Liverpool falter once again in race for top four with draw against Leeds

Liverpool blew a lead late on once again as they drew with Leeds United at Elland Road to stutter in the race for the top four once again.

The Reds started pretty well and took the lead in the first half after a wonderful reverse pass from Diogo Jota found Trent Alexander-Arnold, who reached the ball ahead of Leeds ‘keeper Illan Meslier to squad for Sadio Mane to score his first Premier League goal since January.

Leeds battled back in the second half as Patrick Bamford hit the crossbar and Allison Becker saved from Tyler Roberts, only for Diego Llorente to head home his first goal for the club just four minutes from time.

The result means Liverpool missed the chance to move back into the top four for the first time since February after West Ham’s defeat away at Newcastle earlier in the weekend.

It was a performance that was rather indicative of the season Liverpool have had so far. The team weren’t particularly poor but they weren’t particularly good and while they had chances to win the game themselves, they also could very easily have lost it.

Alexander-Arnold’s form continued to improve with an assist, while Fabinho moved back into centre-back and played well. Allison made some big saves during the game too, while Jota looked dangerous throughout.

Mohammed Salah started the game on the bench and was rather ineffective when coming on and Liverpool just couldn’t really get going as Leeds’ pressing game took over in the second half, leaving Jurgen Klopp’s side with less than 40% possession for the game.

Liverpool now sit two points behind West Ham in sixth place, having played a game more than fifth placed Chelsea. That means with six games to go they will need a big turn in their fortunes to secure Champions League qualification ahead of next season.

With talks over the European Super League putting the entire process into doubt, Klopp will want to ensure his side are involved no matter what happens next season and top four is essential to that.

He will need to make his squad stronger in the summer to get back on a title charge after such an abysmal season this year, with several players likely to leave in the summer to start up a new era at Anfield.

As the season begins to draw to an end, Liverpool must find some form of consistency or risk falling away and finding the gap between themselves and the rest of the top six getting larger and larger, making their job harder and harder.

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