Klopp: Liverpool win “not an opera… but really nice song”

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Leave it to Jurgen Klopp, the master of heavy metal football, to describe Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat of Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday in musical terms.

“I liked the performance,” he said. “It wasn’t an opera of football but it was a really nice song.”

Call it “Clampdown,” as the Reds held Brighton without a goal at home for the first time since March.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Brighton limited Liverpool’s chances on the day, falling victim to the referee’s whistle when Pascal Gross was mismatched on Mohamed Salah and dragged his fellow forward down in the box.

Salah finished his chance, and Liverpool increased its table lead before Man City plays Wolves on Monday.

“It was clear that we had the ball a lot but it is really difficult,” Klopp said. “Chris Hughton is a smart fox. They close the space perfectly. It is really difficult to stay 100% for the whole game. It is a challenge but this is a proper football game which we won and I like that.”

And, as Liverpool chases its first top-flight title in the Premier League era, Klopp was again asked about his team’s long-term focus.

“We have to win each game. That is how it is. We are Liverpool and we have to win football games. That’s nothing new. You don’t want to draw games here but you have to work in each step of the game. Try to create and if you find a way then use it.”

Liverpool is at home for its next two matches, Jan . 19 versus Crystal Palace and 11 days later against Leicester City.

Salah penalty leads Liverpool past Brighton (video)

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  • Liverpool snaps mini-skid
  • Salah converts penalty
  • Reds have 73 percent possession

Mohamed Salah won and converted an early second half penalty as Liverpool scrapped its way to a 1-0 defeat of Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Liverpool goes seven clear of Man City ahead of the latter’s Monday match with Wolves.

The match marked the first time Brighton was shutout in a home match since March.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

After a mostly chance-free first half, Salah won a penalty after being harassed by Pascal Gross in the box. Gross was all over Salah’s shoulder, and the Egyptian comically made sure it was spotted with an airkick and back-flop to the deck. If he hadn’t fallen, it may not have been called, and it was certainly a penalty, but my was it funny.

Gross had a chance to level it blocked in the box, as Brighton was undeterred by its concession.

The Seagulls stuck around despite Liverpool’s chance creation, the Reds’ attack typified by Georginio Wijnaldum just missing on a drive through traffic in the 80th minute.

Salah casually missed a tremendous chance to make it 2-0 in the 88th.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]  

FA Cup round-up: Manchester United, West Ham win

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The early set of FA Cup matches is complete, with just two matches headed for replays.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: FA Cup scoreboard ]


Manchester United 2-0 Reading

Juan Mata put the Red Devils ahead, and then gave Alexis Sanchez the green light to slip Romelu Lukaku on goal for a second goal before the break against the relegation-threatened Championship visitors.

[ WATCH: Lukaku’s terrific finish ]

Curacao-born 19-year-old Tahith Chong made his full debut, becoming the 229th academy graduate to play for United.

West Ham United 2-0 Birmingham City

Mark Arnautovic scored in the second minute for the Irons, and for a while it looked like it would be all the Irons would need at the London Stadium. In stoppage time, Andy Carroll scored his first goal since April.

Bournemouth 1-3 Brighton and Hove Albion

As far as aesthetically-pleasing goals go, Anthony Knockaert‘s finish of a back heel pass is among the top examples. Yves Bissouma and Florin Andone also scored for the visitors.

Elsewhere

Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Luton Town
Shrewsbury Town 1-1 Stoke City
Burnley 1-0 Barnsley
West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Wigan Athletic

Still to come

10 a.m. ET
Bolton Wanderers v. Walsall
Gillingham v. Cardiff City
Brentford v. Oxford United
Everton v. Lincoln City
Chelsea v. Nottingham Forest
Derby County v. Southampton
Accrington Stanley v. Ipswich Town
Fleetwood Town v. AFC Wimbledon
Middlesbrough v. Peterborough United
Aston Villa v. Swansea City

12:30 p.m. ET
Newcastle United v. Blackburn Rovers
Crystal Palace v. Grimsby Town
Bristol City v. Huddersfield Town
Blackpool v. Arsenal
Norwich City v. Portsmouth

West Ham fight back to deny Brighton

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  • Brighton went 2-0 up
  • Arnautovic scored twice in two minutes
  • Seagulls unbeaten in three games

West Ham United fought back to draw 2-2 against Brighton and Hove Albion after a wild second half at the London Stadium.

