Diego Llorente scored the equalizer goal late for Leeds to deny Liverpool a place in the top four of the Premier League.
Diego Llorente‘s goal was his first goal in English football. Uncertainty dictates what that will mean following the European Super League announcement.
Red is one of 12 clubs that have agreed to join a split ESL to “get started as soon as possible.” Although it does not start next season, Uefa has said it could prevent teams, including six English teams, from competing in the European Championships.
There was an unusual situation in the first game involving any of the 12 teams since it was announced on Sunday night. With protests inside and outside the ground.
Fans of Leeds and other clubs gathered outside Elland Road to protest against Liverpool. The burning of Liverpool’s shirt. And a plane flew over the stadium to signal a message against the Super League.
Inside the stadium, Leeds players wore ‘Find Yourself’ T-shirts near the Champions League emblem. And ‘Football for the fans.’ The banner after one goal had the same message.
Leeds have left their shirts in Liverpool’s dressing room, too, if they want to protest. An act that has angered Reds manager Jurgen Klopp, who has said he does not like the idea of ESL. But that he and his players have nothing to do with it.
Liverpool dominated the first half and went further when Trent Alexander Arnold held on to Diogo Jota’s fine pass and equalized with Sadio Mane to put in an empty net after Illan Meslier came out on top.
That was his first Premier League goal since January, ten games.
Leeds improved after the break, and Patrick Bamford hit a crossbar before Llorente scored his team’s first goal.
Remind action on Elland Road
The Reds live outside Europe. Liverpool sits in sixth place after this result. Suppose they were to stay in that position at the end of the season.
They would not even finish in the European arena unless one of the home cup winners also finished in the top five.
But in the event of a Super League, the Reds will no longer have to worry about such things.
Liverpool was a huge force in the first half, particularly with Thiago Alcantara forcing a save in the distance. And Roberto Firmino fired straight at Meslier in front of the goal.
Leeds came back in the second half, but Liverpool had two good chances to win. Just before the equalizer when substitute Mohamed Salah pulled the trigger. And it was at the last minute that Meslier denied Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The near future of Liverpool may have been decided off the field rather than played in Elland Road with an England team and not in the ‘six big ones.’
Leeds also proved the game for top European players.
They followed last weekend’s victory over Manchester City’s champions by a landslide victory.
Next up are the old rivals Manchester United as they roam the series of test matches.
The hosts were not too busy in the first half. However, Bamford was ruled out by Alisson after a weak goalkeeper but improved significantly after the break.
Bamford cut the first shot with Alisson out of the cross, while Jack Harrison was denied a goalkeeper in his immediate vicinity.
Leeds got their due goal when Llorente headed in Harrison’s corner with the first goal in English football.
United sit in tenth place in the Premier League, eight points behind the European qualifiers. Even if six of the above teams were unfairly criticized, they would still be in the Champions League.