After a dream start from Liverpool, things got a bit...dicey in the second half against Brighton & Hove Albion. But hey, it wouldn’t be a Liverpool game this season without some unnecessary drama, now, would it?
Join us as we try and separate narrative from reality of the match up and how it all went down in the end.
The Kop: JFT96
Virgil van Dijk: He’s a centre-half, he’s a number four. Watch him defend, and we watch him score. And then we watch him defend, and we watch him score again. The Dutch colossus was, well, colossal yet again on both ends of the field. He had a couple of sublime long diagonal balls to spring the attack. His brace was the difference for Liverpool today, and he should absolutely be in the mix for the Ballon d’Or.
Technical Assist-ance: Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are now tied with 5 assists each for the season. The young Scouser provided two pinpoint crosses from set pieces to the head of van Dijk, while Robertson provided several juicy cutbacks that would have been nestled into the net if not for the heroics from Mat Ryan. The friendly rivalry between the two fullbacks is an absolute blast to watch.
Sadio Mane: The Senegalese striker was unlucky not to end up on the score sheet. He was absolutely electric yet again, with a dazzling run down the sideline (where he easily could have gone down several times to draw a foul but stayed on his feet wait what) as well as a divine chip to Roberto Firmino.
Midfield Shuffle: With Fabinho out, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got the start in midfield as Jordan Henderson slotted into the number 6 spot. It was great to see Ox out there, and almost scored a trademark blast. He was dynamic with his pressing, and showed nice vision as well. Shout out to Hendo too, he did an admirable job tracking back, and provided his usual leadership late in the game.
Alisson Becker: There’s boneheaded, and then there’s what Alisson just did. Look, I’d love to see a clean sheet as much as the next person, but there has to be some sort of understanding of the situation before making the decision to paw the ball out of the air while well outside of the box. Alisson will now have to sit out the Merseyside Derby.
Whistle Taken Quickly: Look, I’m not going to claim to be a referee and have a full understanding of all the laws of the game and their nuances. All I’m saying is I have never, in any level of the game, seen a referee blow the whistle for a restart while the keeper is in the middle of setting his wall. Martin Atkinson managed to casually blow his whistle while walking behind the free kick taker, so there was no way Adrian could have seen. Then again, Martin Atkinson gonna Martin Atkinson.
Dissecting The Narrative
Another game, another 2-1 win. That makes 7 for the season out of 14 games. This was not one of the “mentality monsters” 2-1 wins either. This was a comfortable stroll in the park that turned quite nervy due to Liverpool taking the foot off of the gas in the second half. Even before Alisson’s red card, Brighton were looking dangerous. Yet again, the Reds were unable to put together a complete performance but managed to come away with all 3 points. With Leicester City still to play, Liverpool have opened up an 11 point lead at the top of the table.
What Happens Next
Happy Fixture Congestion Season everyone! Liverpool take the field on Wednesday for the Merseyside Derby against an Everton side in crisis. You’d think it would be an opportunity for a comfortable win, but hey, it’s a derby match and Liverpool has made things as dramatic as possible this season. Oh yeah, Martin Atkinson will be the VAR official for the match as well.