Final Result: Brighton & Hove Albion 1 – Liverpool 5
Liverpool were back to winning ways this midweek on a cold windy night at Stoke but were in trouble ahead of their trip to AMEX Stadium to encounter newly promoted and in-form Brighton & Hove Albion who maintained their unbeaten status at home since their opening gameweek defeat against Manchester City.
The Reds missed their first-choice centre-back Joel Matip with a thigh injury whereas Ragnar Klavan, although he recovered from his illness, was only fit enough to start from the bench. Young defender Joe Gomez was also ruled out ahead of the clash due to illness and left-back Alberto Moreno was handed a rest following his week in, week out appearances.
Jurgen Klopp, short of defensive cover, was forced to play Emre Can in a makeshift centre-back role. The decision, however, paid off as the German broke the deadlock in the first-half. The game eventually finished 5-1 in favour of the visitors.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Simon Mignolet (7)
The Liverpool custodian was mostly untested but made a decisive stop to deny Glenn Murray one-on-one and the eventual counter-attack led the Reds to clinch their third goal of the afternoon. Dived in the right way but failed to extend his great penalty-saving record as Murray pulled one back from the spot minutes later.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (8.5)
The teenager was handed a start in place of Joe Gomez and he made his presence known with a perfectly balanced display down the right flank. He was great going forward and was also defensively decisive. His sensational last-ditch challenge denied José Izquierdo from scoring and staging a late comeback for the Seagulls.
Emre Can (8.5)
Featured in a makeshift defensive role and despite his forward runs at times, the German international performed his defensive duties quite efficiently. Broke the deadlock in the first-half when he headed home from Philippe Coutinho’s corner.
Dejan Lovren (7.5)
Kept the composure, remained concentrated, disciplined and helped his side to register another stable defensive performance.
Andrew Robertson (7.5)
Robertson was handed an unlikely start but hardly put a foot wrong throughout the afternoon. He was great going forward, whipped in crosses and performed his defensive responsibility whenever required.
Jordan Henderson (6)
The skipper was once again unimpressive in the midfield. Was unlucky to concede a penalty as there was minimal contact inside the box while defending a corner. But overall, the Englishman lacked creativity and his game was thoroughly predictable this afternoon. Was taken off in closing minutes to be replaced by Marko Grujic.
Georginio Wijnaldum (6)
The Dutchman played too deep and often caused troubles for his side while trying to play the risky passing game. A pretty average display from Gini Wijnaldum in the middle of the park.
James Milner (6.5)
Didn’t offer much creativity but his work rate has to be applauded. He covered every blade of grass and broke down many of Brighton’s moves in the midfield.
Mohamed Salah (7.5)
The Reds scored 5, yet Mo Salah did not get his name on the scoresheet this afternoon. However, he played a huge part in Firmino’s first goal and also set it up selflessly for the Brazilian, who scored his second of the afternoon. Was taken off and replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain late in the game.
Philippe Coutinho (10)
His best game in Liverpool colours this season as the ‘little magician’ scored from a majestic low free-kick in closing minutes and also played his part in rest of Liverpool goals. He assisted Can from the corner, set it up for Firmino, played his part in Firmino’s second, hit back from a counter-attacking movement, and his goal-bound strike was headed into his own net by Brighton’s Lewis Dunk. The Brazilian’s footwork, dribbling and defensive work rate earn him a rare ‘perfect 10’ in our ratings.
Roberto Firmino (9)
Worked tirelessly up front. Failed to convert from a free header in early minutes but made a couple of calm finishes before being taken off for Dominic Solanke in closing minutes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (N/A)
Replaced Mo Salah in the 80th minute.
Dominic Solanke (N/A)
Was introduced in place of Roberto Firmino in the 88th minute.
Marko Grujic (N/A)
Replaced Jordan Henderson in the 90th minute.
Twitter was a happy place after the game and here’s how the fans reacted to Liverpool’s big win:
— Dr Chris Tibbs (@chris_tibbs) December 2, 2017
Finally finding some momentum and form and at a very good time, let’s hope it continues through the busy period!
— Billal Skanda (@BillalSkanda) December 2, 2017
Robertson needs to play more
— LPZFootball (@nikhilnambiar8) December 2, 2017
Genius Klopp. We have rotating fresh attackers every game. What a plan.
— rosh (@raegic) December 2, 2017
COUTINHO 800 MILLION
— Jordinho (@Jorda5h) December 2, 2017