Despite being in the middle of a hectic schedule, Liverpool have maintained a decent run in recent weeks but suffered a massive setback ahead of their tricky away trip to AMEX Stadium against an impressive newly promoted Brighton & Hove Albion side.
Joel Matip, their in-form central defender, was ruled out for at least a month with a thigh strain and the Seagull’s unbeaten home streak (since their defeat against Manchester City in opening gameweek) made this a tough away outing for the Merseysiders. But, on the contrary, it proved to be a stroll in the park for Liverpool who grabbed a sensational 5-1 win following a stellar show from Philippe Coutinho.
It was a game of patience for the Reds as the Seagulls opted to defend deep with a view to hit back on the counter. Liverpool kept on playing passes in midfield and lack of creativity did not allow them to create enough opportunities up front. Philippe Coutinho was the only sparkling performer who was sensational with his footwork, dribbling and set-pieces. His early corner was headed over by fellow countryman Roberto Firmino but the Reds finally broke the deadlock after half an hour mark from a similar situation when Emre Can, forced to play in a makeshift centre-back role, headed home from a Coutinho corner. The Reds then doubled the lead within seconds as Mohamed Salah’s down the middle run created space in the attacking third and the Egyptian superstar found Coutinho on the left whose low cross was converted by Firmino with a smart touch. The first-half ended 2-0 in favour of the visitors.
The second-half proved to be even more dramatic when Simon Mignolet pulled off a stunning one-on-one stop to deny Brighton’s Glenn Murray and Roberto Firmino calmly slotted home after picking up Salah’s delivery on the counter. The Reds then conceded a bizarre spot-kick when skipper Jordan Henderson was penalised by referee Graham Scott for a soft touch while defending a corner. Murray made no mistake this time to slot home but Brighton’s hope for a late comeback dismissed when Philippe Coutinho’s majestic low free-kick sealed all three points in closing minutes. The game was not over yet as Liverpool’s ‘little magician’ made a solo run through Brighton midfield and his strike was put into his own net by Lewis Dunk.
The game thus ended 5-1 in favour of the visitors who grabbed their third successive away win in the league following disastrous Wembley defeat against Tottenham Hotspur.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Liverpool Lineups:
Brighton & Hove Albion: Matthew Ryan, Bruno Saltor (Ezequiel Schelotto 77′), Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk, Gaetan Bong, Anthony Knockaert (Solly March 70′), Dale Stephens, Davy Propper, Izzy Brown (Josh Izquierdo 70′), Pascal Gross, Glenn Murray.
Liverpool: Simon Mignolet, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Emre Can, Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson (Marko Grujic 90′), Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Mohamed Salah (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 79′), Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino (Dominic Solanke 88′).
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Liverpool Highlights:
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Liverpool Match Stats:
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