Liverpool FC 0 - 1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Reds: Player XX’, Player XX’, Player XX’
Fightin’ Lallanas: Alzate 56’
A big blow for the Reds, as Alisson Becker misses out. Rumors around the Bird App are that it’s a stomach bug of some variety, so hopefully he’ll be fit in time for City. Speaking of the league leaders, they took the early lead against Burnley and never looked back, so it’s onto us to narrow the gap (in hopes of narrowing it even further on Sunday).
Sadio Mané is out once again, with Xherdan Shaqiri taking his place in the front three. Also, it’s too early for either of our new center backs; Ben Davies makes the bench, but Ozan Kabak misses out entirely.
Two minutes in, and Jordan Henderson does his best Virgil van Dijk impression with a lovely, sweeping, long diagonal pass into the stride of Mohamed Salah. Salah, however, does not do the best imitation of himself, and blasts the great opportunity well high and well wide of the target.
After fifteen minutes gone, neither side has really created much other than that first big chance from Mo. Brighton have looked good on the ball, but the Reds look very dangerous whenever they get a bit of space.
Brighton create their first big chance half way through the half, and Maupay really should do better! He sends Henderson and Milner out for The Echo, but takes an extra touch to get it onto his favored right foot, and enough time for a last-ditch tackle to block his shot.
The first half comes to a close without a shot on target from either side. Brighton have actually had more shots this half, but haven’t really troubled the Reds, other than the Maupay chance. Liverpool have looked dangerous on the break, but can’t quite find that final ball to really create a great chance.
Liverpool have picked up the intensity to start the second half. They still haven’t created any huge chances, but Firmino in particular has looked dangerous. The Brazilian #9 has created several half chances in the opening ten minutes of the second half. More of this, please!
Goal. Ooof. Brighton get an absolute gut-punch of an opener. Against the run of play and sloppy as can be. Phillips probably should have done better to clear the dangerous ball, but no one covered themselves with glory there. The ball ends up ping-ponging off various Brighton players and into the back of the net. Liverpool now have a big task ahead.
Klopp makes his first two subs of the night: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi on for Gini Wijnaldum and Shaqiri.
The Reds didn’t have a great immediate response, but Milner, Trent, and Salah create a brilliant chance that Salah really should’ve turned on target.
Once again, Liverpool could just do with something dropping for us, but it’s just not happening. Firmino has a shot from distance with about 12 minutes to play, and it’s his last action of the night. Kloppo makes his last change of the night, bringing off Bobby for Curtis Jones.
It was almost a repeat of the Burnley loss: Liverpool didn’t create enough, didn’t take their chances when they did create something, and then got done with an absolute sucker-punch. On balance, Liverpool didn’t deserve to lose this match. But here we are.