Liverpool went ahead, then had bad luck to be level, then failed to create anything and were made to pay for sloppiness late on, exiting the FA Cup.
Brighton 2-1 Liverpool
FA Cup Fourth Round, Amex Stadium
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Elliott 30′ (assist: Salah)
Just 15 days after a 3-0 humbling at this very stadium, Liverpool returned to the scene of what Jurgen Klopp described as the worst performance he’d seen in his seven years in charge of the Reds.
After that result and with the home side three places above their visitors in the league table, Liverpool, even as the holders, could be considered the underdogs. How times have changed.
With that performance still in mind, Klopp kept with the players that have played the two games since and kept two clean sheets. The only change saw Trent Alexander-Arnold in for James Milner.
“Stability and consistency,” is what Klopp is looking for now and that was certainly on show in the first half.
There was an early chance for Mo Salah which was eventually cleared off the line, although Brighton then had their own chance cleared off the line by Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool’s front three looked much more connected after a week on the training ground together and an exquisite pass from Elliott put Salah in again but he dragged his shot wide.
On the half-hour, Salah turned provider for Elliott and he finished to put the Reds deservedly ahead.
Not long before half time, Brighton levelled against the run of play when Tariq Lamptey’s shot from outside the area deflected off Lewis Dunk. Liverpool really do have no luck this season.
Half time: Brighton 1-1 Liverpool
A slow start to the second half, Klopp made a triple change on the hour, introducing Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Darwin Nunez for Naby Keita, Alexander-Arnold and Elliott.
Brighton came closest to going ahead in the 71st minute when Mitoma’s low cross for Solly March was superbly blocked by Alisson then came back off the Brighton forward and fortunately went wide.
Fabinho replaced the excellent Stefan Bajcetic in the 84th minute and was lucky not to see red within a minute for an ugly, late challenge on Evan Ferguson.
Liverpool failed to create anything of note to win the game and instead another late challenge, this time by Robertson, proved extremely costly.
The resulting free kick was eventually finished expertly by Mitoma, absolutely turning Joe Gomez inside out like Danny Welbeck did a fortnight ago.
Liverpool exit the FA Cup, having failed to create anything at all in the second half.
TIA Man of the Match: Stefan Bajcetic
Referee: David Coote
Brighton: Steele; Lamptey, Webster, Dunk, Estupinan; Mac Allister, Gross; March, Ferguson, Mitoma; Welbeck
Subs: Sanchez, Van Hecke, Voltman, Hinshelwood, Gilmour, Moran, Sarmiento, Enciso, Undav
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold (Milner 59′), Gomez, Konate, Robertson; Bajcetic (Fabinho 84′), Keita (Henderson 59′), Thiago (Jones 79′); Salah, Elliott (Nunez 59′), Gakpo
Subs not used: Kelleher, Matip, Tsimikas, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Next Match: Wolves (away, Saturday 4 February)