12 September 2020. Anfield. Liverpool 4 – 3 Leeds United
The quest for #20 started with three points and a much-needed Mo Salah masterclass.
With his first goal in the fourth minute of the match – a clear penalty – Mo Salah became only the second person to score on four consecutive opening days (the other being Teddy Sheringham). Mo was not done yet: he struck again in the 33rd minute with what I can only call an absolute stunner, and again in the 88th minute with another clear penalty.
Moving past the Mo Salah hat trick, the first match of the season was mired with defensive mistakes. Unfortunately, I have to praise Leeds, as they capitalized on those defensive mistakes and were able to put three past Alisson. I fully believe that all three of the Leeds goals were preventable. Alas, here we are, asking ourselves why the back four looked so uncharacteristically out of sorts.
TAA, Big Virg, and Joe Gomez looked to be not completely there against the Leeds attack. I am not claiming Robbo looked invincible, but he at least did not make any mistakes that led to a goal. There were times in both halves where the back line looked good and kept Leeds pinned in their own half, but for the large majority of the game, Liverpool looked discombobulated, and the defense was, in a word, shambolic.
Besides the defense, the rest of the team looked to be a cohesive unit that played well. Hendo, at times, looked a step slow, but that is to be expected as he has not featured in a high-level competitive game since his knee injury during Project Restart. Making up for Hendo’s slower first step, Naby Lad looked about seventeen steps ahead of everyone. I am not sure I was a fan of him being taken off in the 60th minute for Fabinho, but Fab came in and did his job well.
In the end, the first match of the season was a mixed bag. Gini, Fab, and Naby played really well, the defense played poorly, and the front three looked as menacing as ever.
Mo Salah’s hat trick and a power header from Big Virg give us the three points and we will go again next weekend.
Until next weekend Reds, YNWA!