Brighton – Liverpool: Pascal Gross converted a VAR-awarded penalty in stoppage time as Brighton and Hove Albion drew Liverpool 1-1 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday, a day with more injuries and flashpoints.
Diogo Jota had scored the only goal of the game to that point, which saw Brighton miss a penalty and lose Neal Maupay and Adam Lallana to injury while Liverpool saw James Milner join its long list of injuries.
[ MORE: Klopp fumes in post-match interview ]
Liverpool takes a one-point table lead over Tottenham
Brighton remain five points above the bottom three with nine points but will rue several wasted chances including a Neal Maupay missed penalty moments before the Frenchman left the match with a leg injury.
Brighton – Liverpool provided plenty of talking points but the two injury-hit teams only delivered one goal.
Three things we learned from Brighton – Liverpool
1. Jota! The Reds claimed a lead just before the hour mark when Jota struck for the ninth times in 13 appearances with the team. Andy Robertson spun past a slipping Yves Bissouma and passed to Mohamed Salah outside the 18, the Egyptian tapping to Jota for a dribble across the box and finish back across goal and inside the near post. Pretty stuff from Liverpool.
2. Wasteful Brighton gets late reprieve: There’s been plenty said regarding the Seagulls being snakebit over the past two seasons, as Brighton has been amongst the league leaders in expected goals and this season has also topped the table in terms of a meager number of expected goals conceded. But Saturday saw Brighton just not good enough with finishes that probably should’ve produced goals. They can’t blame misfortune in this one, as VAR spotted Andy Robertson’s foul on Danny Welbeck in stoppage time and Gross slotted the spot kick.
3. Depth issues hamper Reds, worsen: Jurgen Klopp’s frustrations at the break were taken out on Neco Williams, who conceded the penalty that Neal Maupay missed. Klopp opted to move James Milner to right back rather than insert left back Kostas Tsimikas on the right or flip Andy Robertson to the other side. Klopp introduced Sadio Mane for Salah in the 64th minute, with Curtis Jones and Divock Origi the other attack-minded players.
The last two names won’t get a chance to play thanks to another muscle injury, this one to Milner. Klopp will be further enraged by the fixture kickoff time as his 34-year-old mainstay, who was the only player to play every minute of Sunday’s win over Leicester, Wednesday’s loss to Atalanta, and this one prior to his late injury. That one, it seems, is on Klopp not trusting Williams (and expecting an old workhorse to avoid injury).
Liverpool's James Milner played 90 minutes on Sunday v #LCFC, 90 minutes on Wednesday v Atalanta, and pulled up with this injury in the 75th today. Alisson only other #LFC player to play every minute in 7 days. Milner turns 35 in January. #BHALIV
— Nicholas Mendola (@NicholasMendola) November 28, 2020
Man of the Match: Andy Robertson
The Scottish left back drove play on Jota’s goal and made a decisive clearance in the final quarter-hour. He also could’ve had an assist on Mane’s late goal had VAR not spotted an offside.
Brighton – Liverpool recap
What injuries? The Reds came flying out of the gate, flummoxing the Seagulls with a high press.
But Brighton got the best chance of the first 10 minutes and there’s little reason it shouldn’t have been 1-0 after Aaron Connolly was sprung 1v1 with Alisson Becker and missed the keeper but also the far post.
Connolly soon helped ease his frustrations by racing into the left side of the box and winning a penalty off Neco Williams, who was starting for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold. But Neal Maupay swung his low penalty an inch wide of the right post. Still scoreless after 20 minutes.
Maupay was soon off the pitch with injury, an incredibly frustrating third of an hour. Leandro Trossard came on for the Seagulls, not a bad replacement though not life-for-like.
The Seagulls controlled the match with Connolly exceptionally threatening without finish, and it was Liverpool who had a goal taken off the board by VAR when Mohamed Salah was just offside after Roberto Firmino took the lid off the back line.
Klopp took off Neco Williams at half, moving James Milner to right back and plugging Jordan Henderson into the midfield.
Liverpool was just not connecting in the final third, and it was Brighton’s turn to attack on the counter when Danny Welbeck broke into the 18 and cut past Henderson only to lash low to Alisson.
Jota’s goal came at the hour mark, and Brighton would’ve had a second chance from the spot moments later but Fabinho’s handball came after the Seagulls were offside.
Former Liverpool man Adam Lallana subbed on and then off with an injury, replaced in the 71st minute by Alireza Jahanbakhsh.
It probably should’ve been 1-1 in the 81st when Jahanbakshh couldn’t reach Solly March’s cross and Robertson was able to force a corner with an exceptional knee bump over the bar.
Mane put a Robertson free kick in the goal but was offside in the 83rd minute, giving Brighton prolonged hope for an equalizer.