Crysencio Summerville’s last minute strike secured a shock victory for Leeds at Liverpool, a new nadir for Jurgen Klopp’s side in this dispiriting domestic campaign.
The visitors took the lead after an awful back-pass from Joe Gomez wrong-footed his own keeper Alisson and provided the opportunity for Rodrigo to tap home with four minutes on the clock.
The advantage lasted just ten minutes until Mohammed Salah’s clever hooked finish from Andy Robertson’s cross at the back post.
Although Liverpool had the better of the game, especially in the second half, even before the late drama, Leeds came closest to adding to the score when Brenden Aaronson volleyed Rasmus Kristensen’s cross against the bar.
Then in the last minute, debutant Degnand Gnonto put a low ball; into the box which Patrick Bamford pushed towards Summerville, a day before his 21st birthday, and the Dutchman took his shot quickly beating Alisson and sneaking it inside the far post.
The result sees Liverpool in ninth spot with just two games to go until the World Cup break, while Leeds move out of the bottom three into 15th.
Liverpool do not scare teams anymore – They have two games left before the six-week break for the World Cup and it cannot come quickly enough for Jurgen Klopp. The one thing they had going for them in the league this season was they were not losing at home, but now the unbeaten run going back to March 2021 has gone.
The fact Leeds left multiple attacking players upfront despite being under pressure from the home side and Jesse Marsch always insisting on the ball returning to play as soon as possible betrayed two truths. A goal no longer seems inevitable when Liverpool are dominating play and opponents do not fear Liverpool overpowering them with their running in the closing stages of the game. The statistics back the latter point up as Leeds ran 11km more than the Reds.
They now lie eight points outside the top four, albeit with a game in hand, and this does not feel unfair given their performances.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Illan Meslier (Leeds) – Although Liverpool were below par, they still would have run out winners if Leeds’ goalkeeper was not in fine form. He was fast off his line whenever Liverpool played the ball behind the visitor’s defence and made nine saves in all. He denied Salah and Darwin Nunez a number of times and the Uruguayan in particular will have cursed the stopper as he continually thwarted him.
Liverpool: Alisson 6; Alexander-Arnold 7, Gomez 4, Van Dijk 6, Robertson 7; Elliott 6, Fabinho 6, Thiago 7; Firmino 7; Salah 7, Darwin Nunez 6.
Subs: Jones 7, Henderson 6, Milner 6.
Leeds: Meslier 8*, Kristensen 7, Koch 7, Cooper 6, Struijk 7; Marc Roca 6, Adams 6; Harrison 6, Aaronson 6, Summerville 7; Rodrigo 6.
Subs: Bamford 5, Gnonto 7, Ayling 6.
4′ GOAL FOR LEEDS! A horrible error at one end almost leads to a goal and one at the other end does just that. Gomez passes back to his keeper without looking and only succeeds in pushing the ball past his keeper and into the path of Rodrigo who gleefully side-foots home.
14′ GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Robertson puts a cross to the back post which is slightly behind Salah but he hooks the ball back into the net.
21′ AGAINST THE BAR! Aaronson volleys against the bar. It was a fine cross from Kristensen and the forward met it at full speed managing to steer an effort at goal which had Alisson beaten but found the frame of the goal.
67′ MESLIER DENIES NUNEZ! Cooper gets himself caught out and Salah lays the ball on a plate for Nunez but Meslier comes out and spreads himself to save the effort, but you have to think the striker should have done better.
90′ GOAL FOR LEEDS! Summerville has won it for Leeds. He took a pass from Bamford in the area and turned his man before poking an effort which takes Alisson by surprise and nestles in the far corner.