Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Liverpool
Liverpool went seven points clear at the top of the Premier League today thanks to a hard-fought win at the Amex Stadium.
Mo Salah scored the only goal of the game, from the penalty spot, to get Jurgen Klopp’s title challenge back on track. Brighton made it very tough, and this was a huge result for the Reds. The title chase looks like going right down to the wire, and you won’t miss a single twist or turn right here at us.
Liverpool fans will now be nervously watching the Premier League 2019 results over the rest of the weekend, particularly Manchester City’s home game against Wolves on Monday night. But for now, the league table looks just fine for the Merseysiders.
Highlights of the game
This was never going to be easy for Liverpool against a Brighton side which is strong at home, and the first half was very hard work for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Liverpool saw plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges but the Seagulls’ defence was well organised as ever, and it took until the tenth minute for the Reds to carve out an opening. Andy Robertson put in a super cross just behind Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino got on the end of it but poked the ball just wide.
Brighton made a foray into the visitors’ half, and Pascal Gross swung in a cross which leading scorer Glenn Murray headed over the bar. Then Xherdan Shaqiri came close to breaking the deadlock, on 27 minutes, when he headed a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross just wide. But for all the Reds’ possession, they couldn’t produce a clear-cut chance before the break.
The Reds managed their first shot on target, on 48 minutes, when Mo Salah put Sadio Mane through, but his low shot was well saved by David Button.
Liverpool are rumoured to be preparing a £15m bid to bring Pascal Gross to Anfield but they probably didn’t expect much help from him in this game. It was Gross who presented the Reds with their chance when he put in a clumsy tackle to bring Salah down in the penalty area. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and the Egyptian hitman climbed to his feet to power the ball through Button’s hand and into the net.
It was hard on Brighton who had defended so well, and Gross tried to make amends at the other end only to see his shot charged down by Fabinho. The Seagulls were still in the game as the Reds held a slender lead and forced a succession of corners. But Liverpool are always dangerous. When Firmino burst through on goal, Button managed to deflect the ball wide.
For all Brighton’s good defensive work, they didn’t really threaten the Liverpool goal. And it was the visitors who looked likely to add to their lead as the clock ticked down. Salah did well to put Sane in for a late attempt, but his shot was deflected wide. Salah himself should have scored when James Milner squared to him but he scuffed his shot.
While Liverpool had enjoyed over 77 per cent possession by half-time, they could only muster four attempts on goal and none on target.
The Reds fired three at Button’s goal in the second half as they won the full match shot count by ten to seven, but the Seagulls didn’t manage a single shot on Liverpool’s goal.
Salah’s penalty was, amazingly, the fourth awarded to Liverpool since Christmas Day! It was Mo Salah’s 14th goal of the league season. And the Reds have now won all six of the meetings between these two sides since 2011. It ended a decent run for the Seagulls who had won two and drawn two of the last four games.
The Premier League 2019 odds are still backing the Reds, but anything other than a win today would have changed that. It was a narrow victory, but still three priceless points.
Brighton have another tough game against a top-six team next week when they visit Old Trafford. Liverpool fans will be cheering the Seagulls on against Manchester United as the Red Devils attempt to continue their upturn in form.
Liverpool’s recent defeat to Manchester City piled the pressure on Jurgen Klopp’s team, but they have responded well and can look forward to a return to home next week. It’s back to Anfield where the visitors are Brighton’s rivals, Crystal Palace, and a great chance for the Reds to keep marching on.
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