Liverpool 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Jurgen Klopp’s side has gone 11 points clear at the top of the league after a 2-1 home win over mid-table Brighton…but that isn’t the half of it!
Premier League Liverpool vs Brighton was supposed to be a regulation home win but, in the end, it was anything but. The pre-match Liverpool vs Brighton betting odds here at SBOBET had the hosts as red hot favourites at 1.22 and Virgil Van Dijk’s first-half double made that look pretty much nailed on.
Before kick-off, the news came through from St. James’ Park that Newcastle had held Manchester City to a 2-2 draw, and the Kop faithful celebrated almost as if the title was won when they went two up.
But Brighton didn’t lie down, and in a couple of minutes of madness, Liverpool’s keeper Alisson was red-carded. And from the resulting free-kick, the Seagulls halved the deficit.
After his midfield lynchpin Fabinho suffered an injury in a 1-1 draw with Napoli, Klopp really needed a trouble-free game and while this certainly wasn’t it, the three points could be invaluable.
Highlights of the game
Brighton keeper Mat Ryan knew he was in for a busy day, and he made a brilliant stop to deny Roberto Fimino on 16 minutes. Sadio Mane crossed an inch-perfect ball for the Brazilian and his effort from 15 yards out was destined for the bottom corner, but Ryan got down quickly to save.
But there was little he could do two minutes later when Trent Alexander-Arnold crossed for Virgil Van Dijk. The big Dutchman headed over Ryan and into the net for his first of the season.
And he got his second on 24 minutes in near-identical fashion. This time Alexander-Arnold sent over a corner and Van Dijk planted his header past Ryan at the near post. It was just the start Klopp wanted against a side which can play.
But Brighton picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and set about their work.
Davy Propper beat Dejan Lovren with ease, but his shot was comfortably saved by Alisson. And before half-time, centre-back Lewis Dunk missed a glorious chance to halve the deficit. Full-back Dan Burn crossed into the box and the ball fell to Dunk, who had a clear shot on goal. However, the ball bounced off his shin and bobbled agonisingly wide.
As the second half kicked off, Brighton didn’t think they were out of it. Dunk had another chance when he met a corner, but his header drifted wide. And then the big defender kept the deficit to two at the other end, blocking an effort from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
And then, with a quarter of an hour remaining, the Reds were down to 10 men. A ball was pumped over the top and Leandro Trossard was clean through. Alisson raced off his line and handled outside the area to deny the Brighton substitute. It was a straight red card.
Things got worse for Liverpool. Klopp hauled off Oxlade-Chamberlain to be replaced by Adrian and referee Martin Atkinson blew to allow the free-kick to be taken. Adrian wasn’t ready and Dunk rolled the ball into the net! The sub keeper was furious as he was standing at the post setting up his wall when the ref allowed the kick to be taken.
That moment of madness gave the Seagulls wings. Neal Maupay sprung the offside trap to go clear through on goal but was wrongly flagged offside. As the clock ticked down, Adrian saved an effort from Aaron Mooy and in a frantic finish, he dropped a header from Pascal Gross but gathered at the second attempt.
The Kop collectively breathed a sigh of relief!
The Reds picked up three points last week with a late winner against Crystal Palace and today they seemed to have the game wrapped up by half-time. Brighton had other ideas.
The game eventually went the way of all the previous Liverpool vs Brighton results, and the Reds have now beaten the Seagulls seven times in seven.
Add to that Liverpool are the only Premier League club to score in every game this season. They are also unbeaten in each of their last 98 games at Anfield when leading at half-time. You could say it was a very good day for the hosts.
Anfield will be packed to the rafters again on Wednesday night when Liverpool host Everton in the Merseyside derby, but they’ll be playing without their number one keeper.
The Seagulls have a difficult run of games to contend with. They have a home match against Wolves next week, but before that they face Arsenal in a midweek clash at the Emirates. After the departure of Unai Emery, the Gunners are being coached by former fan favourite Freddie Ljungberg and will be keen to impress.
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