MARTIN KEOWN: Helder Costa sums up Leeds’ Premier League quality… while ‘sharp’ Mohamed Salah rolled back the clocks to his 2017-18 season
- All of the Leeds players looked Premier League quality in opener vs Liverpool
- Helder Costa caught my eye as he gave a problem to Trent Alexander-Arnold
- The sharp Mohamed Salah rolled back the clocks to his sublime 2017-18 season
All of Leeds United’s players looked like Premier League quality in this opener. They were competitive all over the pitch, and Helder Costa caught my eye.
There was one moment at Anfield where he nutmegged Trent Alexander-Arnold on the left wing and ran away from the Liverpool full-back, who was unable to keep up.
I wrote that we should expect the unexpected with Marcelo Bielsa in my tactical take on Leeds in Saturday’s Daily Mail. We were all wondering what he would pull out of the bag and Leeds’ set-up made this an enthralling match.
Helder Costa caught my eye as the Leeds United players showcased Premier League quality
Regardless of the fact they were heading to the home of the English champions, the visitors flew forward when possible and passed it out from the back.
Since Opta started collecting possession data in 2003, only three newly-promoted sides had managed to have more of the ball than the hosts at Anfield — West Brom in September 2004, Wigan in December 2005 and Newcastle in May 2011.
Leeds became the fourth team to do that on Saturday, and you can bet they will cause other clubs plenty of problems this season.
Salah reminded me of the 2017-18 version, who scored 44 goals and won individual awards
Liverpool won courtesy of two penalties, a set-piece and another fantastic finish from Mo Salah. The Egyptian reminded me of 2017-18 Salah — the forward who scored 44 times in all competitions and won endless individual awards.
He was so sharp that season with a shot conversion rate of 22.22 per cent. The following campaigns, it dropped to 16.06 and 14.39 per cent.
But I wonder if we’ll see clinical Salah return as Liverpool look to defend their title. Certainly the hat-trick hero looked in the mood on Saturday.
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