LIVERPOOL -- In a high-octane match at Anfield, Leeds United beat Liverpool 2-1. With Jurgen Klopp's side off to a poor start in the season, and Jesse Marsch's side facing relegation fears, both teams desperately needed a win.
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Crysencio Summerville made the difference for Leeds, putting away a chance in the 89th minute. On the other end of the pitch, Illan Meslier had nine saves and kept Leeds in the game.
Jurgen Klopp will be disappointed with his side's performance after the 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest last week. This result puts the Reds in 9th place, with Leeds only four points behind in 15th place.
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1. Leeds stun Liverpool to take heat off Marsh
Leeds United stunned Liverpool to claim their first win at Anfield since 2001 with Crysencio Summerville's 89th minute winner handing manager Jesse Marsch a huge boost in his fight to hold onto his job at Elland Road. Marsch has been subjected to chants calling for him to sacked during an eight-game winless run in the league and this clash with Jurgen Klopp's team had looked like a potentially decisive fixture for the American.
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But despite starting the game as 12-1 outsiders to win, Leeds deserved their victory having opened the scoring through Rodrigo after a mistake by defender Joe Gomez inside four minutes. When Mohamed Salah equalised for Liverpool ten minutes later, the defensive frailties that have haunted Leeds all season could have overwhelmed them again. But Marsch's team dominated every area of the pitch and it was clear from the early stages of the second-half that Liverpool were vulnerable to a fourth league defeat of the season.
Summerville's winner was still a shock when it came, though, due to the cool manner in which he took his goal. Having received the ball just outside the six-yard box, the 20-year-old displayed quick feet to prod his shot beyond Alisson in the Liverpool goal and silence the home crowd.
And while it was a significant win for Leeds, the defeat was another blow for Liverpool this season. Klopp's team have won just four of 12 league games and sit 13 points behind leaders Manchester City in ninth place. To compound their defeat, Liverpool have suffered back-to-back defeats against the bottom two teams with this loss coming a week after the 1-0 defeat at bottom club Nottingham Forest.
2. Van Dijk record comes to an end
Virgil van Dijk's impact at Liverpool since arriving from Southampton as, at the time, the world's most expensive defender in 2018 can be measured by his incredible unbeaten streak at Anfield in the Premier League. Until the visit of Leeds, Van Dijk had made 70 Premier League appearances for Liverpool at Anfield and avoided defeat in every single one of them.
His record of 59 wins and 11 defeats stretched back nearly five years, but Crysencio Summerville's 89th minute for Leeds brought Van Dijk's proud run to a crashing halt. Liverpool, of course, suffered six straight home defeats in the Premier League during the 2020-21 seaason, but Van Dijk missed each one of them due to the season-ending cruciate ligament injury he suffered early in the campaign. So Leeds, who ended their own 21-year wait for a win at Anfield, made it an even bigger occasion by drawing a line under Van Dijk's record too.
3. Nunez needs World Cup to reset
Little has gone right for Darwin Nunez since he completed his club record £75 million move to Liverpool from Benfica this summer and the Uruguay international endured another miserable 90 minutes against Leeds. Aside from an impressive substitute appearance in the Community Shield win against Manchester City in July, when he upstaged Erling Haaland with a goal and an assist, Nunez has struggled to make an impact, scoring just three Premier League goals.
A three-match ban for a red card against Crystal Palace hasn't helped Nunez find his rhythm, but he has now had plenty of time to build an understanding with his attacking team-mates. It still isn't working, though, and Nunez's confidence has clearly been affected. He missed two clear chances against Leeds, with keeper Ilian Meslier blocked on each occasion. Nunez went close with a late strike with a curling effort, but on a day when he played in a front three with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, he didn't do enough to suggest he has become a first pick for Klopp.
And although Firmino is out of contract at the end of the season and facing an uncertain future, he still looks like Liverpool's best option in the number nine role. The good news for Nunez is that he will soon get a six-week break with the World Cup and it could be the perfect chance to press the reset button and go again in the new year.
Liverpool: Alisson 5; Alexander-Arnold 5, Gomez 5, Van Dijk 6, Robertson 6; Fabinho 5, Thiago 5, Elliott 6; Salah 6, Firmino 6, Nunez 5
Subs: Jones 6, Henderson 6, Milner 6
Leeds: Meslier 7; Kristensen 7, Koch 6, Cooper 6, Struijk 7; Roca 6, Adams 8; Summerville 7, Aaronson 7, Harrison 7; Rodrigo 6
Subs: Bamford 6, Gnonto 6, Ayling 6
Best and worst performers
BEST: Tyler Adams, Leeds
Nobody embodied the spirited Leeds performance better than the USMNT midfielder. Adams was energetic, feisty and snapped into every tackle. His confrontation with Liverpool's Andy Robertson underlined his commitment.
WORST: Fabinho, Liverpool
The Liverpool midfielder has struggled for his best form all season and he was poor again against Leeds. Too often overrun and dragged out of position.
Highlights and notable moments
A Joe Gomez mistake early in the game gifted the first goal to Leeds United.
A mistake at the back allows Rodrigo to give Leeds the early lead 😮— Premier League USA (@PLinUSA) October 29, 2022
🎥: @NBCSportsSoccer | #LIVLEE
10 minutes after conceding, Mohamed Salah brought Liverpool level.
Liverpool are level through Mo Salah!— Premier League USA (@PLinUSA) October 29, 2022
🎥: @NBCSportsSoccer | #LIVLEE
A day before his 21st birthday, Summerville scored the winner in the 89th minute.
CALM AND COLLECTED FROM SUMMERVILLE ❄️— Premier League USA (@PLinUSA) October 29, 2022
🎥: @NBCSportsSoccer | #LIVLEE
After the match: What the managers, players said
Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch: "Everybody's made a big deal about firing me, but the board and I have been unified and we've stuck together. We've been playing well, but not getting points. But this win was necessary to stop the bleeding for us and I want the players to enjoy the moment, but we have to use this to launch ourselves."
"I'm just happy for our team, I believe in them and I have told them that often. But in a moment like this, if you're a real leader, your focus is on your people."
Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)
- Mohamed Salah: 70th career PL goal at Anfield, breaking a tie with Steven Gerrard for the 2nd-most. Robbie Fowler has 85.
- Leeds' goal was the latest game-winning Premier League at Anfield vs Liverpool since Robin van Persie (90'+2) with Arsenal on March 3, 2012.
- This is the first Premier League match Virgil van Dijk has lost at Anfield as a Liverpool player. He was 59-0-11 (W-L-D) in his previous 70 PL appearances at home for the club.
Liverpool: The Reds host Napoli in the Champions League on Nov. 1, with both teams through to the knockouts. Then, Liverpool travel to London to face Tottenham Hotspur on Nov. 6, followed by a Carabao Cup third-round match against Derby County on Nov. 9.
Leeds: Under pressure for his job, Jesse Marsch will host an in-form Bournemouth side on Nov. 5, followed by a Carabao Cup game against Wolves on Nov. 9, before traveling to face Spurs on Nov. 12.