In a game where Liverpool actually had slightly less possession, it was a clear case of managing the match accordingly. The Reds rarely had to stretch themselves, and short of the odd and inevitable moment, they cruised to a comfortable 0-2 victory.
Brighton are in a slump, not a free fall slump, but a worrying run of form. This marks five Premier League losses on the spin for Graham Potter, and the mid-table safety they hold appears to have seen some players head to the beach early.
Brighton tried to press at times, tried to defend in numbers and tried to dictate play. The consensus is however, that Klopp’s men could be incisive, expansive and dangerous whenever they chose to be. The starting midfield controlled zones and tempo, and Fabinho strolled around knowing he could take the ball at will. Keita was able to recycle possession with ease, and Henderson was able to press at will.
The goal was deserved, and probably should have seen the Brighton keeper (Robert Sanchez) sent off. A cutting through ball from Matip (and perfectly timed run from Diaz), had the Columbian one on one with the stopper. The bouncing ball gave both players a decision, and Diaz nodded the ball into an empty net. The goal was marred by the challenge Sanchez made within the move, with a high body kick pole axing the reds forward. The challenge was reminiscent of when Pickford took out Van Djik, in that the ball going dead (in a sense) seemed to avert a deserved sending off.
Mohamed Salah had chances, but was once more a little out of sorts with his finishing. The penalty was brilliantly dispatched, however, after Bissouma handled in the area. The goal was certainly a relief, and all but ended the contest.
No Liverpool player had a tough time here, with Brighton simply unable to impose themselves. Games like this are a blessing, where players can gain valuable minutes, with the result assured nice and early.
We await news on Salah’s contract and potential injury, but today the Reds closed the gap on City once again. Whether or not they like it or not, Pep is being dragged into a real title race, and Klopp’s men an eager to keep racking up the points.
Pre match prediction:
Brighton 0 – 2 Liverpool