Crysencio Summerville strikes late to lift Leeds and stun Liverpool
Jesse Marsch had wished for a show of unity and intent to lift the clouds hanging over his Leeds reign. The under-pressure manager got more than he could possibly have imagined at Anfield where Crysencio Summerville, on the eve of his 21st birthday, delivered Leeds’ first win against Liverpool in 21 years.
The Dutch winger pounced in the 89th minute to condemn Liverpool to a first home league defeat since March 2021. He lifted the load on Marsch and his team out of the relegation zone in the process. It was no more than Leeds deserved as they savoured a first league victory since beating Chelsea in August. Illan Meslier was inspired in the visiting goal but this was a supreme collective effort that supported their manager’s belief that his team are on the right path.
Leeds performed with an ambition that belied a run of eight league games without a win. Liverpool, despite spurning several good chances, were flat and unconvincing throughout. A second successive league defeat ended a run of 29 league games unbeaten at Anfield and left Jürgen Klopp conceding that Champions League qualification will be beyond his team this season should their inconsistency continue.
The visitors almost made the worst possible start for a team in a worrying slump due to a defensive howler. Instead they benefited from one to grab an early lead. How Marsch enjoyed the fine margins going his way for a change.
Only 39 seconds had elapsed when a long clearance by Alisson produced a breakdown in communications between Meslier and Liam Cooper. The Leeds captain, attempting to clear ahead of Mohamed Salah, headed past his goalkeeper as Meslier raced from his line and presented the Liverpool forward with an awkward chance. The alert Pascal Struijk headed Salah’s hooked effort away just in front of the goalline.
Three minutes later Leeds led. There appeared little danger when Joe Gomez dispossessed the impressive Brenden Aaronson as they chased a Struijk pass down the left, but the Liverpool defender played a careless backpass in the general vicinity of Alisson. The keeper slipped and Rodrigo, who had sprinted away from Virgil van Dijk as soon as Gomez turned towards goal, was handed the simple task of tapping into an unguarded net from close range. Alisson’s slip was unfortunate but offered no mitigation for Gomez’s error. The backpass would not have found the goalkeeper anyhow and, for the eighth time this season, Klopp’s team had conceded first.
Marsch punched the air as Leeds celebrated an early present. It gave them something to hold on to but the lead lasted just 10 minutes. Meslier saved at the feet of Roberto Firmino when, having dummied an Andy Robertson pass, the Brazil forward was played through by a touch off Rodrigo. Leeds struggled to clear the resulting corner from Robertson, Salah found Trent Alexander-Arnold and his deep cross was missed by Meslier at the back post. Robertson swept it back into the danger zone where Fabinho was unable to connect with a header but Salah, reading the flight of the cross perfectly, tucked away a volley from six yards out.
The game flowed and both sides had good opportunities to score a second before the break. Aaronson volleyed against the crossbar after getting ahead of Alexander-Arnold to connect with Rasmus Kristensen’s cross. A minute later Rodrigo released Jack Harrison inside the Liverpool area but his shot was well saved by Alisson. Darwin Núñez was played through a chasm in the Leeds’ defence by Alexander-Arnold but Meslier intervened with a clean challenge.
Leeds’ fans have made their disapproval clear recently but had every reason to get behind an impressive away display. Marsch’s side took the game to Liverpool at every opportunity and were tireless in their efforts to keep Salah, Núñez and Firmino quiet.
Cooper almost let the hosts in when he made a mess of a high ball and Salah played Núñez through on goal. Meslier was quick off his line to block the Uruguay international’s shot. The Leeds keeper thwarted Núñez again with a finger-tip save from a curling effort towards his top corner.
Salah and Firmino were also denied by the keeper before Summerville sent the away end into raptures with a late winner. When Wilfried Gnonto’s cross bounced off his fellow substitute Patrick Bamford the winger reacted quicker than any Liverpool defender to prod a low finish inside Alisson’s far corner. Marsch beat his chest in joy as the Leeds end erupted. Pressure off.