Liverpool maintained their 100% win rate as they overcame a dogged Brighton side to win by the odd goal. Liverpool had their chances but were not in their best rhythm as they struggled to convert those chances into goals. Brighton were solid for most part of the game and should not be disheartened by the result considering their recent record against Liverpool.
The key observations from today’s game are as follows:
The luxury of consistency
Klopp for the third game in a row was able to name an unchanged XI, a luxury which he has not been afforded too often. With Liverpool qualifying to the group stages of Champions League, there was no botheration of qualifiers which has surely helped the cause.
This has also helped Klopp spread the minutes around to keep the fringe players involved as one never knows when they might be called upon.
The spine shine at Fortress Anfield
Third game in a row Liverpool have won, and one of the major contributors to this blemish-less start has been the defence. Liverpool had a third shutout in a row, and it has not been down to luck. Liverpool have controlled and managed the last two games after an easy start against West Ham. There were periods in the game where Brighton gained ascendancy, but the triumvirate of Alisson, Van Dijk and Gomez have been able to keep the opposition at bay. A special mention to Gomez whose performance was calm and assured, resembling a seasoned veteran. Liverpool have not conceded a goal in the league at home since February. FEBRUARY
Bobby getting up to speed
Firmino has had a slower than usual start to the season, no doubt hampered by the curtailed pre-season. He had been largely inactive and non-involved in the build-up play as Salah and Mane racked up the goals and assists. Today we saw a marked improvement in his performance though, with his control and ability to make the pass under pressure shining through. He should have had a deserved goal, but for the sharp save from Ryan. Definitely encouraging signs.
Wijnaldum bringing consistency to his game
Wijnaldum yet again started as the deepest midfielder and played in an advanced role once Henderson came on; a transition he has had to this season. Wijnaldum this week mentioned about his discussions with Klopp and the need to be more involved in games this season. He has taken to the No:6 role as fish takes to water. He always seems to have time on the ball and his body strength coupled with his intelligence means he is able to find the pass more often than not. His transition to the advanced role has also meant more forays into the box and he has been involved in more than one goal scoring opportunity.
Another home goal. Usual.