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Liverpool threw away a 2-0 lead against Brighton on Saturday afternoon as they drew against the south coast outfit, and there were positives and negatives to take away from the match for Reds supporters.
Jurgen Klopp’s side took the lead in the 4th minute when a Mohamed Salah counter-attacked down the right-wing before cutting it back to Jordan Henderson whipped the ball into the far corner.
Liverpool then made it 2-0 in the 24th minute when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who came on for the injured Naby Keita, played an inch-perfect cross into the box for Sadio Mane to nod in.
Brighton’s Enock Mwepu then threw his hat into the ring for the ‘Goal of the Month’ award when he looped a 25-yard strike over Alisson and into the far corner.
The Seagulls then equalised in the 65th minute when Adam Lallana, against his former club, diverted a driven pass from Marc Cucurella into the path of Leandro Trossard, who weaved his way past Andrew Robertson and fired into the near post.
What Klopp got right
Since the appointment of Graham Potter, Brighton have become incredibly capable of passing the ball out of defence.
However, last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City highlighted that when put under pressure, the Seagulls can become shaky.
Mane and Salah pressed high and narrow when out of possession, allowing the fullbacks to go man-to-man with the Brighton wingbacks.
The style of pressing put the Seagulls under a lot of pressure and they were often forced to go long, preventing Potter’s side from building any momentum and also handing the possession back to the Reds.
Firmino dropping deep
Roberto Firmino is known for dropping slightly deeper to pick up possession and create, but his defensive work rate against Brighton was commendable.
The Brazilian dropped very deep on several occasions to outnumber the Brighton midfield, often going toe to toe with their holding midfielder Yves Bissouma and stopping the Malian from fuelling attacks from deep.
If Firmino was instructed to play as an out and out no.9 in the match then Brighton would have had more time in the midfield with possession, so Klopp’s decision-making in this aspect was crucial.
When Naby Keita laid on the pitch after looking to have re-aggravated the injury that saw him stretchered off of the pitch against Manchester United last week, it would have been easy for Klopp to change tactics.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager instead stuck to his guns and replaced the Guinea international with the only proven midfielder on the bench, Oxlade-Chamberlain.
It would have been a simple option for the boss to move away from his 4-3-3 formation and bring Diogo Jota on and shift to 4-2-3-1, but that could have given the Amex Stadium outfit the advantage by being able to dominate the midfield.
What Klopp got wrong
Liverpool's lack of a player sitting deeper in midfield cost them all three points on Saturday afternoon.
As Brighton broke though the lines there was no safety net of a midfield which meant that when the Seagulls broke through the lines, they had a free run at the Reds defence.
Lallana caused Klopp plenty of problems by not being man marked, meaning he could drift forward into pockets of space and create just in front of the Liverpool defence.
The absence of Fabinho or a player stepping up in his absence allowed Chelsea to widen their gap at the top of the table.
Throwing away the lead
No team that is attempting to win the league should be throwing away a two-goal lead at home.
Brighton have proved a tough side to face this season, but the Reds should have been able to see out this game given the leaders they had on the pitch.
The stunner from Mwepu may have been a shock to the system but the away side were the better team in the second-half and Klopp will be somewhat concerned by how his team crumbled.
- Jurgen Klopp
- Liverpool FC
- Brighton Hove Albion FC
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