1) Harvey Elliott Injury for Liverpool
It’s impossible to start this “talking points” post without the horrific injury to Harvey Elliott. The teenager has been brilliant starting the season for Liverpool and Klopp had placed massive trust in the number 67, he proved against Chelsea that he’s up for facing any challenge and began extremely well against Leeds.Embed from Getty Images
Close to the hour mark though Harvey was on the end of a challenge from Struijk who had only entered play himself just after 30 minutes. I haven’t watched the challenge back but it did look live to be a high foot from the Leeds player. Watching live, I also knew immediately this was not good, I’d spotted Harvey’s leg in an unnatural position as he began to try and sit up and Mo’s reaction said it all. It was horrendous to watch it all unfold but Elliott took it in his stride, applauding the Leeds fans as he left the pitch on a stretcher.
At the time of writing, I haven’t seen an official update on the injury but it’s bound to be a lengthy period out. I wish him all the best in his recovery.
2) Sadio Mane has more shots than Leeds
Sadio Mane has been my favourite Liverpool player for a long while but I would be lying if I didn’t admit he’s been having a bit of a mare of late. He really struggled last season and there’s been points so far this year where he’s been so close but yet so far.
Sunday’s match against Leeds wasn’t much different with Mane racking up chance after chance but failing to find the net. The frustration on his face is clear to see and I just kept sitting there thinking “keep going lad, it’ll come”. You can say what you want about Sadio but he’s determined as hell and after having 10 shots to Leeds’ 9, he finally scored two minutes into extra time. I was elated for him.
I genuinely think another goal for Mane’s campaign will do wonders for his confidence and I’m really hoping he can get on the scoresheet against AC Milan in the week!
3) Despicable Hillsborough Chants
I’m disgusted I’m even having to write this but it was sickening to read and view footage post-match of some Leeds fans resorting to Hillsborough chants and gestures as Harvey Elliott was stretchered off the pitch for Liverpool.
I can’t find the words to sum up the situation but Neil Atkinson from The Anfield Wrap put it perfectly below. It just consistently shocks me, the sheer ignorance of some people. The fact as well never fails to escape me that the Hillsborough disaster could have happened to any club at any point it just happened to be Liverpool that fell to the failings of both the standard of the ground and the police management on that day.
Perfectly put by @Knox_Harrington. It happens every week. It’s not acceptable, it has to stop.— George (@reid1892) September 12, 2021
Spare me the whataboutery, there are pricks everywhere. But this is virtually every week, at virtually every ground. The trauma of that day has haunted thousands of people and their /1 pic.twitter.com/cvxOdVLijw
4) Fabinho bossing midfield
Fabinho in the centre is a godsend for Liverpool. The level of protection he provides enables the likes of Thiago and Elliott to push forward and thrive and his presence in the centre had an immense effect on Liverpool’s game on Sunday.
Intercepting breaks and splaying passes, he had a superb game for the Reds. His goal at 50 minutes was the cherry on the cake and I cannot wait to see more matches this season with him back in midfield. His stint at the back last season provided much-needed cover but it’s games like this one that make you realise how much we missed him in his natural position.
5) How strong do Liverpool look so far?
Liverpool’s last four matches have resulted in three wins and one draw. They’ve conceded just one goal and scored nine over that period. We look very strong at the moment, bar the potential lack of depth due to a slow transfer window, but we’ve put in some solid performances. However, the match against Chelsea was quite an eye-opener for me, we had them on the ropes and should have capitalised, especially after their red card but we couldn’t quite see it out.
While a 1-1 draw against fellow title challengers is not a bad one, I do wonder whether this highlights potential issues for Liverpool as they face up against the “big” sides. Time will tell.