By Lewis Rooke – @LV_Rooke
Enthralling. Swashbuckling. Clinical. Absolutely none of these words describe Liverpool’s one goal win over Brighton and Hove Albion – but one thing was for sure, it was another vital three points in the hunt for the title.
Mohamed Salah scored the only goal from the penalty spot after being hacked down in the area, momentarily stretching Liverpool’s lead in the Premier League to seven points, putting the pressure on Manchester City. The Reds knocked on the door throughout, but were met by a resistant and surprisingly positive Brighton side.
Here’s how they rated:
Alisson: 7.5 – Had one save and one pinpoint throw that landed directly at Xherdan Shaqiri’s feet, but the Brazilian was largely untroubled. Yet another vital clean sheet.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7 – Suffered an injury in the first half which, if I’m honest, gave me a mini-heart attack given our defenders are dropping like flies. The Englishman however soldiered on to finish the game. Bollocked a few times by Virgil van Dijk, but a sound showing for Trent.
Fabinho: 7.5 – The Brazilian filled into an increasingly thinning centre back line after his performance against Wolves, which he expertly followed up today. Didn’t look out of place in an unfamiliar position barring a few times when Glenn Murray peeled away from him. Encouraging.
Virgil van Dijk: 8.5 – You know the drill. He’s always excellent, there’s no point me even writing a paragraph here. Make one up yourself because there’s only so many times I can compliment the Dutchman without falling head over heels in love.
Andy Robertson: 8.5 – Motored up and down the wing as usual in the first half to great effect and was defensively excellent. Typical Andy Robertson yet again.
Gini Wijnaldum: 8.5 – Feel lately he’s grown so much, the diminutive Dutchman strolls around the pitch recycling the ball as if he’s a foot taller than he is. Excellent today, controlled the midfield expertly.
Jordan Henderson: 6 – Patchy in places for Henderson where some of his wayward passes let Brighton in in advanced areas, but the Englishman marshalled the game well.
Xherdan Shaqiri: 6 – Went close with a header (yes, a header) from a Trent Alexander Arnold cross. However didn’t have much more of an impact on the game. Substituted for James Milner.
Sadio Mane: 7.5 – On his 100th appearance, the Senegalese winger looked extremely positive running the channels testing the Brighton full backs throughout the game. Unlucky not to come away with a goal.
Mohamed Salah: 8 – His twisting and turning in the box drew he foul from Pascal Gross who chopped down the Egyptian, who in turn converted the resulting penalty emphatically. Missed a sitter 88 minutes in but we can forgive him that I think.
Roberto Firmino: 7.5 – The Brazilian showed terrific industriousness throughout, yet still hasn’t quite found his goalscoring form this season. Nevertheless, a solid performance from the number nine.