Premier League

Liverpool 6-0 Leeds: Player ratings as Reds close gap on Man City with big win

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
An easy win for Liverpool
An easy win for Liverpool / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Liverpool trimmed Manchester City's lead at the Premier League summit to just three points with a dominant 6-0 victory over a hapless Leeds United side on Wednesday.

The Reds had the game won by half time, with a rare Joel Matip strike sandwiched between two penalties from Mohamed Salah in the opening period. After some second-half resistance from their visitors, Liverpool then heaped further misery on Marcelo Bielsa's relegation-threatened side with three more goals.

The visitors actually started the game brightly but the optimism did not last long. After a quarter of an hour Andy Robertson's cross struck Stuart Dallas' outstretched arm in the box, and Mohamed Salah made no mistake from the resulting penalty.

With the deadlock broken the Reds began to find space more easily and they doubled their advantage in the 30th minute. Joel Matip was the unlikely scorer, bounding forward from defence before playing a neat one-two with Salah and providing a striker's finish.

A few minutes later Liverpool scored a third, again from the penalty spot. This time Luke Ayling was the guilty party. He brought Sadio Mane down as he burst through and Salah again got the better of Illan Meslier in the Leeds goal. By the time the half-time whistle was blown the game was over and the Whites had failed to muster a single attempt on goal.

Seemingly, things could not get much worse in the second half and indeed Leeds did fare a little better. This improvement was partly down to Liverpool dialling back the intensity ahead of Sunday's cup final but the away side did play some better stuff too, with one neat exchange resulting in Raphinha firing off a dangerous-looking effort that forced Alisson into action.

However, Liverpool finished with a flourish. 11 minutes from time a poor kick from Meslier was cut out by Jordan Henderson and after offloading to Salah, the England man was played into the penalty box by a fine pass, and he then found an unmarked Mane who tapped home.

Incredibly, two more goals would come before the end with Mane pouncing on the scraps after brave forward play from Divock Origi, before Virgil van Dijk compounded Leeds' misery with a powerful header.

Here are your player ratings for both sides...

Liverpool player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

A great moment for Matip / LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

Alisson (GK) - 5/10 - Survived an early scare when his lack of urgency nearly allowed Daniel James to nick the ball off his foot and score. Nothing to do other than that.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - 7/10 - Enjoyed an easy evening's work. Whipped in some wicked crosses which probably should have yielded him an assist.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) - 8/10 - Hard to think of a more straightforward game the Dutchman's had in recent times. Nice header too.

Joel Matip (CB) - 8/10 - Channeled his inner Kevin Nolan in the first half, arriving perfectly in the box to finish Salah's cross.

Andy Robertson (LB) - 8/10 - Bombed on down the left-hand side all game, ending proceedings with five key passes and an assist.

2. Midfielders

Thiago Alcantara
Thiago was unstoppable / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Fabinho (CM) - 7/10 - Read Leeds' predictable exchanges excellently all game, making it impossible for them to relieve the pressure.

Curtis Jones (CM) - 7/10 - Did the dirty work that allowed Thiago to shine.

Thiago Alcantara (CM) - 8/10 - Was an absolute joy to watch. Never shirked a tackle and complete ran the game with his world-class passing.

3. Forwards

Luis Diaz, Stuart Dallas
Another promising display for Diaz / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Mohamed Salah (RF) - 9/10 - Again, just such a pleasure to watch. He caused Leeds so much bother. Two great penalties.

Sadio Mane (ST) - 8/10 - Was some noise about him being wasted down the middle recently, but he did well tonight. Won the penalty for the second goal and never stopped moving. Deserved his (very easy to score) goal.

Luis Diaz (LF) - 7/10 - Such a perfect addition to this frontline. He holds onto the ball so well and rarely makes the wrong decision.

4. Substitutes

Jordan Henderson (CM) - 7/10 - Helped see the win out and created a goal.

James Milner (CM) - 6/10

Divock Origi (ST) - 7/10 - Created the fifth goal by sheer force of will.

Leeds player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Ayling was lucky to stay on the pitch / LINDSEY PARNABY/GettyImages

Illan Meslier (GK) - 3/10 - Kept the scores down as best he could, making eight saves. His poor kick led to the fourth goal, though.

Stuart Dallas (RB) - 2/10 - Pretty unlucky for the penalty but Diaz had him flapping like a seagull who's just spied a toddler with some chips.

Luke Ayling (CB) - 1/10 - Also gave away a penalty and never looked comfortable as Liverpool's front three dragged him all over the shop.

Pascal Struijk (CB) - 2/10 - As above, except he managed not to commit a foul in the penalty box. Congratulations.

Junior Firpo (LB) - 2/10 - Probably Leeds' best defender – but still got rinsed by Salah constantly.

6. Midfielders

Adam Forshaw, Fabinho
Forshaw struggled badly / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Adam Forshaw (DM) - 2/10 - Rancid in possession. Barely laid a glove on the Liverpool midfield either.

Raphinha (RM) - 3/10 -
Strayed offside when he could have made it 1-1. Nothing broke for him. If this was the final audition for a potential summer move to Anfield, Jarrod Bowen would have got the part.

Mateusz Klich (CM) - N/A -
Genuinely don't want to talk about his display, it makes me sad. Dragged off at half time.

Rodrigo (CM) - 4/10 -
Not Leeds' worst player by any stretch but that did not stop him getting subbed at half time.

Jack Harrison (LM) - 2/10 -
One of the most noticeable victims of Leeds' incredible drop off this season. Seems a million miles away from the player who managed eight goals and as many assists last season.

7. Forwards

Virgil van Dijk, Daniel James
James worked hard / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Daniel James (ST) - 3/10 - Never stopped running and pressed Alisson into an early mistake. No service.

8. Substitutes

Tyler Roberts (CM) - 3/10 - Played exactly how one would expect Tyler Roberts to perform in a Premier League football match.

Jamie Shackleton (CM) - 5/10 - Did not do anything wrong.

Joe Gelhardt (ST) - 4/10 - Barely touched it.