Liverpool have continued their winning streak as they went top of the Premier League table following their third match of the 2018/19 season. The Reds played their second match at Anfield and remained unchanged since their opening day lineup against West Ham. Meanwhile, Brighton dropped Pascal Groß to the bench and replaced the injured Dunk at the back. The home side dominated the match but failed to make the most of their chances, ultimately, it was their star man who won them the game.
Brighton came to Anfield off the back of a surprise victory at home to Manchester United. Confidence was high following that 3-2 victory but they were well aware that Liverpool would be a much bigger challenge. Brighton made two changes to their lineup with Leon Balogun replacing the injured Lewis Dunk, while Pascal Groß surprisingly made way for Yves Bissouma. Liverpool’s lineup is yet to change this season with Klopp having no reason to make changes.
Alisson Becker seemed a little too comfortable on the ball and was almost caught out two or three times. While confidence and ability on the ball are brilliant in this style of play, he must learn to anticipate the added physicality and pressing of Premier League forwards that he didn’t experience in Italy. That being said, he made a few brilliant saves to keep Liverpool in the lead. Joe Gomez continued his impressive partnership with Virgil van Dijk while Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold continued to struggle. Georginio Wijnaldum partnered well with James Milner once again but Naby Keita was slightly off the ball today and struggled against a strong Brighton midfield. Sadio Mane also seemed to be off it today as he failed to score for the first time this season. Roberto Firmino is yet to get off the mark however he played an integral role in the goal and assisted Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian’s performance was far more threatening than other performances this season and he showed a bit of what we saw last season.
Brighton was never going to see much of the ball with Liverpool’s positive style of play and sat deep against an attacking Liverpool lineup. Mathew Ryan was very impressive and kept the score down as much as he could with two brilliant saves to deny Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum. In defence, they clearly missed Dunk and the chemistry wasn’t there. However, they still did well to keep Liverpool to just the one goal. In midfield, Solly March had a good game but Knockaert wasn’t able to make the most of out-of-form full-backs. Bissouma was excellent and showed Houghton a reason to keep him in the side while Stephens and Propper didn’t do enough. Up front, Murray was isolated and unable to get the better of Van Dijk and Gomez who dealt with him superbly.
Overall, Liverpool dominated from start to finish but must improve to keep their momentum going. They must build on this result and learn from their weaknesses today. They’ve capitalised on Manchester City’s dropped points and now need to make the most of that advantage. They’ll be hoping for results to go in their favour for the rest of the weekend. Klopp will be grateful to have Alisson in-goal and the partnership that Gomez and Van Dijk are forming might turn out to be more long-term than expected. Even with Lovren’s return, it’s hard to see these two not staying together. Brighton on the other hand, will probably take this result as a good performance, they showed an ability to stop one of the best attacks in Europe and if they can play like they did today against weaker opponents, they’ll surely avoid relegation.
Liverpool: Alisson 8, Arnold 6, Van Dijk 8, Gomez 8, Robertson 5, Wijnaldum 7, Milner 7, Keita 6, Mane 6, Firmino 7, Salah 8
Brighton: Ryan 8, Montoya 6, Duffy 5, Balogun 5, Bong 6, March 7, Bissouma 7, Stephens 6, Propper 5, Knockaert 6, Murray 6
An exciting time for Liverpool fans, three from three with seven goals scored and zero conceded. How long can Liverpool keep this winning streak going and will anyone other teams come close to Liverpool and Manchester City this season? How will Brighton go this season, will they survive the drop or is it too much to ask? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting @AllOutFootball_ using #AOF #LFCBHA