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Men's Football Bielsa praises Klopp after Reds brush aside Leeds

Leeds 0-3 Liverpool
By James Nalton
at Elland Road

MARCELO BIELSA had plenty of praise for his opposite number, Jurgen Klopp, after Liverpool put three past his Leeds side at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon.

The visitors created chance after chance, finishing the game having had 30 shots on goal.

Ten of those came from the boot of Sadio Mane, who eventually found the back of the net in injury time following goals in each half from Mohamed Salah and Fabinho.

It was an intense, fast-paced game with both sets of fans contributing to the atmosphere, but one in which Leeds ultimately didn’t have an answer to their opponents.

“Evidently, the way I planned for the game didn’t allow for our forwards to shine,” said Bielsa.

“Liverpool managed to get their forwards into the game to create danger and chances.

“Every time we lost the ball, the opponents created danger.

“What Jurgen Klopp planned for facilitated the unbalance of the forwards and what I chose didn’t allow our forwards to create danger.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold went into some of the detail behind Liverpool’s game plan when speaking to Match of the Day after the game.

He commented on the space afforded to Joel Matip who was able to carry the ball out of defence into attacking positions.

The central defender played a key part in the opening goal for Salah which was assisted by Alexander-Arnold’s cross.

“We knew the way that the man-marked spaces would open up,” Alexander-Arnold told the BBC.

“Joel was able to keep running to the edge of the box and he played a little one-two with Mo and then I was wide open.

“Then it’s just about composure and obviously Mo has tucked it away.”

Leeds went down to 10 men in the second half when Pascal Striujk was sent off for a dangerous, lunging tackle on 18-year-old attacking midfielder Harvey Elliott.

The teenager, who has played a big role for Liverpool in the opening stages of the season, will undergo ankle surgery this week, after which the number of months of the season he will miss will become clearer.

The injury soured a special Liverpool performance somewhat, but Klopp will be hoping his side can keep their spirits up for their Champions League meeting with Milan tomorrow night.

Bielsa, meanwhile, will be looking to spend the week on the training ground getting his side back on track for the rest of the season.

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