Premier League

Leeds 1-1 Liverpool: Player ratings as Diego Llorente header steals point

Robbie Copeland
Apr 19, 2021, 10:00 PM GMT+1
Llorente powers in a header
Llorente powers in a header | Pool/Getty Images

Leeds and Liverpool played out a cagey 1-1 draw at Elland Road, in a game completely overshadowed by outrage towards the new Super League.

The home side wore T-shirts in their pre-match warm-up displaying the slogan 'Earn It', a clear dig at the six Premier League clubs who signed up for the new competition that was announced on Monday.

But there was anger in the Liverpool camp too. Jurgen Klopp said he felt thrown under the bus by the board's decision to toss the Champions League aside, and when Trent Alexander-Arnold teed up Sadio Mane to open the scoring on the half hour, it triggered defiant celebrations from the players.

There was a real sense of pointlessness about the occasion, though, and that bled in as the second half wore on. Leeds grew into the game, and eventually got an equaliser three minutes from time when Diego Llorente headed home.

None of this may matter if football's ruling elite get their way next season...but let's get into some player ratings anyway, shall we?

Leeds player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Illan Meslier
Meslier was between the sticks again for Leeds | Pool/Getty Images

Illan Meslier (GK) - 6/10 - Good stop to deny Thiago from range early on. One or two shakey moments after the break but generally strong and composed.

Luke Ayling (RB) - 6/10 - Caught out of position once or twice but reliable for the most part.

Diego Llorente (CB) - 7/10 - Great header to equalise and net his first goal for the club.

Pascal Struijk (CB) - 6/10 - Struggled against Firmino at times but kept a cool head and impressed in the second half.

Ezgjan Alioski (LB) - 5/10 - Positioning left a lot to be desired and cost Leeds the opener when Alexander-Arnold rampaged into the space he vacated.

2. Midfielders

Kalvin Phillips and Georginio Wijnaldum
Kalvin Phillips mixes it with Gini Wijnaldum | Pool/Getty Images

Kalvin Phillips (DM) - 6/10 - Held things together for Leeds and was quick out to win the ball back on a few occasions.

Stuart Dallas (CM) - 6/10 - Celebrated his 30th birthday with a yellow card for a textbook professional foul on Sadio Mane. Just about summed up his performance and why Marcelo Bielsa loves him so much.

Tyler Roberts (CM) - 5/10 - Fairly ineffectual in the face of a composed and well-drilled Liverpool midfield.

3. Forwards

Leeds' Patrick Bamford can't reach a cross
Bamford can't reach a cross | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Helder Costa (RW) - 6/10 - Made a bit of a nuisance of himself but faded out and was subbed for the final 25.

Patrick Bamford (CF) - 6/10 - Put Liverpool centre-backs' under extreme pressure at times as he sought to end a six-game goalless run.

Jack Harrison (LW) - 5/10 - Fell asleep on Alexander-Arnold for the Liverpool opener and struggled to make anything happen for his team.

4. Substitutes

Ian Poveda (Costa, 67) - 6/10

Mateusz Klich (Alioski, 79) - N/A

Pablo Hernandez (Roberts, 87) - N/A

Liverpool player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ezgjan Alioski
Alexander-Arnold caused problems | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Alisson (GK) - 6/10 - Flew off his line to deny Bamford in the first half after some sloppy play from Fabinho. Beardless look coupled with his new haircut was harrowing, however.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - 7/10 - Flew down the right to nick the ball away from Meslier and tee up Mane for the opener.

Fabinho (CB) - 6/10 - Back in defence to cover for an injury to Nat Phillips. Ambitious with his passing and positioning - a little too much at times for Klopp's liking.

Ozan Kabak (CB) - 6/10 - Clearly been working on his distribution. Solid performance even if his positioning was occasionally shaky - leading to the Leeds equaliser.

Andy Robertson (LB) - 6/10 - Missed a great chance to kill the game off late on. Otherwise fine.

6. Midfielders

Thiago Alcantara takes on Kalvin Phillips
Thiago created plenty for Liverpool | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Thiago (CM) - 7/10 - Much more bright and ambitious in possession than he has been recently. Didn't always come off for him but the intent was there and that drove Liverpool forward.

Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) - 6/10 - Always seems wasted as the deepest of the midfield three but did the job competently.

James Milner (CM) - 6/10 - Back to where it all began against the club that gave him his senior debut in about 1963. Once again proved his worth as a squad player for Klopp.

7. Forwards

Sadio Mane scores for Liverpool against Leeds
Sadio Mane scores for Liverpool | CLIVE BRUNSKILL/Getty Images

Diogo Jota (RW) - 7/10 - Jota started off on the right in the absence of the rested Mo Salah and set up the first goal with a glorious long ball. Another encouraging performance.

Roberto Firmino (CF) - 6/10 - Led the press well and created one or two chances with his inventive movement. Shades of his old self.

Sadio Mane (LW) - 6/10 - Simple finish to end his goal drought and open the scoring. Went off for Salah for the home straight.

8. Substitutes

Mohamed Salah (Mane, 71) - 5/10

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Jota, 81) - N/A