Manchester City’s surprise draw against new boys Wolves handed Liverpool a golden opportunity to go on top of the Premier League standings for the time being defeating Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield. The Reds, on the trot of two successive wins, were hoping to clinch a result this evening as well. But the outing proved not to be a stroll in the park for the hosts as they were pushed hard till the final whistle while protecting a narrow 1-0 lead which, however, turned out to be the final scoreline.
Liverpool, as expected, controlled the tempo from the very beginning and could have had an early lead if Roberto Firmino’s effort from Andrew Robertson’s cross was not exquisitely stopped by Matt Ryan in the Seagulls goal. Trent Alexander-Arnold hit the woodwork from a free-kick but a well organized and disciplined Brighton side kept on blocking every build up. The deadlock, however, was broken by Mohamed Salah who picked up Firmino’s pass and finished sensationally into the back of the net. The Reds took full advantage of a mistake caused by young Yves Bissouma – a rare occasion in an evening where the visitors were merely broken.
Anthony Knockaert had a golden opportunity to level the scoreline in the second half, but his strike was well off target. Chris Hughton, the Seagulls boss, succeeded with his tactics of not conceding again in order to have a chance to bounce back in closing minutes. Brighton were throwing bodies forward late in the game in search of an equalizer but it was Alisson who made a decisive stop to deny Pascal Gross from close range. The record money signing had a couple of nervy occasions where he invited trouble while controlling the ball unnecessarily but ensured three more points and his third successive clean sheet for the new club. The Merseysiders are now two-point clear of the reigning champions City and will look to continue this streak next weekend against Leicester City at King Power Stadium.
Liverpool vs Brighton Lineups:
Liverpool: Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold (Joel Matip 89′), Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Naby Keita (Jordan Henderson 67′), Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane ( Daniel Sturridge 80′).
Brighton: Matt Ryan, Martin Montoya, Shane Duffy, Leon Balogun, Gaetan Bong, Dany Propper, Dale Stephens, Yves Bissouma (Pascal Gross 80′), Anthony Knockaert (Alireza Janahanbakhsh 76′), Solly March (Jurgen Locadia 76′), Glenn Murray.
Liverpool vs Brighton Highlights:
Liverpool vs Brighton Match Stats:
|Shots (on Target)||22(8)||6(2)|