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Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Liverpool: 5 Talking Points, Premier League 2018-19

FEATURED WRITER
Top 5 / Top 10
3.50K   //    12 Jan 2019, 23:56 IST

Mo Salah scored his 14th league goal of the season
Mo Salah scored his 14th league goal of the season

Liverpool weren't at their best. But Liverpool beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 at the Amex Stadium. What's that cliche about champions and winning while not being at their best?

It took an early-second-half penalty from Mohamed Salah to separate the two sides on the night. It was a clear penalty as well, with Pascal Gross pulling the Egyptian down, to give him the opportunity to plunder his 14th league goal of the season from the spot.

This win now takes the Reds seven points beyond Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, with Pep Guardiola's side not playing until Monday night, when they host Wolves.

Here are the biggest takeaways from a tough afternoon on the South Coast for Jurgen Klopp's men.


#5 Brighton's containment tactics worked. Almost...

It was clear from the very first minute that Chris Hughton's game-plan was more a containment exercise than an offensive. one. It was, on face value, a clever plan given the attacking prowess that the Reds do possess.

Brighton were superbly organised in the first half, and succeeded in frustrating Liverpool throughout the half. The league-leaders were forced to have meaningless possession at the back. Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum had so much possession in that first half, yet the only real options available to them were behind them.

Brighton's narrow shape meant that Liverpool's only option was to go wide, where their full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson were playing as auxiliary wingers. But both Solly March and Jurgen Locadia worked their socks off to ensure that neither full-back had enough space to create anything meaningful.

One might have said that Hughton could have attacked Liverpool a little bit more given that they had Fabinho playing as a makeshift centre-back, but no one can really question him being sceptical of the Reds' fearsome front three.

Even after Salah put Liverpool ahead with the penalty, Brighton didn't get out of their shape until the last few minutes of the game, when they pumped balls into the box.

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It was unfortunate for Brighton that despite having a sound plan and executing it almost to perfection, one moment of madness meant they got nothing from the game.

It is difficult to defend against a player of Salah's ability inside the box, but it was a daft move from Pascal Gross to pull the Egyptian down inside the box.

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FEATURED WRITER
Bengaluru-based Indian Football aficionado.
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