Joy for Jota as Liverpool thump Leeds 6-1 at Elland Road
- Leeds had chances in the first half but just as in their 5-1 home loss to Crystal Palace in their previous match, they were far too open defensively.
- Liverpool move to 47 points from 30 games, nine behind Newcastle United in the fourth Champions League qualification position.
Liverpool banished their away day blues as Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah grabbed two goals each in an emphatic 6-1 victory at lowly Leeds United on Monday, a record home Premier League loss at Elland Road for the Yorkshire club.
Jota was on the scoresheet for the first time in over a year while Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez were also on target as Liverpool recorded a second away win in 2023.
They move to 47 points from 30 games, nine behind Newcastle United in the fourth Champions League qualification position.
Leeds had chances in the first half but just as in their 5-1 home loss to Crystal Palace in their previous match, they were far too open defensively.
Javi Gracia's side remain two points above the relegation zone after 31 games. Leeds winger Luis Sinisterra made it 2-1 soon after the interval before Liverpool netted four more.
"It was a special second half, we played really well," Jota told Sky Sports. "We kept possession and tried to find ourselves in good positions. We scored some great goals.
"It has been a hard season for me and the team so it is a relief for me to score. I always want to be involved, I got an assist too in the first half, but I would like to score more."
Salah now has nine goals in six league matches against Leeds, a joint Liverpool record with Gordon Hodgson, and has moved to 26 for the season in all competitions after two clinical finishes, with his first being set up by Jota.
There was some controversy over Liverpool’s first goal from Gakpo in the 35th minute as Leeds claimed a handball from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the build-up but as the fullback was not the scorer the Video Assistant Referee did not intervene.
It is a first win in six games in all competitions for Liverpool, whose Champions League qualification hopes look a long-shot, but there was some swagger back in the performance that has been missing away from Anfield this season.
Liverpool’s fourth away win of the season came as they led 2-0 at halftime. They battled to create chances in the opening half-hour but once Gakpo put them in front they began to cut Leeds open at will.
Salah fed Alexander-Arnold down the right and although the ball struck the wing-back's arm, he was allowed to continue and provided a tap-in for Gakpo at the back post.
Jota robbed Weston McKennie and led a counter-attack that saw Salah score the second before a mistake from Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate allowed Sinisterra to pull a goal back for the home side early in the second period.
Leeds might have hoped that would be a turning point but they could not contain the visitors in the second half.
Jota restored Liverpool's two-goal advantage when he ran on to a superb pass from Curtis Jones and swept the ball past goalkeeper Illan Meslier, later adding a second with a scuffed shot from the edge of the box.
Salah and Nunez also scored to compound the misery at a rapidly emptying Elland Road.
"Obviously we knew it would be a tough game. We started with a clear plan and tried to get them on the counter," Leeds defender Robin Koch said.
"Then we conceded two goals and it's an extremely difficult game against a team like Liverpool.
"It's hard for us but we need to put this game aside. We have three massive games coming up (against Fulham, Leicester City and Bournemouth)."
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