Liverpool kicked off their Premier League title ‘attack’ with a thrilling, if at times terrifying, 4-3 victory over an equally reckless Leeds United side at Anfield.
Both teams played with freedom befitting of an end of season clash as the attackers certainly came out on top.
Jurgen Klopp’s side took an early lead when Mo Salah’s shot struck an outstretched arm to give The Reds a penalty, Salah converting himself, almost taking the roof of the net off in the process.
Leeds struck back, something they made a habit of throughout the game as the Premier League champions couldn’t shake their relentless opposition.
A Virgil van Dijk header restored the lead only for the visitors to equalise once more before a stunning volley from Salah out Liverpool 3-2 up.
However, Klopp’s men saw their lead vanish for the third time as the match turned into something more befitting of a basketball encounter.
Credit to Leeds’ unshakeable determination as they got on level terms through some less than assured defending and some quality from Marcelo Bielsa’s charges.
As the men in white seemed to finally relent after more than living up to their pre-match hype, Liverpool became the only team on the front foot, Fabinho winning the match deciding penalty as the Brazilian was bundled over after a corner.
The Egyptian King cooly slotting home to seal the points and with them, his hat-trick.
Here’s how we rated The Reds after a frantic opening match.
Alisson Becker - 5
Couldn’t do much about two of the goals but was part of the indecisive moment with Virgil van Dijk which led to the second equaliser.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - 5
Had his blushes spared thanks to the offside flag after inexplicably heading into his own net. Lacked his usual threat going forward and was caught out a bit too often.
Joe Gomez - 6
Came out on top of most of his individual battles, one of the more assured performances across the backline although he didn’t cover himself in glory for the first Leeds goal.
Virgil van Dijk - 6
His goal perhaps makes up for his very uncharacteristic error which gifted Leeds their second goal. He didn’t do much else wrong but he was far from his usual self.
Andy Robertson - 7
Can take no blame for the goals conceded and provided the corner for the Reds’ second goal. Busy as ever down the left
Jordan Henderson - 6
A surprise inclusion from the start after returning from injury. Lots of industry and was unlucky that his perfectly struck volley was straight at the keeper.
Naby Keita - 7
Always moving forwards with the ball, showed his worth bursting into the box early in the match. His influence decreased as the game wore on and as such, he was replaced.
Gini Wijnaldum - 6
Perhaps should have scored as he found himself with time in the box in the second half. Didn’t do much wrong.
Mohamed Salah - 10
Walked off with the match ball after being by far the sharpest player on the pitch. Always wanted the ball and gave the Leeds defenders the run around for the most part.
Roberto Firmino - 7
Should have scored at least once but his shot was weak and he made an unselfish decision to cut back on occasion when he could have shot. Some brilliant touches to bring others in.
Sadio Mane - 6
Will have been disappointed not to have scored as he had the chances, still proved almost impossible to handle at times.
Fabinho (Sub) - 7
Came on for Keita and did what he does best including winning the decisive penalty. WIll expect to start more often from here on out.
Curtis Jones (Sub) - 6
Lively with some nice touches, clearly in Klopp’s plans for this season.
Joel Matip (Sub) - N/A
Quickly ushered on as Reds took the lead late on. Good to see the Cameroonian back to fitness.