We can all finally take a breath after a quite remarkable game between Liverpool and Leeds.
If there were any concerns about fitness, gas tanks were put to the test in a big way as Liverpool needed a late penalty to secure a win against Leeds on Saturday evening.
No fewer than five goals were scored in the first half, with Leeds refusing to back down from the daunting challenge of facing last season’s Premier League champions on their turf.
And while Leeds’ aggression was praised throughout commentary, former Red Jamie Carragher felt that Liverpool were architects of their own downfall at stages.
Last season’s ever-reliable Virgil van Dijk was accused of arrogance in the way he defended a ball over the top on the half-hour mark.
As the ball dropped over his head, Van Dijk appeared to attempt to lightly guide the ball across to left-back Andy Robertson on the volley but the Dutch centre-half failed to make the requisite contact.
🎙️ "This could be 7-7! Van Dijk, that is too arrogant!"
From hero to villain! Van Dijk nonchalantly tries to bring down an innocuous long ball but gifts it to Bamford! 🎁
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 12, 2020
The ball landed at the feet of Patrick Bamford, who was more than happy to accept the gift, and Carragher suggested that Van Dijk was perhaps over-confident because of his opinion of newly-promoted Leeds.
“Alisson was not happy. He gets in between the centre backs and Virgil van Dijk, that’s just too arrogant,” Carragher said on Sky Sports commentary, as transcribed by The Liverpool Echo.
“He tries to flick it around the corner to Andy Robertson instead of dealing with it.
Since the start of the 2018-19 season, no outfield player has made more errors leading to goals in the Premier League than Virgil van Dijk (3).
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 12, 2020
“Maybe that comes from the fact that it’s Leeds, a new team, and he thinks it’s a little bit too easy.
“Patrick Bamford, he’s already had one chance through on goal, and he’s been given a gift.”
To be fair to Van Dijk, he was as dominant as ever from an attacking point of view and he put his side 2-1 up after Mohamed Salah and Jack Harrison exchanged early goals.
Bamford made it 2-2 with his gift but Salah’s second gave Jurgen Klopp’s side a half-time lead.
When Mateusz Klich found the net in the second half, it looked like it was enough to earn Leeds their first Premier League point in 16 years.
But a late penalty broke Leeds hearts as Salah finished his hat-trick from 12 yards with just a couple of minutes remaining.