Leeds boss Jesse Marsch hailed his side’s resolve and belief after their dramatic 2-1 win at Liverpool, adding that it had been “necessary to stop the bleeding”.
The visitors took the lead in the fourth minute of a frenetic first half as they capitalised on a mix-up between Joe Gomez and Alisson Becker, with Rodrigo tapping in, before Mohamed Salah’s 14th-minute finish drew things level again.
Brenden Aaronson almost put Leeds back in front soon after, volleying against the bar, and they subsequently looked set to secure a point after Illan Meslier made a number of fine saves in the second half.
Crysencio Summerville then struck an 89th-minute winner to give the Yorkshire outfit their first victory in nine Premier League games, ending a four-match losing streak, as they moved out of the relegation zone, up to 15th place.
Marsch said: “We talked that last week when it was close with Fulham (a 3-2 home loss) that we were more waiting to lose than pushing to win, and I think the best part was that you saw real resolve at 1-1.
“We needed Illan to make some big saves, but I think the mentality to push, to stay in the match and to see if we could find a way to, regardless, walk away with one (point), (or) get three, was really strong and showed resolve and belief in the team.
“It was necessary to stop the bleeding, really important for us, and I’m happy for our guys.
“We have to use this to launch ourselves. It makes for me next weekend (when Leeds host Bournemouth) really important back at Elland Road.
“I think we should have never been in this situation, because I think we’ve been playing well and just not getting points. But, whatever, we’ve tried to maximise it, stay strong, stay calm and keep pushing.”
Marsch had endured Leeds fans calling for him to go during the Fulham game.
The American was asked how much pressure he felt the performance and result at Anfield – Leeds’ first win at Liverpool since 2001 – had lifted off him, and he said: “I don’t know. I’m just happy for our team, because I believe in them.
“In a moment like this, I think if you’re a real leader, your focus is on your people, and for me, it was an important time for our people.
“My focus (at the end) was on the team. For them, in a very tough moment in our season, in an incredibly tough place to play, against one of the best teams in the world, to come away with three points is a big moment for all of them.”
For Liverpool it was a second shock defeat in the league in a row, a week on from the 1-0 reverse at Nottingham Forest, as they failed to build on Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League victory at Ajax – suffering their first loss at home in the league since March 2021.
They have now been beaten four times in 12 league outings this term – posting only four wins – and lie ninth in the table, eight points outside the top four.
Asked if Champions League qualification was a real worry for him, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said: “That is actually not my main worry at the moment, because there are a lot of other worries, but of course I am at least not that dumb that I don’t know about distances and who is up there.
“But you cannot qualify for the Champions League if you play as inconsistently as we do at the moment. We have to fix that, and then we will see where we end up.
“We all know a lot of things are possible, but for that we have to win football games, and we didn’t do that often enough yet.”