But an impressive display from Brighton saw them hold on and eventually reduce the deficit, with Tariq Lamptey the standout, laying on the goal from Leandro Trossard with a brilliant delivery from the right.
Lamptey was up against Williams on the night, and after the Welshman picked up a booking for a foul on his fellow teenager, he was brought off at the break.
Liverpool then went on to ensure victory as Andy Robertson‘s corner was headed home by Salah, which the Egyptian King later confirmed was a move straight out of Melwood.
But taking to Instagram after the game, the left-back jokingly rejected this claim, instead insisting his cross was aimed at “birthday boy” Virgil van Dijk:
Williams will be looking to build on his 45-minute showing as he settles as a permanent fixture in the first team, with his ability to play left-back as well as his natural right-back helping his chances.
So too will his mindset, with the 19-year-old showing maturity as he reflected on a “happy” debut, but stressed that the key was picking up the three points:
This suggests Williams understood Jurgen Klopp‘s decision to withdraw him at the break, and it won’t affect him when he is next relied upon to start on either flank.
That was the mentality of most of the squad as they relished the win on social media, with Naby Keita leading the way after his outstanding display in the midfield:
Trent Alexander-Arnold seemed in awe of Salah’s Man of the Match showing, with the No. 11’s two goals pushing him closer in the race for the Golden Boot:
James Milner came off the bench to replace the injured Henderson in the second half, and marking his first appearance since the Merseyside derby, the veteran said it was “nice to be back”:
And finally, Van Dijk posted a message thanking those who wished him a happy birthday, and said “going home with the three points is the most important thing”:
Liverpool are now nine points off the all-time record for a season in the English top flight, and with four games left to play will be looking to beat Man City‘s tally of 100 from the 2017/18 campaign.
Next up is a home clash with Burnley on Saturday, with the Clarets unbeaten in four games, including three 1-0 wins, with their only defeat since the restart being a 5-0 humbling away to City in their first game back.