Leeds United 1 (Llorente 87)
Liverpool 1 (Mane 31)
A 1 – 1 home draw with last season’s Champions and a team that is, in the speak of the moment, one of the so-called big-six and I’m disappointed! Leeds were poor in the first half, no argument with that but throughout the game it was Leeds who fashioned the better chances. It was just our old problem of poor finishing that came back to haunt us tonight and that cost us.
It took Leeds 45 minutes to find their mojo and, without the probing and trickery of Raphinha, the first half went by with Leeds hardly laying a glove on Liverpool. Even the Liverpool goal when it came was more to do with poor Leeds defending than good finishing. Having said all that though Patrick Bamford was justifiably disappointed that he couldn’t finish when put through after a sloppy Fabinho pass was intercepted by Kalvin Phillips; Bamford’s first touch was just as sloppy. Fine margins although most observers would agree Liverpool dominated the first period. Harrison and Costa didn’t seem on it today but others were too quiet too.
In the second half the tables were turned and it was Leeds dominating and creating several chances while Liverpool were finding it hard to get, and then keep, the ball. Another great chance was missed when a long ball was brilliantly brought down by Bamford but then his attempted lob had too much on it and it hit the bar. Tyler Roberts then had arguably the best chance of the game as he tried power instead of subtlety from six yards out and the Liverpool keeper did just enough to get in the way.
It looked more and more like Leeds would come up short but that would have been a travesty having shown such an improvement after the break. For me, had Raphinha been on one of our wings today, we’d have won this easily. It was for me a reminder that our squad is still thin and was just another reminder that those few quality additions are needed in the summer and we should not fall into the trap of thinking this squad, good as it has done this season, is ready to push on next year; we’re good, but not that good…yet. The options on our bench were limited too with Hernandez probably at the end of his career while Poveda and Klich didn’t look like game-changers.
Finally, and thankfully, in the 87th minute Leeds got what they deserved for once and, the irony of ironies, it came from a corner kick. The old chant “We never score from a corner!” is an exaggeration of course.. but we are not exactly known for it! Diego Llorente did just enough to get the top of his bended head to the right-wing corner and in it went! Justice!
So, we won at the Etihad and today we could quite easily have beaten Liverpool! We have Manchester United next and there should be no fear facing them either… Big – six? You are having a laugh!
Leeds Utd Liverpool
Possession 61% 39%
Shots 12 17
On Target 5 7
Corners 10 8
Fouls Committed 7 14