Leeds United started their first Premier League campaign for 16 years with a loss away at Liverpool and, for once, the 4-3 final score pretty much tells the whole story.
Leeds came from behind three times at Anfield, before a late penalty gave all three points to the home side. They probably just about deserved it, but what a game.
The White’s goals came from Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich, and Bamford especially should take real confidence at getting an early goal in the Premier League.
Saturday night gave a real insight into what we can expect to see from Marcelo Bielsa’s side for the remainder of the season.
Here are three things we learned from Leeds’ loss…
1.) Bielsa will not change his style
The Leeds United side that played at Anfield was a familiar one, as was the performance. The high press, the work rate, all the hallmarks of the side that won promotion were on display. Bielsa’s philosophy almost worked as well, with his side minutes away from taking a point at Anfield. When Leeds play under Bielsa, they can cause any team in the league problems, as proved by scoring three against Liverpool. Against less deadly sides, Leeds could blow teams away, and we think Bielsa’s style will keep Leeds safely in the top flight.
2.) Leeds missed Cooper
29-year-old Liam Cooper missed the chance to lead out the team he captained to the Premier League at Anfield, and it fell to the centre back partnership of Koch and Struijk to defend the Whites’ goal against Mo Salah and co. Both defenders made individual mistakes costing goals. Koch conceded the early penalty. Struijk’s poor header from an Andy Robertson free-kick gave Salah his second goal of the night. Koch’s poor marking gave Van Dijk a clear run at goal, allowing him to give Liverpool at 2-1 lead. These mistakes come from players with no experience in England’s top flight, but with Cooper back in the team, Leeds will be a much better defensive unit. An experienced head in charge of one of the young defenders will also be beneficial for their development.
3.) Bamford could be player to keep Leeds in PL
Patrick Bamford, 27, led Leeds’ line instead of new signing Rodrigo against Liverpool. He followed this up by scoring at the Kop to level the score at 2-2. Prior to this game Bamford only had one Premier League goal to his name, but his tally doubling goal showed why Bielsa places so much trust in the Englishman. He was clever to follow up Virgil Van Dijk in the hope the Dutchman would make a mistake, which he duly did. It was a great poacher’s goal and showed that Bamford could be set to be a more clinical striker than he was last season. The competition from Rodrigo should keep him on his toes but we think Rodrigo could be most effective as a number 10.
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