Brighton 2-2 Liverpool
Premier League (8), AMEX Stadium
October 8, 2023
Goals: Adingra 20′, Dunk 78′; Salah 40′ pen 45′
Alisson Becker – 6 (out of 10)
Didn’t cover himself in glory with Brighton‘s opener from a positional perspective, but that’s the trade-off from being open for the pass all the time. Maybe could have recovered quicker but it was a very quickly taken shot.
Great save against the same player one-on-one after the restart and no chance for Dunk’s leveller – not much to do in between.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6
Still looks well short of match sharpness and it was a little bit of a surprise he came straight back in, given how well Joe Gomez had been performing.
There were of course a few nice passes and switches but he was very slow to get back into position, often jogging as Brighton flooded forward, and one-on-ones were always hit and miss for success.
One good stretch did stop Mitoma getting in but it was far from good enough overall.
Joel Matip – 7
Good with passing out, good with intercepting a lot of attempted through balls.
Fared better than Virgil when it came to the plan of stepping out into midfield to make the early challenge on attackers receiving to feet.
Took a knee to the thigh for one challenge and perhaps that’s what saw him subbed off.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
Not immense, in truth. Caught a few times in the channel and played the sloppy pass out which was intercepted and led to the opening goal. He, more than Mac Allister, was probably at fault there.
Some good aerial work against a barrage of set plays in the first half but not a very controlled performance and offered no real authority when we needed it in the last 15.
Andy Robertson – 4
Given a bit of a run-around in truth by Adingra. Couldn’t catch up with him after he’d been run past, didn’t stop the cross coming in or the attacker checking back inside.
Some good moments as an outlet down the left and some overlapping runs went unnoticed but the biggest impact was simply not clearing the ball from a free-kick, which Dunk duly scored from.
Alexis Mac Allister – 4
Playing the Argentine in this role is going to mean we get days like this: when the No8s aren’t spot on, when the press isn’t great, when the runners aren’t tracked – Alexis simply won’t be a barrier to the defence.
Made several fouls, some sloppy passing was on show even higher upfield and he was totally caught in possession for the Brighton opener.
You have to feel sorry for him really, this isn’t what he was signed to play.
Dominik Szoboszlai – 6
One of his less-impactful showings but still did some very good bits and pieces in midfield. When the Reds did get their passing game going it invariably included the No.8 and he was unlucky not to claim an assist for Diaz.
Harvey Elliott – 6
Got the nod to start in Curtis Jones‘ absence and had a vibrant start when Liverpool were marginally in the ascendancy, but that only lasted 15 minutes and he offered very little thereafter.
Swamped in the middle, gave no control and subbed at the break – yet does deserve big credit for a selfless moment for our equaliser, stepping across the ball to leave it for Salah when he could easily have taken on the shot himself on a worse angle.
Mohamed Salah – 8 (Man of the Match)
He’s a delight to watch, even when things aren’t going well for the Reds.
Salah’s touch is immaculate, his turning circle is so tight and it often takes two to close him down, opening space elsewhere.
Good work rate on this occasion too in the first half and his one-touch passing when we got those all-important turnovers in their half of the pitch was exceptional.
Most importantly of all, buried his one chance in open play and rattled in a penalty soon after.
Darwin Nunez – 7
Didn’t have too many clear sights of goal – awkward headers, blocked shots on the turn – but played a really important role both with our build-up work and our off-the-ball play.
Claims the assist for Salah’s equaliser and did plenty of good pressing work too.
Should have been used more on quicker counter attacks rather than our often too-slow build-up play.
Luis Diaz – 6
A very busy game, though it’s honestly a little tough to say if it was ‘good’ or not. Diaz got through relentless running, much of it towards his own goal at times, and often got a foot in for a tackle or a take-on to win a foul.
However in the final third he was wayward: a driven shot wide, a chance to release Nunez was missed and his dribbling attempts too often went nowhere.
Ryan Gravenberch (on for Elliott, 46′) – 6 – Should have scored but smacked the bar from close range! Some brilliant turns and driving runs, plus more physicality which suggests he may start post-internationals.
Ibrahima Konate (on for Matip, 72′) – 5 – Didn’t get up to speed in the game quickly enough. Sloppy passing.
Joe Gomez (on for Alexander-Arnold, 79′) – n/a – Booked and made a few fouls. Not a good cameo.
Subs not used: Adrian, Quansah, Tsimikas, Chambers, Endo, Doak
Jurgen Klopp – 6
A curious choice in midfield considering Brighton‘s big strength there in attacking with fast exchanges through the centre and it very much didn’t pay off.
He claimed Endo’s sub at half-time on Thursday was pre-planned, so why wasn’t he starting here – and thus having Mac Allister in his natural role?!
More notably, there didn’t appear to be much of a reaction from the boss in terms of changing matters either midway through the first half or heading towards the last 15 minutes off the match, both times with Brighton well in the ascendancy.
A shape change might have been the better option particularly 2-1 up late on, but it was like-for-like switches only, in positional terms at least.
Not his best day on the touchline in truth and the Reds are a bit fortunate to take a point on the balance of 90 minutes, even though they led until late.