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Injury woes finally catch up with Liverpool as Brighton exploits blatant cracks

Liverpool dropped points in the Premier League against Brighton
Liverpool dropped points in the Premier League against Brighton
ANALYST
Modified 29 Nov 2020
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It was total frustration for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool on Saturday. The Reds endured a miserable afternoon at The Amex during their league game against Brighton and Hove Albion which ended 1-1.

Liverpool still remain top of the Premier League table but could drop to second or third depending on other results on Sunday.

Rarely can so many things go so wrong for a team within 90 minutes, but the Reds had to endure the entire game without any modicum of luck coming their way.

First, Mohammed Salah saw his goal chalked off for offside before Sadio Mane also saw his effort ruled out by VAR, again for offside. This was simply a game where nothing seemed to work in their favor.

Milner adds to Liverpool's injury woes

To put the final nail on the coffin, Brighton were awarded a penalty at the death, when Andy Robertson caught the foot off Danny Welbeck while desperately trying to clear the ball from the Liverpool box.

“We are used to armpits. We have a toe today. It is how it is. I think the decisions were right,” a frustrated Klopp said in the aftermath of the game, as quoted by Goal.

While Liverpool were clearly out of luck against Brighton, it is their injury woes that started this unwanted sequence. Klopp has been unable to field his strongest team for almost two months now.

The German watched Virgil van Dijk ruled out for the rest of the season, while the likes of Mohamed Salah, Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane and Fabinho have also only recently returned from their own injuries or COVID-19 infections.

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Thiago Alcantara, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Naby Keita are currently out with injury, with their return dates not even known. To make matters worse, James Milner also suffered an injury on Saturday and is now set for a spell on the sidelines.

Liverpool winless in last two games

Klopp was forced to parade inexperienced players in his line-up against Brighton and Liverpool were punished for it. Neco Willians, Nathaniel Philips and Takumi Minamino – who are usually on the bench – started against the Seagulls.

This is a direct result of Liverpool’s injury woes catching up with them. A fully fit Reds team would definitely have thrashed Brighton, but the dynamics have changed.

Even after losing so many first-team players to injury, Liverpool were still winning. However, they’ve now failed to win in their last two games, losing at home to Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League and now drawing against Brighton.

With games coming in thick and fast this season, it remains to be seen if this injury-ravaged Liverpool squad will be able to stand the test. The blatant cracks in this team have so far been exploited by Atalanta and Brighton and more teams could be toeing the same line in the coming weeks.

Published 29 Nov 2020, 14:51 IST
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