Leeds shock Liverpool to end unbeaten run at Anfield
Liverpool were beaten at home in the Premier League in front of a crowd for the first time in over five years as Crysencio Summerville’s 89th minute goal gave Leeds a 2-1 win at Anfield.
The visitors began the night second bottom of the table but climbed out of the relegation zone thanks to their first win in nine games.
Liverpool gifted Rodrigo an early opener before Mohamed Salah levelled for the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp’s men had not tasted a league defeat in front of their own supporters since losing to Crystal Palace in April 2017, although they did lose six in a row during the 2020/21 season when crowds were banished due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But that proud record came to a shocking end when Summerville wriggled free inside the area and fired into the far corner.
A fourth defeat in their opening 12 league games of the season leaves Liverpool 13 points off the top of the table and eight adrift of even the top four.
Leeds boss Jesse Marsch had been fighting to save his job after previously failing to win since August.
However, the American could not have wished for a more generous gift from the hosts than for the opener after just four minutes.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker stumbled as he tried to reach Joe Gomez’s backpass, allowing Rodrigo an easy finish into the unguarded net for the Spaniard’s sixth goal of the season.
That was the eighth time in 12 league games this season that Liverpool have conceded first.
The lead did not last long as Salah levelled with his seventh goal in five games against Leeds by steering home Andy Robertson’s cross on 14 minutes.
An unusually late Saturday night kick-off for the Premier League caused by Liverpool’s Champions League commitments on Tuesday contributed to a crackling atmosphere.
Spurred on by both sets of supporters, the two teams continued to tear from one end of the field to the other in a wide open match.
Leeds were inches away from retaking the lead when Brendan Aaronson hit the crossbar before Alisson made amends for his earlier slip by saving from Jack Harrison.
Darwin Nunez is beginning to show the promise that prompted Liverpool to spend 75 million euros ($75 million) on the Uruguayan.
Nunez had scored in his previous four starts and should have netted once more when he was clean through, but was denied by a perfectly timed tackle by Illan Meslier.
The Frenchman also got the better of a personal duel with Nunez after the break as he saved a one-on-one and then turned over a brilliant strike from outside the box by the former Benfica player.
In their determination to find a winner, Liverpool sent Virgil van Dijk forward as an auxiliary centre-forward, leaving gaps for Leeds to exploit.
A poor first touch from Patrick Bamford cost the Leeds striker a clear sight of goal.
Marsch’s men still needed Meslier to be sharp as he again used an outstretched foot to deny Salah then pounced on Firmino’s close range header.
But just as Leeds seemed to be settling for a point, Summerville produced a moment of genius to catapult them up to 15th in the table.