothing. And it showed forth again as Salah struck Liverpool’s 3rd of the night after Robertson’s free kick was cleared only as far as the Egypt international, who took his time to control the ball before sending an unmissable shot into the roof of the net.
The second half started with almost the same intensity as the first, and despite a few chances, the 6th goal of the match came in the 66th minute for Leeds United when Midfielders, Mateusz Klich and Helder Costa combined to work the ball up the pitch before Klich perfectly volleyed the ball past Liverpool’s goalkeeper, Alisson.
But, just as the Champions always found a way to come out of their own mess, they were able to do so again in the 88th minute when Leeds defender, Rodrigo, appeared to have fouled Fabinho in the box. Liverpool were awarded another penalty and Mohammed Salah stepped up to slot home his third goal of the day to complete his hat-trick.
Despite the defeat, Leeds United can still take out some positives from the game as they truly gave the reigning Champions a good fight till the final whistle.