Leeds United v Liverpool 12th September 2021 at Elland Road

Liverpool H 12th September 2021

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I had an extra visit to Elland Road last week after being invited to film for Premier League Productions about the Viduka four goal game in 2000/2001. I’m looking forward to getting a link to share in due course and it was lovely being back in the ground. I also managed to meet Tom Woodhead who was able to get our Leeds United songs recordings ready for being reproduced onto CDs. I need to find out the costs involved to do this, as we have 3 CDs with over 200 songs and chants from the Scratching Shed days until recently. We want to keep the costs down as any monies raised after these have been paid will go to the Leeds United Foundation/Academy, but we are a step closer in getting this project completed.

I finally received my birthday present from my family with my Billy Bremner statue from Clarke Sculptures. The attention to detail is fantastic and I love him although I misjudged the size of the statue. Luckily, he fits perfectly on my windowsill.

After a trip via Rastrick and Wakefield, we arrived at the ground in plenty of time and headed to the Peacock Garden and there was a lovely atmosphere there. It was good catching up with fans including some of our Norwegian fans before heading into the ground early, as an excited granddaughter couldn’t wait any longer! I had people messaging me at the start of the game as I’d been spotted on TV before heading up to my seat.

Team: Meslier, Cooper, Ayling, Dallas, Raphinha, Harrison, Rodrigo, Bamford, Firpo, Llorente and Phillips.

Subs: Struijk for Llorente (injured 33), Roberts for Rodrigo (45), Daniel James (making his debut after his transfer from man u) for Harrison 68.

Subs not used: Klaesson, Shackleton, Klich, Cresswell, Summerville, McCarron.

Leeds lost the game 3-0.

Booked: Llorente, Cooper.

Sent off: Struijk.

Attendance: 36,507 with 2,913 Liverpool fans.

Referee: Craig Pawson.

Leeds came out to a crescendo of noise from around the ground and Leeds fans in full voice. Liverpool survived an early scare after a build up from Phillips and Raphinha ended when Rodrigo’s shot was hit straight at their keeper. As Liverpool got more into the game, most of their play came down our left-hand side. Firpo had a battle on his hands but at one point with the ball trickling out for a corner to Liverpool, he had plenty of time to get to the ball and play it out either for a throw in or kick it up the pitch. I was surprised when he made no attempt to get the ball. As he went to mark a player in the centre from the corner, I was convinced he was injured.  From then on, we didn’t deal with all the space they had on the left-hand side as they attacked towards the Kop and Liverpool continued to put pressure on us so it was no surprise when they took the lead. It looked to be an easy goal when they passed it into the middle to hit it into the net. From our point of view, there were a few passes from us that didn’t get to our men which was quite frustrating as it kept putting us on the back foot. Llorente then went down injured having already received a booking when he took one for the team and had to go off after half an hour. As wave after wave of Liverpool attacks kept on coming, they got a second goal but luckily for us it was chalked off for offside. They did miss an open goal, but Meslier had to make a good save after their first chance at goal was blocked. We did have a chance, but Ayling’s shot went over the bar as we headed into the break a goal down.

Sadly, within five minutes of the second half starting, Liverpool got a second goal. Struijk did well as he had battled to keep them out, but they scored from the resulting corner to put us on the back foot. I hadn’t given up hope at this time as there was always the chance for us to get back in the game despite being two goals down. Roberts had a header saved by their keeper before the game changed with Struijk being sent off. He won a tackle and came away with the ball before their player collapsed in a heap and the Liverpool bench came racing on to the pitch. I have seen the replays of the tackle and still believe it wasn’t a sending off despite the lad getting injured. He tried standing up and his foot gave way from what I could see. but he was carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital. With the lengthy delay I said we’d have an extra eight minutes to play at the end of the game which proved to be correct.

Leeds continued to attack as the game went from end-to-end, before Leeds were unlucky not to get a goal back when Bamford hit a long range shot at the goal with their keeper out of his area. Their keeper got back to tip the ball over the top to give Leeds a corner. The referee eventually gave Leeds a free kick to the sarcastic jeers from the Leeds fans because every decision had been going Liverpool’s way. For instance, when the ball came off their man in the penalty area, a goal kick was given when it should have been a corner. As Liverpool scored a third goal in injury time the final score showed us well beaten on the day, but that didn’t stop the Leeds fans still getting behind the team until the whistle blew for full time.

It was always going to be a tough game today, but I will always believe we can get something out of it despite other fans expecting this result, as we will keep fighting until the end. The timing of the international break when the season is only just starting, has a huge impact on the league preparations in my opinion. With a Friday night visit to Newcastle, it is vital that we get the points from that game so fingers crossed things will go our way. See you there. LUFC – Marching on Together!