Liverpool 3-3 Brighton
Premier League (7), Anfield
October 1, 2022
Goals: Firmino 33′, 54′, Webster OG 63′; Trossard 4′, 18′, 83′
Alisson – 8 (out of 10) (Man of the Match)
You really do fear what the scoreline could have been had it not been for the Brazilian in the early stages, and across the season in general.
His teammates have not been forthcoming with the defending required to even have hopes of a clean sheet, but Alisson continues to be world-class in the face of it all.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 4
Already under the spotlight after his England omission and after Jurgen Klopp‘s passionate defence of his qualities, this was another difficult game for Alexander-Arnold.
A player who seems mentally lacking concentration, he was easily beaten for the opening goal so early on, with his headed clearance quickly arriving back inside the box and Trossard beating him to finish.
A bad touch opened up his side of the pitch for Brighton‘s second and there was no hurry to race back, we’ve seen that before. Carelessness in possession did little to stop their momentum.
To say he had the freedom to roam was an understatement, but this was a performance that he will not want to rewatch and we’ll be happy to forget.
Joel Matip – 7
When those around him floundered, the centre-back looked like one of the most composed figures in the team.
Strong in his one on ones and eager to step out of the line, Matip set the bar for his performance in the first minute by pressing Roberto Sanchez in Brighton‘s goal.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
The Dutchman came up with a handful of crucial blocks in his own area, denying what looked like clear goalscoring opportunities – only for Brighton‘s third goal to just go straight through him!
Clean in possession, Van Dijk did respond from a slow start, like many others, but the overall defensive performance was lacking from Liverpool, who crumble far too easily.
Kostas Tsimikas – 6
With Andy Robertson still in the treatment room with a knee injury, it was time for Tsimikas’ third start of the season and, unfortunately, not one of his best.
Slightly ponderous at times and only won one of his four ground duels, still had the energy to battle on but was swapped out for James Milner after just an hour.
Fabinho – 5
It only takes being off by one percent to look a different player and you just wonder if it is cumulative fatigue in Fabinho‘s case or the fact he is being pulled in one too many directions.
The Brazilian had plenty of defensive work to do and won six of his seven ground and ariel duels combined, but on the transition did look as though he was trying to run on sand.
Thiago – 6
A solid yet unspectacular performance on the whole, but his magic feet still got an outing and his vision to find Luis Diaz in the build-up to the second goal was crucial.
Brighton‘s fouls on our No. 6 started to rack up in the second half, not what the heart needs when we’re all desperate to keep the Spaniard on the pitch!
Jordan Henderson – 5
In the captain’s first start since the visit of Newcastle in late August, it was clear he was making his return from injury as he just was not quite up to speed.
A weak effort to block a Brighton player on the edge of the penalty area culminated in their opening goal and the inability to win his duels in midfield was a killer.
His quick thinking did send the Reds on their way for the second goal.
Substituted just before the hour mark in a presumably pre-planned change.
Mohamed Salah – 7
A bright spark up top, created Firmino’s first goal thanks to his awareness of his long-time partner and did come close to finding the net himself.
There has been plenty of talk about him playing too wide this season but at times he had to come deep into midfield to even see the ball.
Worked hard to get the Reds out of their own half, a selfless performance on the whole. Still, three goals in nine games this season is well below his par.
Fabio Carvalho – 5
It’s not his favoured position and with the team not firing on all cylinders, the imbalance didn’t help the situation – he did do his fair share of defensive work, for what it is worth.
Not necessarily a sign of his performance but a second withdrawal this season at half-time came his way. Hopefully not damaging his confidence.
Roberto Firmino – 7
The one to get Liverpool back into the game with a tidy finish after reacting the quickest in the first half, and then showing off his composure in the second to take his season tally to five.
His confidence was buoyed by his goals, rightly so, and the hesitancy he had in the early stages of the game quickly made way as Liverpool took charge.
Could have headed for a hat-trick with a good chance.
When Bobby is up and about Liverpool look all the better for it, more of those goals, please!
Luis Diaz (on for Carvalho, 46′) – 7 – Sharp and energetic, the spark Liverpool were missing and he wasted no time in setting up Firmino and getting his side back into the game.
James Milner (on for Tsimikas, 59′) – 5 – You know the first rule you’re taught in football is not to pass the ball across your goal, well Milner thought he’d remind us all. Lost his man at the back post
Harvey Elliott (on for Henderson, 59′) – 5 – Was clean in possession but with Trent already struggling, his role on the right of midfield didn’t help matters.
Diogo Jota (on for Firmino, 75′) – 6 – Offered a different dynamic when leading the line.
Subs not used: Adrian, Gomez, Phillips, Arthur
Jurgen Klopp – 6
After an extended break and the performance Liverpool left off from against Ajax, you expected more than what we got considering by the 20th minute of the match it was 2-0 in Brighton‘s favour.
His attacking options were restricted due to minor fitness knocks but Carvalho never felt like the right fit on the left of the front three, but there were few other choices.
That’s now four draws from seven league games and the 12th game from the last 15 that Liverpool have conceded first. Something has to change.
Games coming thick and fast helps with the need to put results like this behind them without delay, but it causes confidence to crumble and that will only serve up similar performances and results.