Liverpool – Brighton: Those who kept waiting for Liverpool to wake up at Anfield on Wednesday are still waiting after the Reds lost a second-straight home match in Premier League play.
Steven Alzate’s goofy second-half goal gave Brighton and Hove Albion a 1-0 win over Liverpool, moving the Seagulls 10 points clear of the bottom three and sending Liverpool’s goalless run at Anfield to 348 minutes.
That’s never desirable, but with a must-win Anfield test looming against stingy leaders Man City on Sunday? Uh oh.
Liverpool’s 40 points are seven back of Man City. The fourth-place Reds have played one more match than their rivals, and did not have goalkeeper Alisson Becker due to illness.
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Three things we learned from Liverpool – Brighton
1. Sudden Anfield anemia ahead of Man City visit: Liverpool didn’t lose at Anfield for more than two years, but the Reds have now lost to Burnley and Brighton at home inside of a month. Whoops. The injury-ravaged Reds won’t want to look to blame those ailments, though, even if Brighton is a better team than their table footing.
It’s been 348 minutes since Anfield saw a goal from the hosts, Sadio Mane’s 12th-minute marker in a 1-1 draw with West Brom. Now the Reds will look to snap that skid in a must-win match against a Man City side which hasn’t allowed a Premier League goal in 540 minutes (and 270 more before that).
2. Positive regression: Brighton’s underperformed its advanced stats for the better part of two years, so don’t blame their supporters for digesting a funny bounce at Anfield as if it were a proper feast. Steven Alzate will score a lot prettier and more intentional goals, but who cares? Brighton is unbeaten in four and 10 points clear of the drop zone.
3. Deserved losers: Liverpool’s twin 3-1 wins over Spurs and West Ham met an odd fate in this one, even with so many injuries at the back end. Yes Nathaniel Phillips will have wanted to get more than a toe on the ball that cannoned off Alzate’s knee and past Caoimhin Kelleher, but Liverpool managed a single shot on target to Brighton’s four, out-attempted 13-11 on the day.
Man of the Match: Lewis Dunk
You don’t beat Liverpool at home without bravery, and Dunk fired himself at a bullet shot early in the second half as one of his three blocked shots. Those join four clearances, three interceptions, two tackles, and a perfect 4-for-4 in ground duels. Five-of-seven long passes as a part of an 88 percent passing day is not too shabby early.
Liverpool – Brighton recap
Mohamed Salah’s fine form didn’t help him with a close-range chance to open the game, his left foot slicing it over the goal.
Brighton would’ve had it 1-0 in the 24th as Neal Maupay waited too long to shoot but his effort bounded to Dan Burn at the back post. The defender did defender things in skewing it over the goal. Too close.
Pretty combination play in the second half led to Roberto Firmino winning a corner kick off an 18-yard effort.
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But it was Brighton who took the lead through Alzate in the 56th minute, Nat Phillips’ mishit clearance turning off the Colombian to beat Kelleher.
Salah had another chance to score when Trent Alexander-Arnold cued him up in a crowd, but the Egyptian flashed wide of goal.
Kelleher made a good save on Pascal Gross in the 75th minute and Jordan Henderson acted quickly to deny Brighton a bid at the rebound and an open goal.
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