Football News: Brighton v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective

 

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Brighton v Liverpool - A Liverpool Perspective
Image from: christineloochengyoke.blogspot

Brighton & Hove Albion v Liverpool


That was what you call a dominant performance, with Brighton barely even threatening to make a chance, let alone take one in the first half. The second half they picked up their game but that just played into LFC's hands. I certainly never expected such a comfortable afternoon when I saw the line up! In the first half they had it easy as Brighton sat back and defended for dear life, in the second half they had a lead to defend and, while the Seagulls were better, there was never any real belief in their play.

Brighton's game plan revolved around crowding Salah out of the game and hoping to get a chance themselves on the break. Unfortunately for them, their focus on the Egyptian just left more space for the other two forwards to operate in and that was their undoing. Perhaps if they had managed to put their chance away at 2-0, before Liverpool broke straight up field and made it 3, things would have been different, but they failed to do so.

You have to wonder how bad it could have got for Brighton if it was not for the bizarre penalty decision, that was clearly not a penalty. That woke them up and gave them a sniff of an opportunity, but Liverpool just closed it down and they ran themselves out to end the game conceding two more goals. That was probably the best overall performance from Liverpool this season, not because they were so scintillating, though some of the attacks were, but because of the team put out and the result achieved with so little real danger.


Klopp - was it luck or judgement that produced that performance with that line up? Who knows, but either is good for me, as both produce the same end result. The only question is whether or not he would have been better turning to youth, rather than playing a midfielder out of position, to give one of them some experience.


Mignolet - mixed game from Mignolet, made some saves but caused his usual issues with his kicking. Overall though, a keeper is there to keep the ball out of the net, so making saves is more important than a few bad kicks, so a decent game for him.


Can - played right-sided centre back of 3 and did the job well. He also added an excellent header from a corner to score the opener. He was always ready to drive into midfield when the opportunity presented itself. However he was not put under real pressure and put on his back foot.


Lovren - just sat back and mopped up the very little he was given to do. Difficult to judge his performance as the way Brighton set up meant he was pretty much a free man on the cover.


Wijnaldum - nervy game and really did not look happy on his left side, let alone in the role he was playing as left sided centre back.


Alexander-Arnold - the role he is best suited to right now, right wing back with a lot of freedom to get forward and cross. Was not overly taxed defensively and so was able to play well.


Robertson - did well defensively but his crossing is too wayward. There is never anything put into a man, it is just played hopefully into areas, not the same area, the so-called corridor of uncertainty between backline and keeper, just put into the box. They have a good shape to them, but they are aimless. That makes it very difficult for attacking players to get onto them and gives the advantage to the defenders.


Milner - worked hard but offers little.


Henderson - linked up well at times, broke up play a fair bit and woke up anyone who was not working back enough, particularly Coutinho early on. One of his better performances of the season, though still not at his best.


Firmino - he was excellent, just a massive shame he cannot score goals, apparently, as you can only imagine how good he would be if he could! Though 11 goals scored in 21 appearances this season is not a bad return for someone who is apparently unable to score. Two more today as he excelled on the ball, made good runs and harried the opposition all over the pitch.


Salah - was crowded out of the game most of the time, though his input in those moments he got free was vital to the result. Not his best game but having him on the pitch made a huge difference and created acres of space, plus kept their left side pegged back guarding against him.


Coutinho - I know he won MOTM but I personally do not think he deserved it, though he did have a very good game, that lack of tracking back caused issues at times and his overrunning the ball lost possession. He did produce some moments of magic to make up for it, but it could have been better. Certainly one of the better players on the pitch but Firmino just edged him for me.


Subs:

Oxlade-Chamberlain - arrived in the 80th minute in place of Salah with the game petering out. Did not really get the time to really impress himself on proceedings.

Solanke - there was little he could do after replacing Firmino in the 88th minute but he does work very hard.

Grujic - replaced Henderson in the 90th minute and sat in front of defence to play out the game but had no time to do anything really.

Written by Tris Burke



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