Virgil van Dijk scored twice early on but a red card and the influence of Martin Atkinson saw another shaky ending as Liverpool beat Brighton 2-1.
Liverpool 2-1 Brighton
Premier League, Anfield
November 30, 2019
Goals: Van Dijk 18′, 24′; Dunk 79′
With Man City held to a 2-2 draw with Newcastle earlier in the day, the Reds looked set to saunter to another victory and go 11 points clear as they went 2-0 up within the first half-hour.
The goals both came via the boot of Trent Alexander-Arnold and the head of Van Dijk, who rose highest to nod past Mat Ryan twice in the space of six minutes.
But Brighton remained in the game and were handed a lifeline in the second half as Alisson handled outside the box and, with his replacement Adrian still lining up his wall, Lewis Dunk pass the resulting free-kick into the back of the net.
Fortunately, the Reds were able to hold on, and with another three points they go 11 clear of both City and Chelsea at the top of the Premier League, with Leicester to host Everton on Sunday.
Here’s how Liverpool fans reacted to a dramatic afternoon on Twitter, Facebook and the This Is Anfield forums.
‘Justice for the 96’ rang around Anfield for the first six minutes…
Justice for the 96. #JFT96 pic.twitter.com/9zUBDwFNlQ
— Gareth Roberts (@robbohuyton) November 30, 2019
The Kop looks boss with the flags still waving #JFT96
— Dec (@LittleDekkers) November 30, 2019
Justice for the 96! pic.twitter.com/gxX7vJEP5W
— Rome to Madrid via Istanbul (@tedthered77) November 30, 2019
Crowd perfect as always there. #JFT96
— harvv I LABOUR #NotMyPM (@hjg_lfc) November 30, 2019
Simply the best fans in the world!!! #JFT96 for the first 6 mins. #YNWA
— Klopp talks about 19 (@lfcynwa1968) November 30, 2019
Tough week for Liverpool as a club and city. The reception that was needed for the first few minutes there at Anfield. Strong defiant and passionate! Justice for the 96. #JFT96 #LIVBHA
— DH sport (@SportTalk19) November 30, 2019
Van Dijk was lauded for two goals and a top-class performance…
Van Dijk throughly deserves that Ballon d’Or. Hard to think of a player who has been more transformative and commanding as his. A phenomenal defender and the difference maker for #LFC time and time again.
— Leanne Prescott (@_lfcleanne) November 30, 2019
Van Dijk deserves the ballon D’or the most. Imagine disagreeing.
— Samue (@SamueILFC) November 30, 2019
Virgil van Dijk equalling messi’s goals from open play tally for this season??
On the weekend before ballon d’or?
The ceremony will be a robbery when Messi gets it. pic.twitter.com/fX2V7Y8wS0
— Bubbles (@bubbIxs) November 30, 2019
“Bloody beautiful you lanky Dutch beanstalk!”
– RodM on the forums.
Come on big man @VirgilvDijk #YNWA
— Djimi Traore (@Djimi_Traore19) November 30, 2019
My top 3 centre backs in the world:
— – (@AnfieldRd96) November 30, 2019
There was agony over Alisson’s red card and Adrian’s early concession, but the blame fell on Atkinson…
I wasn’t nervous at all when Alisson got sent off #LIVBHA pic.twitter.com/rRJsXb3Wx0
— AK (@AKS) November 30, 2019
“Allison had no choice but to come out because the defence wasn’t deep enough.”
– Abdi Salat on Facebook.
Watching Adrian in goal. pic.twitter.com/JHjGRx9AYK
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) November 30, 2019
Red card: yes 100% it was a shot that was going in. But blowing the whistle while Adrian is lining up the wall, that’s bad reffing end of. #LIVBHA #Atkinson
— Red from Midlands (@MidlandsR) November 30, 2019
What did I say about Atkinson
That motherfucker blew his whistle whilst Adrian was stood outside his post lining up the wall
— SimonBrundish (@SimonBrundish) November 30, 2019
“Atkinson is a joke, how can you blow to take the free kick with the keeper still sorting out his wall.”
– James Stephen on Facebook.
This was extreme level of shithousery from Atkinson, blowing the whistle while Adrian was still by the post. #LIVBHA
— Vesko Trajkovi? (@VeskoTrajkovic) November 30, 2019
Ultimately, however, fans were left to savour Liverpool going 11 points clear…
Liverpool decided that it was too comfortable, so went completely Barclays at the end.
A double-digit lead over City is colossal.
— Tom McMahon (@tomjpmac) November 30, 2019
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) November 30, 2019
That was tough on my heart.
— Paul Grech (@paul_grech) November 30, 2019
— The KopCast Podcast (@KopLeft) November 30, 2019
“We’ll take it. Nothings been easy this season but look at the standings. Love it.”
– Barry Darlington on Facebook.
#LFC produce arguably their worst performance of the season and lose their goalkeeper to a red card… and yet somehow go 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League! The resilience in this team is just remarkable.
— David Lynch (@LynchStandard) November 30, 2019
11 points clear. Glorious!
— Matt (@FalseFMatt) November 30, 2019
“Another 3 points, 11 points clear of City. No moaning or looking for negatives from me. Bloody wonderful isn’t it?”
– SirBillShankly on the forums.
Again, Liverpool not overly impressive or playing up to their high standards but get all three points. Pick up 40 points from a possible 42 this season and move 11 points clear of Manchester City.
Stop the reds if you can! #LIVBHA
— E (@iamOkon) November 30, 2019
No clean sheet for #LFC and a suspension for Alisson, so not all positive, but that’s a huge three points. Hung on at the end but Jurgen Klopp’s side are 11 points clear. 40 points from 14 matches is quite simply incredible.
— Matt Addison (@MattAddison97) November 30, 2019
“Eleven points clear – is it too much to ask for the Bitters to do us a favour tomorrow?”
– cynicaloldgit on the forums.
Liverpool hit the magic 40 point mark and should be safe from relegation with just 24 games remaining.. pic.twitter.com/AttDGgtGSc
— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) November 30, 2019
11 points clear ??? pic.twitter.com/DeHvVwuXNI
— J P (@JP10n) November 30, 2019
Serious question… if Liverpool do win the title are any of us gonna be around to witness it ?
— Kauser Soze (@NinaKauser) November 30, 2019