Liverpool 2 Leeds United 0
There isn’t much that can be said about this performance – it was all we could have asked of our players and with just a little bit more finesse in front of goal it could have been an even more memorable night.
The match statistics bore a strange resemblance to our game on Saturday at Rotherham – on that occasion Leeds bossed around three quarters of the possession yet allowed the Millers to have just as many attempts as we managed and so too tonight, despite only having 28% of the possession we matched Liverpool for shots and got just as many (or few!) on target. We will look back on another one of Kemar Roofe’s curling efforts that struck the inside of the post (sometime soon Kemar is going to score and I still believe the floodgates will open once he does), a glancing header from Kyle Bartley that on another day would nestle in the net and another glaring miss from Hadi Sacko that ought to have been pushed inside for Roofe or Wood to bang home. Ifs and buts, ifs and buts.
But let’s just celebrate a great performance and without some key players for much or all of the game. It was another game in which I am sure Pablo Hernandez would have excelled and may well have made the difference for us but we were also missing Bridcutt who is said now to be close to a return, Wood for much of the game and of course Pontus Jansson. Not to mention playing Luke Ayling in the middle at the back when Coops was injured. If we get just a couple back for the Villa game and we play with the spirit and determination we showed tonight then I think we can turn the Birmingham side over.
This was a very positive statement by Leeds tonight and the only question is how much it has taken out of their legs.
Finally tonight though, let's spare a thought for the fans and players and players' families of Chapecoense, the Brazilian side that has been decimated by an air disaster over Columbia. An immaculately observed one minute's silence was observed before the game and the football world is showing again that despite it's many failings and problems, football is a universal game that links us all, often in joy but also, on occasions like this, in sorrow. RIP.
Liverpool Leeds Utd
Possession 72% 28%
Shots 13 13
On Target 4 4
Corners 3 5
Fouls 4 12