Liverpool Player Ratings from their 1-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion | Premier League 2018-19
Liverpool had the best busy Christmas period among all the teams, winning nine games on the trot before losing to Manchester City last time out. That defeat followed by a FA Cup loss against Wolves made this fixture a must-win game for Jurgen Klopp's side.
On the other hand, even a point for Brighton would further ensure their stay in the Premier League for another season. However, it was the champions-elect who pipped Chris Hughton's side.
The first big chance of the game fell to Firmino from a Robertson cross, but the Brazilian could not provide a touch to the final pass. Since then, Jurgen Klopp's side had most of the ball in the opening 45 minutes of the match but could not create any clear-cut chances.
The passing and movement looked slow, and the long hopeful balls didn't help their cause either. The home side defended well and kept themselves in the game as both teams went goalless into the break.
Brighton would have hoped to start the second half, but Gross gave away a silly penalty, which Mohamed Salah dispatched brilliantly to put his side's noses in front.
He got another clear chance to double the lead for the Reds but couldn't keep his shot on target. Brighton pushed for the late equalizer, but Liverpool came away with all three points and a seven-point lead at the top, at least for the time being.
Here are the Liverpool player ratings.
Alisson - 7/10
It was a pretty quiet first half for the Brazilian with only one header from Murray coming his way, but that went well over the bar. In the second half, Jurgen Locadia hit a low shot, but Alisson got down well and tipped it behind for a corner.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - 6/10
The England full-back had to deal with Locadia down the left which often caused problems for Arnold. He usually makes darting runs down the right flank, but today he didn't look 100 percent to make those movements.
Fabinho - 7/10
Fabinho played as a makeshift center-half for Moncao, and today he partnered Van Dijk at the back. The Brazilian had the physicality of Glenn Murray to deal with, but he was solid in his performance throughout.
Virgil Van Dijk - 7.5/10
The Dutchman won Premier League player of the Month award in December, and today again he was active in the air as well as brilliant with his passing. However, often in the first half, he tried to play long balls for the forwards to run behind, but the Brighton defenders dealt them with ease.
Andy Robertson - 7.5/10
The tireless Scotsman was at it again from the opening minute of the game. He marauded forward at will and even defended diligently against March down the left side. Roberston was one of the best performers for Liverpool today.
Georginio Wijnaldum - 6.5/10
Wijnaldum was slow in his movements in the first half, but after the break, he looked sharp and dropped deep to initiate the attack from the back. He even had a shot in the second half which went inches wide off the post.
Jordan Henderson - 5.5/10
The England International complimented Wijnaldum well in midfield and often interchanged roles with the Dutchman, thereby allowing more fluidity in Liverpool's play.
Xherdan Shaqiri - 6/10
Shaqiri got an excellent chance to score in the first half, but his header went just wide off the post. The second half was relatively quiet for the Swiss, and he was replaced by James Milner later in the game.
Sadio Mane - 6/10
The liveliest of the front three in the first half, Sadio gave Brighton right all sort of troubles and repeatedly drifted inside to link up with Firmino and Salah up front. His pace and power didn't allow March to move forward as much as he would have liked.
Mohamed Salah - 6.5/10
The Egyptian was ineffective in the first half but one moment of brilliance at the 50th minute was enough to secure all three points for the Reds. He should have scored towards the fag end of the game but failed to put it at the back of the net.
Roberto Firmino - 5/10
Another player who didn't have the best of days. Roberto Firmino tried everything, but nothing seemed to pull off for the Brazilian. He even missed a great chance to score in the first half.
James Milner - 5/10
James Milner was bought in place of Shaqiri to stop Brighton from getting the equalizer, and he stood up to his task. He broke counter-attacks frequently.
Naby Keita & Divock Origi - N/A
Both came too late in the game to make a telling contribution.