Leeds level late to spoil Liverpool’s top-four return

A late Diego Llorente header cancelled out Sadio Mane’s strike as Leeds United rallied for a draw with Liverpool in the Premier League on Monday night.

The game began amid a tumultuous 24 hours in world football, with a group of 12 teams, including Liverpool, announcing plans on Sunday for a breakaway Super League and Leeds players wearing t-shirts in warmups that bore the Champions League logo and read: “Earn it. Football is for the fans.”

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On the field, Jurgen Klopp’s team was looking to move back into the top four in the Premier League, starting the match three points behind fourth-placed West Ham United and two behind fifth-placed Chelsea, who also committed to the Super League plan on Sunday.

Mane netted the all-important goal for the visitors to Elland Road in the 31st minute — ending a run of nine Premier League games without scoring — when Trent Alexander-Arnold laid a ball off to the Senegal international to sweep home and stake his team to a half-time lead.

Leeds fought hard to find an equaliser, with Liverpool keeper Alisson called into action to save a great chance for Patrick Roberts to get the hosts back into the match.

And the efforts of Marcelo Bielsa’s team were not in vain, as Llorente headed in a deserved game-tying goal for Leeds in the 87th minute to put the brakes on a return to the top four for Liverpool.

The result leaves Liverpool stuck in sixth on 53 points, looking up at both Chelsea and West Ham in the standings, while Leeds drew level on points with Arsenal with 46.