It was far from a vintage display but it didn’t need to be as Liverpool got back to winning ways with victory against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Brighton 0-1 Liverpool
Premier League (22), Amex Stadium
January 12, 2019
Salah 50′ (penalty)
There were two changes from the side that started the last league game, with Fabinho coming in for Dejan Lovren at centre-back and James Milner replaced by Xherdan Shaqiri as Jurgen Klopp switched from the 4-3-3 shape deployed against Man City to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Pre-match there was a concern for the Reds though with Trent Alexander-Arnold rolling his ankle in the warm up
The opening exchanges were dominated by Liverpool, with the home side seemingly happy to cede possession to the Reds – who had 78% of the ball in the first half.
Indeed, much of the first 45 minutes saw 21 players inside the Brighton half with the game resembling an attack vs. defence session.
The closest the Reds came to an opening goal was Shaqiri’s glanced header midway through the half but went into the break without a shot on target.
Half-time: Brighton 0-0 Liverpool
- Frustrating first half
- Salah nets his 14th league goal of the season
- Not convincing, but “a win’s a win”
- Reds remain top, 7 points clear – City play Monday night
The second half saw Mohamed Salah get the Reds’ first shot on target within two minutes of the restart, finally forcing David Button into a save.
And within a minute of that, Salah expertly won a penalty, brought down by Pascal Gross after a lovely spin inside the box. The Egyptian then fired home from the spot to grab his 14th league goal of the season.
Liverpool continued to dominate proceedings and had opportunities to extend their lead but were unable to do so.
Sadio Mane was particularly wasteful with some poor decisions in attack, but it was a golden chance for Salah with three minutes remaining that was most surprising.
Praise should go to Fabinho who did well at centre-back, helped by another excellent showing from Virgil van Dijk.
Next up for Liverpool is another 3pm kickoff, at home to Crystal Palace next Saturday.
Title rivals Man City play Wolves on Monday night, while Tottenham face Man United on Sunday.
TIA Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk
Referee: Kevin Friend
Brighton: Button, Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Bong, Propper, Stephens, Gross (Kayal 79′), March (Knockeart 66′), Murray (Andone 66′), Locadia
Subs: Steele, Balogun, Bruno, Sanders
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri (Milner 72′), Salah (Origi 90+4′), Mane (Keita 90′), Firmino
Subs: Mignolet, Moreno, Matip, Camacho
Next Match: Crystal Palace (home, Saturday 19 January)