Brighton 0-2 Liverpool: Player ratings as Díaz sparkles again and Alisson comes up good

Don Kopleone rates the Reds after a controlled victory at the Amex Stadium.

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Eight Premier League wins in a row, and Liverpool keep the pressure on Manchester City.

Liverpool travelled to the south coast for this sunny Saturday lunchtime fixture against a Brighton side in a bad run of form. That said, Jürgen Klopp’s side will have learned from the reverse fixture not to underestimate today’s opponents.

The hosts actually started the better, and Liverpool underwhelmed until they opened the scoring. The excellent Luis Díaz latched onto Joël Matip’s chipped pass to head past Robert Sánchez.

The Brighton ‘keeper could have been sent off for fouling Liverpool’s Colombian as he got his head on the ball, but Stuart Attwell, on VAR, decided to ignore the clearly dangerous play.

Liverpool controlled the rest of the first half, and doubled their scoring midway through the second. Mo Salah smashed a penalty down the middle after Naby Keïta’s shot had been handballed by Yves Bissouma.

And unlike in autumn, Liverpool didn’t squander a two-goal lead over Brighton.

A good win, and Manchester City often struggle against Crystal Palace. The pressure is really on ahead of that fixture on Monday night.

Your ratings, as the gap closed to three:

Starting XI

Ali 7.5 – Focused and calm throughout, and produced a brilliant late save from Danny Welbeck.

Trent 6.5 – Showed his passing quality but went walkabouts on occasion.

Joel 8 – Produced an incredible pass into Díaz’s path for the opener, and was defensively impressive, too.

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Big Virg 6.5 – Two first half mistakes – a miscued header and an unnecessary grab of Maupay’s shirt – which were out of character for the Reds’ No.4, but his imposing aura still shone through.

Robbo 7 – Defensively great, but his attacking work was not at its best.

Hendo 6.5 – Poor on the ball, but won back possession for the team on the regular.

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Fabs 6.5 – His first touch was not always great but, likewise, his defensive work was important.

Nabs 6.5 – A couple of dodgy moments – he inexplicably passed to a Brighton attacker once in the first half – but a mostly assured and composed display. A good effort was handballed for the penalty.

Mo 7 – Looked sharper than in most appearances since his return from the African Cup of Nations. Tested Sánchez a few times before smashing home his penalty. May have picked up a knock.

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Sadio 7.5 – Very untidy first twenty minutes but began to involve himself very nicely in build-up play. Most natural the Senegalese has looked in the false-nine role.

Luis Suárez Díaz 8.5 – Just exceptional. Showed a burst of speed to win the header that opened the scoring, and that turn of pace continued to trouble the ever-speedy Tariq Lamptey all game.

Subs

ThiaGOAT 7 – Two key defensive interventions before the gorgeous Spaniard’s raking pass sent Diaz through on goal.

Di-no-goal 7 – Looked back to full speed.

Milly 7 – Did absolutely everything right in his 10 minutes on-pitch.


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Don Kopleone

Scouse, not Sicilian.

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