Liverpool crushed Leeds 6-0 to close the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City to three points, while Tottenham’s top four bid was rocked by a 1-0 defeat at Burnley on Wednesday. With the win, Liverpool are just three points behind league leaders Manchester City. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane scored twice each to give Liverpool the lead. Salah opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Salah converted a Dallas handball penalty. They scored the second goal in the 30th minute when Joel Matip Salah found the back of the net. Salah gave Liverpool a three-goal lead in the first half when Mane was fouled by Luke Ailing 5 minutes later when he converted another penalty.
Liverpool had 23 shots on goal and 15 shots on goal for Leeds. Liverpool scored three more goals in the final minutes of the second half. Mane scored Liverpool’s fourth goal in the 80th minute from a Jordan Henderson pass from Salah. Mane scored his second goal in the 89th minute to make it five for Liverpool. Virgil Vandek, who found the back of the net with a header from Andrew Robertson’s corner in the second half, sealed the victory for Liverpool. The big defeat would be a setback for Leeds’ bid to stay in the Premier League. Leeds is currently ranked 15th.
After taking a 15th-minute lead through Salah’s penalty, the title chasers were unrelenting, as Joel Matip’s first league goal of the season and another Salah spot-kick effectively put the game to bed before the interval. Salah was again instrumental in the move that led to Mane slotting home the fourth 10 minutes from time, before the Senegalese forward added his second in the 90th minute.
Virgil van Dijk headed home the sixth in stoppage time to complete the perfect evening for Klopp`s men and send a real message of intent to City. The victory, Liverpool’s ninth in a row in all competitions, moved them on to 60 points from 26 matches, three behind the champions – the closest they have been to them since Christmas Day.
“I think for people outside it is better to have three or six-point gap than to have a 20 or 30-point gap, so it is more exciting,” Klopp told the BBC. “But we have to win a lot of the games against all the difficult opponents and that will be a tricky task. We will give it a try.”
Leeds slipped further into the relegation battle, remaining 15th and only three points clear of the bottom three. Coming into the match, Leeds had conceded at least twice in each of their last five away league games, having also shipped four at home to Manchester United on Sunday.
It did not take them long to concede at Anfield under the lights, with Stuart Dallas handling in the penalty area, and Salah slotting home. While Liverpool continued to dominate, Leeds did pose a threat on the counter, but their inability to make a few promising situations count proved costly as Salah supplied a perfect pass for Matip to add the second goal.
The hosts threatened to run riot as another sumptuous pass from Salah set Mane free, the Senegal striker was brought down by Luke Ayling in the penalty area, and Salah made no mistake from the spot – the 19th league goal of the season for the division’s top scorer.
Liverpool, who took their Anfield league goal tally to 50 for the season with that second penalty, should have had at least one more before the break, with Fabinho and Salah both missing clear-cut openings. Salah was in the mood for another Premier league hat-trick, but wasted another glorious chance on the hour mark, blazing over from a good position.
The Egyptian had to settle for another wonderful pass in to Jordan Henderson, who squared for Mane to make it four, before Mane thought he had completed the scoring having reacted fasted to the rebound after substitute Divock Origi’s shot had been saved.
Van Dijk, however, got in on the act, as the Premier League’s most porous defence conceded again. “Two different teams in class,” Leeds midfielder Adam Forshaw said. “It is difficult coming to a place like this but we are missing big players, we have missed them through the season. Tonight feels like the end of the world but we are still in an okay position, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”
Given how close Liverpool and City are, the title could be decided on goal difference and this result will do Klopp’s side a world of good in that regard.
Liverpool vs. Leeds live score
15th minute — LIV — Mohamed Salah (pen)
31st minute — LIV — Joel Matip
35th minute — LIV — Mohamed Salah (pen)
81st minute — LIV — Sadio Mane
90th minute — LIV — Sadio Mane
93rd minute — LIV — Virgil van Dijk