Football

Leeds earn praise from Klopp, hat-trick hero Salah after Liverpool's 4-3 win

EPL
LIVERPOOL LEEDS UNITED
4 3
(Mohamed Salah 4-pen, 33, 88-pen Virgil van Dijk 20) (Jack Harrison 12, Patrick Bamford 30, Mateusz Klich 66)

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said he had loved the season-opening entertainment provided by the champions in their 4-3 win over Leeds United on Sunday morning (Sept 13, Singapore time), but said there was better to come from his side.

Promoted Leeds, back in the top flight after 16 years, fought back from a goal down on three occasions but Liverpool emerged with the three points after an 88th-minute penalty from hat-trick hero Mohamed Salah.

“What a game, what an opponent, what a performance from both teams. A proper spectacle, I loved that,” said Klopp, after his team extended their unbeaten home record in the league to 60 games.

“It is pretty rare you see that many goals in a game, we have left space for improvement in our defending but that is not unusual for a first game. Our players have played a few days ago for their countries, so it is possible (this happens),” he added.

Klopp gave Leeds credit for their display after they showed the brand of intense football that Marcelo Bielsa has instilled in them.

“The opponents forced us to make mistakes, we can do better, we will do better but I loved a lot about the game against a well-organised, passionate side like Leeds,” said Klopp.

“We used our skills to cause them problems, we could have scored more and in the end, we used set-pieces which is fine by me.

“It is not like riding a bike, you can lose something in pre-season and it takes time to all come together again. I am really positive about this game. Leeds will have a good season if they can keep up that intensity and they did it in the Championship with more games, so why not?”

Salah said he too was impressed by the Yorkshire club’s approach at an empty Anfield.

“It’s a tough team, to be fair. They had a great game. There’s no fans but they play, they react really well and they scored three goals against us – that’s huge.

“I’m happy about the result and we have to keep on improving and try not to concede as many goals. Without fans it’s so tough – especially at Anfield, everybody knows that. But it’s a good start for us,” he said. – REUTERS

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