Mohamed Salah has scored his 100th Premier League goal as Liverpool roared to a 3-0 win at Leeds to climb level on points at the top alongside Manchester United and Chelsea.
Yet their victory came at a cost at Elland Road on Sunday, with a serious injury to Reds’ teenager Harvey Elliott.
Salah turned home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s trademark low cross in a one-sided first half, Fabinho struck five minutes into the second and Sadio Mane added a deserved late third to extend Liverpool’s unbeaten start.
Jurgen Klopp’s side cruised to their fifth straight league win on the road and are now undefeated in 14 league games in total stretching back to last season.
The home side played the final half an hour with 10 men after substitute Pascal Struijk was sent off for his challenge on Elliott, who received lengthy treatment before being taken off on a stretcher.
Elliott, 18, posted a picture of himself with thumbs up on Instagram before full-time, writing: “Thank you for the messages guys! Road to recovery. YNWA.”
Leeds, roared on by an expectant full house, played their part in a pulsating encounter, but could have lost by a bigger margin as the visitors missed a hatful of chances.
Salah was at the heart of everything and Leeds summer signing Junior Firpo will remember his second league start for them for all the wrong reasons as the Egyptian led him a merry dance.
There was an air of inevitability when Salah side-footed Liverpool into a 19th-minute lead to become the fifth-fastest player to reach the landmark of 100 goals in his 162nd appearance.
Liverpool doubled their lead in the 50th minute. Alexander-Arnold’s corner was headed towards goal by Van Dijk and, after Leeds failed to clear, Fabinho shot through Ayling’s legs and beyond Meslier.
Leeds substitute Tyler Roberts headed straight at Alisson and then fired wide as the home side rallied, but all hopes of a fightback were extinguished by Struijk’s straight red card in the 60th minute.
Struijk and Elliott collided in a full-blooded challenge and the Liverpool midfielder was left in agony. He was treated at length on the pitch before being carried off.
Patrick Bamford lifted the home fans with a brilliant 50-yard effort that had Alisson scrambling to push over.
But Leeds conceded a third when Mane turned on to Fabinho’s ball inside and drove home a low finish in the closing stages.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side, fourth from bottom, have lost their first four league games at the start of a season for the first time since 1958-9.