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As it happened: Liverpool v Leeds, Premier League

Liverpool faced Leeds as both sides began their campaign.

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Liverpool 4-3 Leeds

Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

It should be a fascinating encounter.

Reigning champions Liverpool face Leeds, who topped the Championship last season, thereby ending a 16-year wait for a Premier League return.

Marcelo Bielsa, who becomes the fourth Argentine coach to manage in the English top flight, has his work cut out going up against a Liverpool side who are favourites to win the title again and who dropped points on just six occasions last season.

The Reds didn’t make any major signings during the summer, but given that they won the league by a remarkable 18 points last season, they will fancy their chances of going the distance again.

Who do you think will win?

Poll Results:

Liverpool (371)
Leeds (123)
Draw (78)

Chance for Liverpool straight away.

Keita slips through Firmino, but he’s quickly crowded out by a couple of alert Leeds defenders and the goalkeeper.

A penalty is awarded early on, after Salah‘s shot is blocked by the arm of Koch.

The Egypt international then blasts home his penalty high and central into the roof of the net.

Leeds have responded really well to going behind and they’ve now been rewarded.

Phillips plays a sweeping cross-field ball to Harrison.

The 23-year-old winger, who is on loan from Man City, beats Alexander-Arnold to the ball before finishing with a brilliant low shot from the edge of the area.

Leeds goalkeeper Meslier breathes a sight of relief.

His clearance from well outside his box goes straight to Mane, who lobs it into the empty net.

However, Robertson was correctly adjudged offside in the build-up.

Liverpool are back in front.

Robertson hangs a corner up in the air. Van Dijk loses Koch and finds the net with a powerful downward header.

Meslier did actually get a hold of the ball but could only help it into the net.

Liverpool almost score a freak of a third goal.

Robertson’s innocuous cross deflects off Struijk’s outstretched leg and Meslier does well, acrobatically tipping it over the bar.

What a game this is!

Van Dijk fails to deal with a hopeful long ball.

Patrick Bamford is on hand to capitalise, slotting it home from close range, with the ball deflecting off Allison’s foot on the way into the net.

Incredible stuff! Liverpool once again take the lead.

A free kick is lofted in, Struijk half clears with a header.

However, it comes to Salah, who takes one touch on the edge of the area, before blasting an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Salah plays through Mane, whose shot is blocked by Meslier.

The offside flag goes up, but that looks a questionable call judging by replays.

As impressive as Leeds have been going forward at times, they’ve consistently looked very open at the back.

Hélder Costa goes down in the area amid protests, but the ref waves play on.

Salah pulled his foot away at the last minute and there was minimal contact, so it was the right call.

You certainly get the sense we haven’t seen the last of the goals in this game.

It’s half-time and as the scoreline suggests, it’s been a highly entertaining first 45 minutes.

Both sides have played some scintillating attacking football, while looking shaky at the back on a regular basis.

Liverpool in particular have been far too casual in their defending at times, as evidenced by a rare Van Dijk error for the second Leeds goal.

Down the other end, Koch has had a Premier League debut to forget, conceding a penalty early on and losing Van Dijk for the second goal.

There have also been brilliant efforts by Salah and Harrison amid a breathtaking first period.

Liverpool look capable of upping the gears when necessary, though Leeds showed plenty of threat in that first half, and will feel they are capable of coming away from Anfield with at least a point on the basis of that opening half.

It’s been a somewhat surprising start to the second half in that there has not been a goal or clear-cut chance in the opening three minutes.

Of course, as I type, Firmino’s cross finds Wijnaldum inside the area, but Meslier gets down well to make the save from the Dutchman’s shot.

Another Liverpool corner finds the head of Van Dijk from further out.

However, this time, the chance is more difficult and the Dutch international’s attempt goes over the bar.

This game continues to be very open.

Gomez has to make a last-ditch challenge on Klich to break up a very promising Leeds counter-attack.

Then, as I type, a long ball finds Harrison through on goal.

The winger lobs the goalkeeper, before Alexander-Arnold, in attempting to clear it, heads it into the net.

However, as replays indicate, he is then rightly adjudged to be offside.

Dallas gets in behind the Liverpool defence, before Alisson cuts out his cross.

Then, the hosts counter. Salah and Mane play a one-two, before the latter curls his attempt well over the bar from the edge of the area.

There have been a couple of substitutions in recent minutes.

For Liverpool, Fabinho has replaced Keita.

For Leeds, Bamford and Hernandez are off, and Rodrigo and Roberts come on.

Another change for Liverpool, and it’s an intriguing one.

The captain, Jordan Henderson, is replaced by youngster Curtis Jones.

Leeds are level again in stunning fashion.

Hélder Costa picks out Klich, who takes one touch before blasting it into the corner of the net.

Curtis Jones goes down in the box under a challenge by Klich, but the referee says play on.

Looking at replays, it would have been an extremely harsh call to award a penalty.

Klich does well to make an excellent last-ditch block to stop a goal-bound Wijnaldum effort.

Before that, down the other end, Phillips curled a free kick just wide.

As I type, Van Dijk blasts the ball home from a low corner, but Curtis Jones is adjudged to have blocked Hélder Costa in the build-up and the referee awards a free kick.

Another substitution from Leeds.

The goalscorer Klich is replaced by hometown player Shackleton.

Liverpool look the more likely to score a winner, with just under five minutes of normal time remaining.

Klopp’s side are doing most of the attacking in these dying minutes, but can’t find a way through.

Salah gets his hat-trick, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot.

The penalty was given following a needless foul by substitute Rodrigo on Fabinho inside the area.

Wow! What a game!

Liverpool clinch it at the end in what must be one of the most memorable opening fixtures in recent years.

Leeds didn’t disappoint amid their first Premier League fixture since 2004.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side showed impressive resilience, coming back three times yet ultimately having nothing to show for it.

It was a game where defences patently were not on top, with both sides making individual errors at the back.

Liverpool probably deserved the victory on the balance of play. The pressure was too much for Leeds in the end, and you always felt the Reds had an extra gear they could utilise if needed.

Mo Salah served a reminder of why he is such a special player, while there were a couple of players who stood out for Leeds in attack.

It’s an encouraging start for Bielsa in many ways, while Klopp will know the reigning champions need to improve from a defensive viewpoint.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

You can read our match report here and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

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