Liverpool were denied the chance to move into the top four on Monday evening as Leeds United scored a late equaliser at Elland Road.
Sadio Mane gave the Reds the lead just after the half-hour mark with a simple finish and just as it looked as though he was going to be the matchwinner for the Reds in Yorkshire, Diego Llorente popped up in the 87th minute to snatch a deserved equaliser for the hosts.
Here are five things we learnt from the game:
Making a stand
Played on the backdrop of the frankly abhorrent European Super League proposals that have seen six Premier League clubs including Liverpool express their allegiance for the new league, the footballing world made their dismay clear even before the match begun.
Supporters protested outside of Elland Road, whilst the Leeds United players completed their warm-ups donning t-shirts displaying the words “EARN IT” below the UEFA Champions League logo.
Whatever transpires within the next few months in relation to the Super League, the conspirators have surely underestimated the backlash and protest that they will face as a result of the prospect.
Not so Super League
One the topic of the Super League, the new proposition would certainly remove any prospect of the exact game that ironically occurred at Elland Road – a reigning Premier League champion going up against a newly promoted club and the latter finding a way to earn a positive result.
The final score then goes to indicate though the competitiveness can simply not be taken out of the game and that the potential Super League cannot come to fruition.
Super League or Champions League?
Whilst the prospect of the Super League continues to rumble on, the result at Elland Road really puts Liverpool’s chances of booking their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League in serious doubt.
With just six games left in the Premier League season, the Reds sit sixth and two points behind fourth-placed West Ham. Whilst that is not the biggest gap for Jurgen Klopp’s men to overturn, their inconsistent form throughout the campaign could certainly see that plunged into doubt. The Reds can now be backed at 10/9 with the Betfair Exchange to finish in the top four come the end of the season.
Sadio scores again
It’s certainly been a long wait for Mane since his last Premier League goal. Indeed, the Senegalese last scored for the Reds in the league ten games ago in the 3-1 victory against Tottenham Hotspur – his longest run for the club without finding the net.
However, that long wait for the forward is finally over as he got on the end of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s centre to tap home into an unguarded Leeds United net. He will certainly be aiming to find the net with more regularity for the rest of the campaign.
Whilst the attention will predominantly be on Liverpool for all of the off-field issues ahead of the match, Leeds should really be praised for a fantastic performance. Marcelo Bielsa’s troops dominated their visitors, enjoying 62% of the ball throughout the game.
They also had their fair share of chances to win the game with Patrick Bamford spurning a couple of opportunities, whilst Tyler Roberts also missed a wonderful chance of his own.
Leeds then will certainly feel that they could have snatched what might have been a deserved win against Liverpool at Elland Road.
Leeds United: Meslier (7); Ayling (6), Llorente (7), Strujik (6), Alioski (6) (Klich (N/A), 79′); Phillips (6); Costa (5) (Poveda (6), 67′), Dallas (6), Roberts (6) (Hernandez (N/A), 86′), Harrison (5); Bamford (6).
Liverpool: Alisson (7); Robertson (6), Kabak (6), Fabinho (6), Alexander-Arnold (7); Thiago (6), Wijnaldum (5), Milner (5); Mane (7) (Salah (6), 71′), Firmino (6), Jota (6) (Oxlade-Chamberlain (N/A), 81′).
Goals: Mane (31′), Llorente (87′)
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Yellow Cards: Dallas (25′), Alioski (37′), Firmino (39′)
Red Cards: N/A