Brighton 0-1 Liverpool – Match Report

By Harry Trend

Mohamed Salah’s second-half penalty meant Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to seven points over Man City.

On Monday Jurgen Klopp was criticised for making wholesale changes in the FA Cup 3rd round defeat to Wolves, but the German perhaps justified his decision to rest his star men as they took three points from Brighton.

Liverpool held possession for most of the early stages, but Brighton, and Jurgen Locadia in particular, were always a dangerous on the counter.

The Reds had the first real chance though, Andrew Robertson put in a low cross and Roberto Firmino couldn’t stretch enough to poke past David Button.

Brighton had the next one, Pascal Gross picked out Glenn Murray in the air with an early cross, but the 35-year-old couldn’t find the target with a headed effort.

Liverpool were utilising the wings, and 26 minutes in they had an aerial opportunity of their own; Xherdan Shaqiri heading wide from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ball in.

Last season this match ended 5-1 to the away side, and with Brighton’s defence holding firm, it looked like there wasn’t much danger of history repeating itself at half time. Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk were winning everything in the air -bread and butter to the Seagulls’ centre-halves.

In the second half Salah seemed energised from the break, running down the left prior to firing a shot straight into Button. Soon after the Egyptian made headway into the box from the other side before being pulled down by Pascal Gross. Needless to say, Salah made no mistake from the spot.

Liverpool began to control the game as Brighton’s defence dropped deeper, but the Seagulls were always a threat and would’ve been level had Fabinho not blocked Gross’ shot from Martin Montoya’s square.

Something had to be done from Chris Hughton’s perspective, and with 25 minutes to go, Anthony Knockaert and Florin Andone were sent on in the hope of galvanising Brighton’s attack.

However, Locadia was the first player in blue and white to test Alisson, with the Liverpool goalkeeper getting a strong hand to the former’s shot from range.

Time was running out for the home side, but it was Liverpool who were putting the pressure on. Alexander-Arnold’s low cross evaded multiple defenders before finding Mane who couldn’t get a clean shot at goal. Soon after Firmino strong the arms of Button with a powerful but central shot from 20 yards.

Substitute Andone nearly got the leveller for the home side with quarter of an hour to go, getting a foot to Gaetan Bong’s cross. Nonetheless, the Romanian’s effort flew wide of Alisson’s right-hand post.

The game was getting stretched, Sadio Mane made his way into the box before seeing his left footed shot deflecting off Duffy for a corner. From the resulting set-piece Robertson fizzed in a ball toward Salah, but from six yards out the Egyptian side-footed wide.

Liverpool will be keeping a keen eye on Man City’s game against Wolves on Monday before hosting Crystal Palace next Saturday. Meanwhile, it doesn’t get any easier for Brighton as they travel north to play Man United next weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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