Brighton scored twice in two minutes through Dale Stephens and Shane Duffy, but 10 minutes later Marko Arnautovic scored twice in two minutes to make it 2-2 as both teams had chances to secure all three points.

With the point West Ham move up to 10th on 28 points, while Brighton stay in 13th on 26 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

An even first half saw the Hammers gradually turn the screw as Robert Snodgrass‘ cross was flicked on by Marko Arnautovic but Anderson‘s shot was easily saved by David Button.

Arnautovic then curled one on target from distance but Button saved again as the home side were huffing and puffing.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Before half time Arnautovic went down in the box claiming a penalty kick as Lewis Dunk closed him down, but it would have been a really cheap penalty for Brighton to concede.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

At the start of the second half Anderson almost put West Ham ahead as he dribbled at Brighton’s defense and then drilled a low left-footed effort just wide of the post.

Against the run of play Brighton took the lead as a corner was half cleared and Stephens drilled home a wonderfully controlled volley.

Moments later it was 2-0 to the Seagulls as Duffy finished brilliantly at the back post from another corner, as the Hammers were caught cold. Bernardo then had a chance to put the game to bed but Lukasz Fabianski made it

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

But West Ham battled back well as substitute Mark Noble clipped a ball over the top and Arnautovic used his strength and slotted home to make it 2-1.

Just two minutes later it was 2-2 as Arnautovic prodded home off the bar and in to score his and West Ham’s second in as many minutes. Michail Antonio looked like he ran the ball out out of play but found the Austrian striker to level things up.

Late on Dunk had a good shout for a penalty kick as he was being held in the box by Angelo Ogbonna as a corner came in, but no spot kick was awarded.

Everton fall to Brighton in latest December defeat

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  • Locadia wins it for Brighton (59′)
  • Brighton end four-game winless skid
  • Everton lose for third time in four games

Everton’s disappointing month of December continued on Saturday, as Marco Silva‘s side suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Brighton & Hove Albion.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It was the Toffees’ fourth Premier League defeat (in seven games, with just one win) this month, so no one will be happier to see the calendar turn over to 2019 than the blue half of Merseyside.

Everton’s first real chance came in the 27th minute, when David Button spilled Theo Walcott‘s cross inside the six yard box and the ball eventually fell to the feet of an unmarked Richarlison. The Brazilian managed to turn on the ball and fire it goal-bound, but Shane Duffy was in perfect position to boot the ball clear a yard off the goal line.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Everton continued knocking on the door minutes later, as Richarlison was again denied from close range, this time by Button. Richarlison skipped past a pair of defenders and honed in on goal. His left-footed strike was right into the chest of Button, however, and the Brighton ‘keeper made the simple save.

The 0-0 scoreline lasted until just shy of the hour mark, when the Seagulls benefited from a fortuitous bounce (or two) from a corner kick. The ball initially skipped off the back of Kurt Zouma and came off the leg of Andre Gomes before falling to Jurgen Locadia for a simple finish inside the six-yard box.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Everton so nearly answered right back, though, through Richarlison who smashed another effort right at Button who made the save in self-preservation and pushed the ball onto the right-hand post.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The result sees Everton slip down to 10th place in the PL table, now five places and 11 points off fifth place (they sat just five points back of fifth when the month began). Brighton, meanwhile, remain 13th but have given themselves a 13-point cushion from the relegation zone.