Mohamed Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal as Liverpool cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win at Leeds United on Sunday, but the victory was marred by a horrific injury suffered by Reds talent Harvey Elliott.
Leeds were already trailing by two goals when Pascal Struijk was dismissed for his – seemingly accidental – role in Elliott’s second-half injury, which required several minutes of medical attention and for a stretcher to carry him away.
The 18-year-old, who has slotted seamlessly into the Liverpool team this season following a bright loan spell at Blackburn Rovers, was left clutching his left shin after what initially appeared an innocuous collision and Struijk was sent off.
It put a dampener on an otherwise fine day for Liverpool, who had opened the scoring through Salah’s milestone goal in England’s top flight and effectively sealed the win early in the second period through Fabinho, before Sadio Mane’s late third at a subdued Elland Road.
Leeds had been the first to threaten, but Rodrigo Moreno blasted straight at Alisson when teed up on the edge of the box five minutes in.
The Reds swiftly established control after that and deserved their 20th-minute breakthrough as Salah tucked in a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross – the right-back subsequently turned to Leeds fans and cupped his ear less than a minute after chants suggested he was just a poor man’s Kyle Walker.
Leeds were fortunate to not concede more as Elliott had two good efforts blocked in quick succession, an off-balance Mane smashed over from close range and Virgil van Dijk made a mess of a free header.
An inevitable second did arrive shortly after the break, however. A Van Dijk header was blocked to Fabinho and, although his initial effort hit a defender, he hammered home on the rebound.
But the match was soured just before the hour. Struijk appeared to hook the ball away as Elliott tried to spring a counter, but the teenager’s leg was trapped awkwardly beneath them – the nearby Salah desperately ushered medical professionals on before the referee could even stop play and he quickly turned away in shock having seemingly seen the damage caused.
The incident led to a forgivable lull in proceedings but Liverpool eventually secured a scoreline befitting their dominance as Mane rifled home late on to round off a straightforward – if overshadowed – win.