Sports

Leeds dent Liverpool’s top 4 hopes with late draw

London, Apr 20 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 4/20/2021 1:00:36 PM IST

Diego Llorente scored a late equaliser for Leeds to deny Liverpool a place in the top four of the Premier League - as uncertainty reigns over what that would mean following the announcement of the European Super League.

The Reds are one of 12 clubs to agree to join a breakaway ESL to “commence as soon as practicable”. Even if it does not start next season, Uefa has said it could ban the clubs - including six English sides - from European competition for their defection.

There was a strange mood around the first game involving any of the 12 teams since Sunday night’s announcement, with protests inside and outside the ground.

Meanwhile, according to Sportskeeda report, goals from Sadio Mane and Diego Llorente ensured that Liverpool and Leeds United shared the spoils in a thrilling 1-1 draw on Monday.

The game was played on the backdrop of the announcement of the new European Super League as well as the ensuing threats and counter-threats.

Nevertheless, both sides put aside off-field politics and gave a classic performance far removed from your typical Monday Night Football.

The big news in the buildup to the game was Mo Salah’s exclusion from the starting lineup. Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota were charged to lead the Liverpool line in his absence.

Liverpool were, however, the better side and deservedly went ahead through Sadio Mane.

A precise long ball into the area by Jota saw Illan Meslier hesitate to collect. Trent-Alexander Arnold beat the Leeds goalkeeper to the ball and sent a precise dink for Mane to tap into an empty net.

The second half continued in the same fashion, with end-to-end action from both sides.

Roberto Firmino went close for Liverpool before Jack Harrison and Helder Costa almost drew the hosts level.

Leeds United grew into the game and pinned Liverpool back, with the visitors having their goalkeeper Alisson to thank for keeping them ahead.

On the one occasion that the Brazilian was beaten, the bar came to his rescue after he was left stranded by Bamford’s precise lob.

There were loud shouts for a penalty from the hosts when a ball in the area struck the outstretched arm of Alexander Arnold, but VAR Mike Dean saw nothing untoward after a review.

Jurgen Klopp responded to the growing threat by bringing on Mo Salah and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain.

Despite the two substitutes both going close, it was Leeds United who scored the crucial second goal in the game.

Diego Llorente rose highest to head home a corner from Jack Harrison for his first goal for the club. This saw Leeds United draw level and also brought a first smile of the night to Marcelo Bielsa’s face.

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