Another home fixture and another home loss for the reigning Premier League champions – the Seagulls flew into Anfield and bossed Jürgen Klopp’s drab side as they lost consecutive home matches. With the points gap at the top increasing as each gameweek passes, Liverpool will need a miracle to retain their title at this current rate.
In more comforting news for the home side, new signings of Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies will provide the much-needed cover in the centre-back positions for the Reds as all three of their senior defenders in the position have been ruled out for the rest of the current season.
It is understandable, however, that the two players are not up to speed enough with the style that their new club likes to play – although one may argue that the players who played in this fixture hardly had a grasp of the methodology themselves.
Alisson was said to be unwell before the kickoff as Kelleher came in to deputise for the Brazilian no. 1 in between the sticks.
In the 3rd minute of the game, it looked possible that Liverpool would take the lead early as Henderson lobbed a ball into the path of Mohammed Salah inside the penalty area and with one touch to set the shot up on his stronger foot, all that was missing was the net to bulge in the Anfield Road end. Instead, the Egyptian could only guide the ball over the bar.
Chances came few and far between as Klopp’s side kept the ball well but never carved out anything clear cut in the first half after the earlier effort. It would be the away side who would get the last chance of the opening 45 minutes, as halfway through Neil Maupay would find himself in the Liverpool penalty area after beating the offside trap and beating the recovery runs of the defence.
The Frenchman’s shot bundled towards Dan Burn, free as a bird, in the box and on the half volley he can only boot the ball into the Kop end.
One thing is certain – if you were looking for some action from when the game kicked off at 8:15 pm until 9 o’clock, unfortunately, you would have been better off boiling the kettle for a cup of tea and settling down for the second episode of Coronation Street.
Half time: Liverpool 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
An adrenaline injection was needed for the spectators at home and the players on the pitch and it came with a half-chance early into the second half as Milner passed to Salah – central and just outside the penalty box, who spreads wide to Firmino. Brighton got the bodies back fast though to stop the first shot so he looks for the overlapping run of Robertson.
The Scotsman’s cross is inch-perfect, but Lewis Dunk is down quick enough for the block which takes the ball only as far as Firmino who goes for the fake shot to turn away from the incoming defenders and strikes with the outside of his left foot but only into Dunk once again.
If you took the advice of checking into the soaps before the game, then you may have wanted to avoid the spoilers – well consider this your spoiler alert for this game: that was Liverpool’s sole shot on target for the entirety of the 90 minutes.
Now it was time for the sucker punch; the perfect reply from Brighton as Solly March was invited to cross as Robertson nor Firmino decided to close down the ball into the box. Burn had been a persistent, physical nuisance throughout the game, but he was free again inside the box and simply headed into a dangerous area for Alzate and Trossard to both go for the ball, but it was the British-Colombian, 22-year-old who struck into the right side of the net.
It would take 15 minutes since conceding for a chance to materialise for the Reds as Alexander-Arnold would find himself in enough space to cross into Salah inside the box and whilst the pace on the ball was quick, it needed to be to beat the away defence.
Once again it would be up and over the goal from the number 11.
Brighton did not rest on their laurels as shortly after conceding the half chance, Pascal Groß was found free on the same side Burn headed in from for the opener. Alexander-Arnold, missing in action, and Groß fired true and Kelleher was required to push wide and Henderson cleared fully.
The last chance came from the seaside team as Trossard was found in acres of space on his left side and cutting onto his left and right in sequence until he got a yard of space over Milner and thundered his shot into Kelleher.
All said and done it was Graham Potter’s men who registered four shots on target and boasted the best chances in the game. Another side has gone to the home of the champions and put another dent in the crown belonging to the 2019/20 runaway leaders.
The 2020/21 runaway leaders are up next for Liverpool, as Manchester City are looking for their tenth win in a row and an end to a miserable run of form at Anfield.
Anything can happen in this peculiar league season, and the red side from Merseyside are proving that point in every home game right now.
Full time: Liverpool 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Liverpool: Kelleher (6), Robertson (5), Henderson (7), Phillips (5), Alexander-Arnold (5), Milner (5), Thiago (5), Wijnaldum (6), Salah (6), Shaqiri (5), Firmino (5)
Subs: Origi (4), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6)
Brighton: Sánchez (7), Burn (8), Webster (8), Dunk (8), White (8), March (7), Bissouma (8), Alzate (7), Groß (8), Trossard (7), Maupay (7)
Subs: Lallana (6), Connolly (6)
Man of the match: Lewis Dunk