There was plenty of negativity from the watching media after Liverpool’s 3-3 draw at home to Brighton on Saturday afternoon, as yet more points were dropped.
The Reds returned to Premier League action after a long wait, although many supporters may have hoped the game had never taken place!
Jurgen Klopp‘s men found themselves 2-0 down after just 18 minutes at Anfield but did at least rally to lead 3-2 in the second half.
Rather predictably, however, Leandro Trossard completed his hat-trick late on, earning Brighton a deserved point on Merseyside and subjecting the Reds to their fourth draw of the season.
Here’s how the media assessed Liverpool’s latest slip-up, with lots of frustration in the air.
Yet another below-par display was assessed…
Goal‘s Neil Jones is worried about Liverpool even finishing in the top four:
“They might have a game in hand, but they are 11 points off top spot already, and seven behind Tottenham, who were beaten at the Emirates on Saturday. They and City were in a league of their own last season, but it looks as if the chasing pack have caught up to Klopp’s side since May.
“On this evidence, Brighton certainly have.”
This Is Anfield‘s Mark Delgado feels huge improvements are now required ahead of a busy run of fixtures:
“This was game one of 13 Liverpool must play across the next 44 days – an insane schedule before the World Cup, and a make-or-break one for how good (or otherwise) our season can be.
“Not the best of starts, then.
“So much has to change in the next week for us to have a reasonable level of optimism that a win will be forthcoming at the Emirates.”
And the BBC‘s Gary Rose shone a light on another poor start for Liverpool, who need to rediscover their focus:
“It was another poor start that ultimately cost them the three points.
“Liverpool have now conceded the first goal in five of their seven Premier League games this season and working out how to get the Reds starting on the front foot once again is the challenge facing manager Jurgen Klopp at the moment.
“The determination and character that took Liverpool to within a point of champions Manchester City last season is there but they need to rediscover their focus before the title race slips away from them.”
Trent had a terrible day at the office…
The Mirror‘s Daniel Orme focused on another poor outing for Trent:
“It feels extremely harsh to pile in on Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold after what was a tricky fortnight on the international front. However, talk over his place in the England squad appears not to have had the desired impact on his club form.
“The right-back did not cover himself in glory during the first goal after his poor, clearing header was picked up before Trossard easily wriggled away from him.
“He then had to shoulder a large portion of the blame for the second after failing to control and then let Danny Welbeck to ghost in-behind undetected.
“It might now be time to take the academy graduate out of the side to avoid the unwanted glare of the spotlight any more.”
Richard Jolly of the Independent was another who bemoaned the right-back’s display, even though he wasn’t the sole issue:
“If nothing else, it illustrated that costly defensive mistakes were not confined to Trent Alexander-Arnold on a chastening day.
“The chances are that Gareth Southgate’s mind is already made up, but this was not a persuasive case to take him to the World Cup.
“Klopp had mounted a vehement defence of Alexander-Arnold’s defending; one answer on Friday took five minutes and 40 seconds but, within four minutes of kick-off, Liverpool were behind. If there are times when Alexander-Arnold’s culpability has been exaggerated, he was partly to blame for Brighton’s first two goals.”
Meanwhile, Delgado was scathing in his criticism of Trent:
“Trent was garbage first half.
“And let’s not have any airs and graces about it being due to a high starting point or a ball in behind him when he’s trying to counter or any of that – this was one-on-one defending, clearing headers, tracking runners just a few yards away and choosing the right pass out of the defensive third.
“Second half was not improved enough in this regard either, with the added non-bonus of swiped and mis-hit clearances.
“He was directly culpable for at least three really good openings for Brighton, including being involved in both of their goals.
“He’s capable of so much more, and so is this team as a whole.”
Ian Doyle of the Liverpool Echo also couldn’t help but lambast the Liverpool hero:
“Let’s make no bones it. The right-back had an absolute shocker here, his start in keeping with a dreadful Liverpool opening that saw Jurgen Klopp ’s side given the runaround by the visitors, playing their first game under new boss Robert De Zerbi.
“An untimely slip allowed Leandro Trossard to tuck away the opener for Brighton after only four minutes, and the same player capitalised again 13 minutes later after Alexander-Arnold’s lack of awareness saw Danny Welbeck nip in and take possession.
“The more Alexander-Arnold tried, the worse he seemingly became, resulting in one second-half passage of play when a succession of frantic swipes and miskicks prompted audible angst from the agitated Anfield audience.”
Finally, Jones mainly had negative things to say about the out-of-form Englishman:
“After a week of discussion about his World Cup prospects, this was not what Liverpool’s right-back needed.
“Alexander-Arnold, one imagines, would have wanted a nice, uneventful afternoon here, a game to calm the nerves and turn down the spotlight. He most certainly did not get it.
“Inside five minutes, he had been left on the floor as the impressive Trossard opened the scoring, and when the same player doubled Brighton‘s lead on 18 minutes, the goal came from a loose touch from Alexander-Arnold, who was caught in possession attempting to bring down a long ball on his chest.
“There were signs of nerves in the 23-year-old’s performance. Some hurried passes, errant headers and wild clearances.
“His corner delivery was fine, one of them led to the own goal which looked to have won the game for his side, but there was to be one final sting as Brighton overloaded his flank late on, allowing Kaoru Mitoma to cross for Trossard to snatch a point at the back post.”