A hat-trick from Mohamed Salah, including two penalty goals, allowed defending champion Liverpool to avoid an embarrassing poor performance against promoted Leeds (4-3), who sold his skin dearly, in the first Premier League day.
Jürgen Klopp had insisted before the match that his team did not want to "defend their title, but to conquer the next one".
He will have realized that there is a lot of work, even if the scenario - a victory wrested in extremis after being jostled - strangely reminds some key successes of the past season.
The arrival of Marcelo Bielsa, a coach as enigmatic as he is charismatic, in a division that already had big names like Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti or José Mourinho, had stirred up all fans of tactics.
This match will do nothing to calm their ardor.
"El Loco" had assured before the match that his team, champion or not opposite, would play its game, and he kept his word, with a completely crazy first period, well helped by the defensive largesse on both sides.
Accustomed to the laborious start and the end of a fiery game, Liverpool had yet seemed very focused from the first minute against a team known to put a lot of intensity.
Mohamed Salah, author of a hat-trick, but also Sadio Mané have already shown an interesting form.
The Egyptian is a regular at the start of the season with a bang: he has scored in the opening days of the last four seasons, only Teddy Sheringham, who had scored in the opening days of the first four seasons of the Premier League, between 1992 / 1993 and 1996/1997, did the same.
- Leeds could play with their eyes closed -
Against Leeds, he scored a strong penalty for a hand from rookie Robin Koch (1-0, 4th), he sent a missile into Ilan Meslier's left skylight for 3-2 (33rd) and n ' did not tremble for the penalty kick for the win two minutes from the end of regulation time.
Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk had catapulted a corner from Andrew Robertson behind the line with a powerful header at the near post (3-2, 20th).
But defensively, the Reds were very crumbly against the Peacocks who seem able to play with their eyes closed as they master the passing trajectories and their runs.
The first goal of Jack Harrison, well launched by Kalvin Phillps just selected for the England team, who played off a struggling Alexander Trent-Arnold this Saturday, was the illustration (1-1, 12).
The second goal conceded by Liverpool owes a lot to the indolence of Virgil van Dijk who missed his control on a bell ball in favor of Patrick Bamford who went to deceive Alisson (2-2, 30).
As for the third goal of the promoted, it symbolizes all his panache, since no less than five of his players were in the box at the reception of a center finally materialized by the Pole Mateusz Klich of a superb sequence of control-cross strike ( 3-3, 66e).
If this is Leeds' first defeat on a first day of the Premier League (5 wins and 7 draws), it is nonetheless a match with hope.
For Liverpool on the other hand, it is a real warning shot before a trip to Stamford Bridge to challenge the ambitious Chelsea next Sunday.
© 2020 AFP