Brighton and Hove Albion refused to go away, giving new manager Roberto De Zerbi a memorable debut in a 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
Leandro Trossard scored twice early to give the Seagulls a 2-0 lead and completed his hat trick after the hosts had rallied behind a Roberto Firmino brace and an Adam Webster own goal to lead 3-2 with 27 minutes left in the 90.
WATCH LIVERPOOL vs BRIGHTON FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM
Brighton remains fourth and now has 14 points through seven games, good for fourth and no worse than fifth depending on the result of the Manchester derby on Sunday.
Liverpool sits ninth with 10 points through seven games. Both clubs have a match-in-hand on most of the field.
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What we learned from Liverpool vs Brighton
De Zerbi’s dynamic start: Life after Graham Potter was plenty good going forward for Brighton and Hove Albion, but Roberto De Zerbi’s buzz might wear off when he watches the Seagulls defending. Only a little, though, because every team gives up chances to Liverpool and the Reds were pretty due to bang some home (Mohamed Salah is now very much overdue for a big, big game of finishing… bookmark that one).
Liverpool’s defense messy, messy, messy (Yes, Jurgen, especially Trent): There Is not a level-headed person alive who would deny Trent Alexander-Arnold his status as one of the best right-sided playmakers in the world. There’s an argument that he’s could become his generation’s Andrea Pirlo as a central midfielder. But he’s not playing central midfield, and teams are targeting his side of the pitch and finding joy. As Jordan Henderson ages out and Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho exist as cover, how long before Jurgen Klopp finally says, “Yes, okay, here” to those who see what everyone else sees: a dynamic player who turns 24 on Friday and isn’t improving at the defensive duties of a right back but intercepts passes so well.
That said, his performance is less of a talking point if Virgil van Dijk connects on a clearing attempt of the Brighton cross that became Trossard’s third goal. This game could’ve been 6-5 and while we would’ve loved that entertainment, Klopp has to wonder what’s next. Andy Robertson and Ibrahima Konate were missing but Liverpool’s spent plenty for depth that’s been disappointing (and Joel Matip isn’t exactly paid like a depth piece, is he?).
Trossard top of his game: The Belgian international now has five goals and two assists through seven Premier League games for Brighton this season, which is pretty, pretty good. The 27-year-old is now an every-game player and part-time starter for Belgium, and what a nice place he’s made for himself at the Amex.
Jurgen Klopp reaction: Liverpool problem ‘not in our DNA’
“Directly after the game it is a massive knock,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. “N, slowly but surely, we feel that is just the situation and we will get through. We got a point and not what we wanted.
“We are a dominant team and want to have the ball so when you give these goals away I know it is a problem. We have to find the solutions. We have to keep going. It is nothing in our DNA. It just happens and now it happens more often. This is a period where we struggle. We have to fight through this situation. We cannot fight anymore today though we just have to admit.”
Maybe it’s the increased focus on the performances of Trent Alexander-Arnold, but it sure does seem like teams are targeting the right side of Liverpool’s defense.
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Stars of the show
Leandro Trossard: Away hat tricks at Anfield are pretty rare.
Roberto Firmino: Guess that Darwin Nunez signing really can be for the (near) future, as Firmino has five goals and three assists in his last four Premier League outings.
Thiago Alcantara: 10-of-12 duels won and two key passes while drawing six fouls.
The challenge isn’t going to get any easier for Liverpool, who hosts Arsenal in eight days after a Champions League visit from Rangers on Tuesday. Brighton gets stung Tottenham in another test of top-four mettle.
Liverpool vs Brighton score
Liverpool: 3 (Firmino 33′, 54′, Webster o.g. 63′)
Brighton: 3 (Trossard 4′, 17′, 83′)
Leandro Trossard goal video(s): Belgian gives De Zerbi dream start
Roberto Firmino goal video: Liverpool pulls one back
Leandro Trossard hat trick video: Seagulls overcome blown lead for point
How to watch Liverpool vs Brighton live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday
TV Channel/Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & star players
Is Liverpool ready to turn chances into goals at a more familiar rate? The Reds’ expected goal total for this season is close to leaders Manchester City and Arsenal but its actual goal production is fifth and somewhat-inflated by their nine-goal beatdown of Bournemouth previously this season.
Brighton, meanwhile, has to show that it’s getting a handle on life after Graham Potter, as De Zerbi’s credentials say things might not look too different. The former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss craves possession in his teams and delivers chances as a boss in the manner you’d expect from a former attacking midfielder.
Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Calvin Ramsay (lower back), Curtis Jones (tibia), Ibrahima Konate (knee), Naby Keita (thigh), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (thigh), Andrew Robertson (knee), Caoimhin Kelleher (groin), Ibrahima Konate (knee),
Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Jakub Moder (knee), Adam Lallana (lower leg), Enock Mwepu (illness).