Liverpool equalled their club record of 31 league games without defeat – and moved 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Liverpool 2-1 Brighton
Premier League, Anfield
Saturday, 30 November 2019
Van Dijk 19′ (assist: Alexander-Arnold)
Van Dijk 25′ (assist: Alexander-Arnold)
The opening six minutes saw the Kop sing Justice For The 96 and hold up banners and flags relating to the Hillsborough disaster, following the recent verdict in David Duckenfield’s trial that means nobody will ever be held responsible for the manslaughter of 96 supporters.
On the pitch, Jurgen Klopp went with Jordan Henderson in Fabinho‘s holding midfield role, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain brought into the side.
Trent Alexander-Arnold replaced Joe Gomez at right-back after the draw with Napoli, and the youngster again proved influential.
It was his cross from a free-kick on the right which set up Virgil van Dijk to rise and head home to open the scoring in the 19th minute.
And five minutes later it was a repeat of the same combination, with Van Dijk this time heading home powerfully from Trent’s corner from the left side.
Despite the lead, Liverpool struggled to create from open play and the visitors had a few good chances of their own with some nice play in midfield and attack.
The Reds’ best move of the half came on the stroke of half-time, after excellent work by Sadio Mane down the left, then Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, but Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot was saved.
Half time: Liverpool 2-0 Brighton
- Reds equal club record of 31 league games unbeaten
- Alisson sent off and misses next 3 league games
- LFC haven’t kept a cleansheet at Anfield yet this season
- 11 points clear at the top after Man City drew at Newcastle
The second half saw few clear cut chances for either side, but sprang into life with 12 minutes remaining when Alisson inexplicably handled outside the box and was subsequently sent off.
Adrian came on for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but Brighton defender Lewis Dunk took advantage of Liverpool being half asleep while setting up to face the free-kick and simply passed the ball into the open side of the Reds’ goal.
A man down, it set up yet another tense finish for Liverpool, who have rarely had a comfortable finish to any game this season.
Adrian made a decent save to deny Aaron Mooy, but then fumbled an effort which left everyone inside Anfield with their hearts in their mouth.
The full-time whistle was greeted with a collective sigh of relief. It wasn’t pretty, but that’s now 13 games won from the opening 14 league games, which is an incredible achievement.
Next: The Merseyside derby at Anfield on Wednesday.
TIA Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Liverpool: Alisson (Sent off 77′); Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Adrian 78′); Mane, Salah (Lallana 68′), Firmino (Origi 75′)
Subs not used: Adrian, Gomez, Milner, Keita, Shaqiri, Origi
Brighton: Ryan; Montoya (Alzate 68′), Webster, Dunk, Burn; Gross, Stephens, Propper, Bissouma (Trossard 68′), Mooy; Connolly (Maupay 76′)
Subs not used: Button, Duffy, Schelotto, Murray
Next Match: Everton (home, Wednesday 4 December)