Liverpool 4-3 Leeds Player Ratings: Mohamed Salah Hat-Trick Wins Opening Day Classic

Mohamed Salah
Liverpool players celebrate a goal against Leeds United | Pool/Getty Images

Liverpool clinched a dramatic 4-3 victory over Leeds United in their first defence of the Premier League title on Saturday afternoon, in what will certainly be remembered as one of the games of the season at Anfield.

The Reds took the lead through a Mohamed Salah penalty after four minutes, but the Whites equalised soon after through Jack Harrison's rasping drive. Jurgen Klopp's men regained their advantage thanks to a towering Virgil van Dijk header, only for the Dutchman to gift-wrap a second for Patrick Bamford to steer home.

Salah bagged a hat-trick on Saturday afternoon
Salah bagged a hat-trick on Saturday afternoon | Pool/Getty Images

Salah thrashed a sensational drive into the top corner just after the half-hour mark, to end the scoring in a breathless first 45 minutes.

Leeds were not finished, however, and Mateusz Klich drew them level for a third time with a sizzling drive into the far corner. The game looked to be heading for a draw until Rodrigo needlessly tripped Fabinho in the box, and Salah completed his hat-trick from 12 yards to clinch the three points.

Right, enough of that, shall we do some player ratings.

LIVERPOOL

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk headed Liverpool back ahead on 20 minutes | Pool/Getty Images

Alisson (GK) - 6/10 - Beaten twice early on - although he was hardly at fault for either goal. Was once again left with little chance as Klich buried a third. Had little else to do between the sticks.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - 6/10 - Turned inside out by Harrison for Leeds' levelling strike, and didn't look to be at the peak of his powers. Spared an embarrassing own goal by the offside flag. A tough afternoon.

Joe Gomez (CB) - 5/10 - Beaten far too easily on more than one occasion - including the Harrison goal - and caught out of position by Leeds' clever balls over the top.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) - 6/10 - Powered Liverpool ahead with a super header, but gifted Leeds a second goal with a proper clanger. Tried to hold the defence together, but the Reds were rocking.

Andy Robertson (LB) - 7/10 - Assisted the second with an inch-perfect corner kick, and looked far sturdier than several of his defensive teammates. Even so, could improve.

2. Midfielders

Ezgjan Alioski, Georginio Wijnaldum
Wijnaldum carrying the ball past Hernandez | Pool/Getty Images

Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) - 6/10 - Offered his usual industry in the first half, and almost opened his account three minutes into the second, but his effort was saved. Rather subdued.

Jordan Henderson (CM) - 6/10 - Brought some calm to a panicked team in the opening 45 minutes. Not his best performance, but grew into the game until his substitution just after the hour mark.

Naby Keita (CM) - 7/10 - Looked very sharp for the Reds. Nipped around the midfield, hustled his opponents and provided some excellent touches and intricate play around the Leeds box. Harshly hooked off for Fabinho.

3. Forwards

Mohamed Salah
Salah scored a stunning second goal for the Reds | Pool/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah (RW) - 8/10 - Off the mark for the season with a powerful penalty, winning the spot-kick himself. Blasted his second of the afternoon with an absolute thunderbolt into the top corner. Secured all three points and a treble with a pressure penalty. He's back.

Roberto Firmino (ST) - 6/10 - The least noticeable of the front three, but nothing new for the silent assassin. Firmino pulled the Leeds defence around and created lots of space, but fluffed his lines in front of goal when handed the opportunity.

Sadio Mané (LW) - 7/10 - Looked back to his devilish best at times, linking up nicely with his fellow forwards and pulling off some daring moves when running at his marker. Didn't get on the scoresheet, but a solid display.

4. Substitutes

Curtis Jones, Jordan Henderson
Jones replaced Henderson in the second half | Pool/Getty Images

Fabinho (CM) - 6/10

Curtis Jones (CM) - 5/10

Joel Matip (CB) - N/A

LEEDS UNITED

5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Illan Meslier, Virgil van Dijk
Meslier cannot stop Van Dijk's powerful header | Pool/Getty Images

Illan Meslier (GK) - 6/10 - Very little chance with any of the goals, and kept the scoreline down as Liverpool stamped their authority on the match.

Luke Ayling (RB) - 6/10 - It was never going to be an easy Premier League welcome for Ayling, but he did his best against a tricky Mané.

Robin Koch (CB) - 5/10 - Caught Koch in hand from the off. A nightmare start to his Leeds career, after giving away a penalty with a very unnaturally outstretched arm inside four minutes. Then lost Van Dijk from a corner, allowing Liverpool to go ahead once more. Recovered in the second half to resemble an actual centre-back. Fair play.

Pascal Struijk (CB) - 5/10 - Not much better than his centre-back partner, and only a fantastic save from Meslier separated Struijk from an embarrassing first-half own goal.

Stuart Dallas (LB) - 6/10 - Struggled to contain Salah on the right flank, but looked to supply his forwards with several precise counter-attacking balls.

6. Midfielders

Georginio Wijnaldum, Kalvin Phillips
Phillips battling for the ball with Wijnaldum | Pool/Getty Images

Kalvin Phillips (CM) - 7/10 - Helped Leeds to get a foot on the ball after a chaotic opening half an hour, and spread play delightfully with his wonderful passing range. Anchored the midfield expertly as the Whites gained confidence.

Mateusz Klich (CM) - 7/10 - Tried to be his usual tenacious self, but came up against the toughest opponents in the business. Found his feet in the second half, and drew Leeds level for a third time with a brilliant finish inside the box. A warrior.

Pablo Hernandez (CM) - 5/10 - Looked slightly off the pace during a manic first half, and the game really seemed to pass him by. Substituted, and rightly so - his time will come, though.

7. Forwards

Pablo Hernandez, Patrick Bamford
Bamford showed excellent composure to level the scores | Pool/Getty Images

Helder Costa (RW) - 7/10 - Provided a threatening and pacy outlet on the flank, chasing every loose ball and showing neat close control when dribbling at speed. Produced a real moment of quality to split the defence with a glorious pass to Klich.

Patrick Bamford (ST) - 6/10 - Showed excellent predatory instinct to latch onto Van Dijk's error and calmly slot home. Worked the two centre-backs with a decent physical performance. Substituted after an hour.

Jack Harrison (LW) - 7/10 - Equalised with a wonderful individual goal, ripping Liverpool's right side to bits and firing home brilliantly. What an entrance into Premier League football.

8. Substitutes

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-LEEDS
Rodrigo challenging Gomez in the air | PHIL NOBLE/Getty Images

Rodrigo (ST) - 5/10

Tyler Roberts (ST) - 6/10

Jamie Shackleton (CM) - 5/10