Liverpool looked well off the pace for the first 30 minutes of the match with Brighton, showing some signs of attacking verve but not able to make anything of it. A poor sequence gave Brighton an early goal, but the Reds finally found their footing and hit back twice towards the end of the first half through Mohamed Salah. Liverpool seemed like they were going to crack the match open with some scintillating attacking play in the second half, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Instead, it was Brighton who found their way through for a late equalizer, and then they were the side who put the pressure on to finish the match. In the end, both teams will feel frustrated not to have won the match.
Below, we take a look at some winners and losers on the night, and attempt to disentangle narrative from fact.
The Egyptian King has shifted into more of a playmaking role this season providing four assists through the first eight matches (and should have five after his assist to Luis Diaz last weekend). Against Brighton, Salah showed his knack for finding the back of the net, scoring a brace over the span of six minutes. The first was a good low ball to the far post after a fantastic passing sequence by the Reds while the second was a confident and unstoppable penalty kick. He now is up to five goals and four assists through eight Premier League matches this season.
Besides the goals, Salah was strong all match long. He was good on the ball, showing off his trademark strength despite being held and hacked by defenders.
When Trent is listed as a winner in the Digging Deeper analysis, it’s typically for his attacking play. Against Brighton, however, Trent really shown on the defensive end. He did a fantastic job of tracking and corralling the ever dangerous Kaoru Mitoma. He finished the match with 3 tackles and 3 clearances, as well as an interception. Liverpool struggled mightily to contain the Seagulls after Trent was subbed off for Joe Gomez in the 80th minute.
Many thought the Dutch midfielder might be in line for his first Premier League start on the south coast after a great performance in the Europa League. Instead, he came on at the half for Harvey Elliott and again showed off his great ball progression and silky skill on the ball. He came inches from scoring the game winner after bursting into the box, but his side-footed volley from close range crashed off the crossbar.
It took a little while for Liverpool to find the Hungarian dynamo with the ball, but once they did he took control of the match. Szoboszlai was again a creative force, serving up four key passes. He also earned the penalty for Liverpool after being hauled down from behind with a horse collar tackle. He was energetic throughout, as always, and put in three tackles to win the ball back as well.
The garrulous Scot has not been the most comfortable with his role in Liverpool’s 3-box-3 formation. Against Brighton, he was isolated in space and beaten for pace by Simon Adingra and Joaoa Pedro. Robertson also failed to deal with the free kick that was tucked in for Brighton’s second goal, instead turning his back and letting the ball pass him by. Robbo was visibly frustrated after the play, acknowledging he was should have done better.
Gomez was brought on in the 80th minute to give Trent Alexander-Arnold as the right back has only recently returned from a hamstring injury. While Trent was able to mitigate the danger down Liverpool’s left flank, Gomez was beaten repeatedly during his cameo. After a series of strong showings in place of Trent, he’s struggled the last couple of times out.
From The Manager
Jürgen Klopp when asked if he thought Pascal Gross should have been sent off for a his foul on Dominik Szoboszlai:
“I am over it. I am too old.”
“I don’t know... don’t talk to me about the rules....”
What Happens Next
Remember how there was an international break just a few weeks ago? Well guess what, we get to do it all over again. The Reds will not be back in action until the Merseyside derby, hosting Everton at Anfield on October 21.