Liverpool moved onto 92 points in the Premier League after a 3-1 win away to Brighton and Hove Albion. It was a harsh result on The Seagulls as they created more than enough chances to achieve at least a draw, but a combination of their poor finishing and The Reds’ last-ditch defending prevented that from happening. Referee Craig Pawson also tried his very best to stop us from recording another victory with his truly wretched performance, but thankfully we found a way.
There were no surprises in goal where Alisson Becker continued to line up between the sticks. It was another solid game for the gloved Brazilian with his highlight of the match being a sensational point-blank save to deny Maupay midway through the first half.
The surprise in the first eleven came in the back four where Neco Williams was given his first Premier League start in place of Andy Robertson. Williams had a tough 45 minutes but it was a difficult situation to be placed in – out of position and without too much help defensively from the midfield or Oxlade-Chamerberlain ahead of him. Joe Gomez also had a poor game – he was easily beaten on a few occasions and just didn’t seem at it for the whole 90. I feel he deserves to be cut a little slack, though, as we do only have two fit centre-backs at the moment with Matip and Lovren out. He could probably do with a rest. Virgil van Dijk, however, had a brilliant game. The Dutchman was his usual imperious self and no one was getting past or through him. His display thoroughly deserved a clean sheet.
In midfield, Naby Keita was the only player to keep his place from the Aston Villa game, with Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum occupying the other two positions in the centre of the park. Keita was fantastic for the hour that he was on the pitch. He created the first goal by winning the ball high up the pitch with a press before laying it off to Salah to slot home, while he also had a huge hand in the second, acquiring the ball in Brighton’s half again for Henderson and Salah to capitalise on. He was classy in possession and excellent defensively. A true all-round display from the Guinean.
In attack, Mo Salah and Robertson Firmino started alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Ox started on the left and we know how it goes when we see him on the wing. He wasn’t as bad as usual, in fairness to him, but it’s not the same player that we see in midfield. Mo Salah helped himself to two more Premier League goals to put him onto 19 now for the campaign and he should have at least added a third late on.
As for Man of the Match, it was between Van Dijk, Keita and Salah. This time, though, I’m going for Van Dijk. Without him in the defence we almost certainly don’t walk away from that game with all three points. He was faultless and his quality cannot be taken for granted.