Monday, November 29, 2021

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Leeds strike late to hold Liverpool

Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw away to Leeds United on Monday in a match overshadowed by the furious response to the announcement of a breakaway European Super League (ESL).

A draw left sixth-placed Liverpool two points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham in the Premier League.

The Reds opened the scoring before the interval through Sadio Mane only for Diego Llorente to equalise with his first Leeds goal, a header from a corner, three minutes from time.

The top four in the Premier League come the end of the season are usually the four English clubs guaranteed a place in next term’s Uefa Champions League.

But even if six-times European champions Liverpool finish in the top four, they may well be banned from the tournament given they are on a collision course with Uefa, the continent’s football governing body, after emerging as one of 12 teams who have established plans to form the controversial ESL.

Under the proposals, 15 founder members would compete in the 20-team tournament every year without having to qualify.

Supporters from both Leeds and Liverpool protested outside Elland Road prior to kick-off, while a banner in the stand said: “Earn it on the pitch. Football is for the fans.”

Significantly, no clubs from Klopp’s native Germany are involved, with European giants Bayern Munich making clear Monday they were happy with football’s “current structure”.

Klopp appeared to have more in common with Bayern than his own employers when he added: “I like the fact that West Ham might play Champions League next year. I don’t want them to, because I want us to be there, but I like that they have the chance.”

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