Liverpool reached 92 points for the season after their 3-1 victory over Brighton Hove & Albion at the Amex.
After scoring twice in the opening eight minutes, it seemed that the Reds were going to sail to an easy victory on the south coast.
Naby Keita pickpocketed Davy Propper and fed Mohamed Salah for Liverpool’s first after just five minutes. Brighton gave the ball away again just moments later, allowing Jordan Henderson to curl in a beauty from just outside the box.
To their credit, the Seagulls responded admirably to going 2-0 down to the soon-to-be-crowned champions.
Graham Potter’s side targeted debutant Nico Williams, with young fullback Tariq Lamptey using his pace effectively on the right-wing. They were rewarded for their efforts when Leandro Trossard fired home from about 12 yards out just before the half.
Brighton’s pressure continued in the second half and provided Liverpool fans with something to worry about. Both sides had good opportunities to score, with Mat Ryan denying Mohamed Salah and Dan Burn missing a simple header.
Nonetheless, the points were sealed when Mohamed Salah nodded home Andy Robertson’s near-post corner into the back of the net on 76 minutes. Liverpool next have a chance to continue their winning streak against Burnley on Saturday.
GK – Alisson: 7
Had more work to do than he would’ve liked in his chase to defend his Golden Glove. No chance with the goal, but dealt with everything else comfortably. Constantly looking to launch the counter-attack.
LB – Neco Williams (Subbed after 45’): 6
Deployed unconventionally on the left side in his first Premier League start, the young Welshman started extremely brightly. As the game grew on, Brighton targeted his side, leaving Williams a bit exposed and forcing him into a few mistakes. Still a promising cameo.
CB – Virgil van Dijk: 8
Calm and composed as usual. Made some clever challenges to spurn what turned out to be a formidable Brighton attack. The lack of fans allowed us to hear the vocal presence he provides.
CB – Joe Gomez: 6
Made plenty of crucial interventions, but the fact that he had to make so many is a bit worrying. Still defended effectively throughout, but a mistake forced him to take a booking late in the game.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7
Whipped in some dangerous crosses and enjoyed an error-free day defensively. Linked well with Salah, and will be happy that Brighton’s attack wasn’t as potent on his side.
CM – Jordan Henderson (Subbed after 80’): 8
Orchestrated the midfield three with his trademark lead-by-example style. Curled in a marvellous goal from outside the box and was constantly looking to initiate the press. Jurgen Klopp will hold his breath after an uncharacteristic tackle by Yves Bissouma forced him off.
CM – Georginio Wijnaldum: 6
Quiet performance from the Dutchman in the first half, but his energy proved valuable after the break. Probably should’ve scored in the second half.
CM – Naby Keita (Subbed after 61’): 8
An absolute master-class on how to press. His interceptions set up the first goal and contributed to the second. Also looked to drive the ball forward when in space and developed a neat connection with Salah. Starting to solidify his spot in the midfield three and will feel hard done to be subbed as early as he was.
Naby Keita’s heat map from the first half. pic.twitter.com/eELFziR4Yd
— Jürgen (@JNorb14) July 8, 2020
LW – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Subbed after 61’): 6
Struggled to really get involved. Had a good opportunity blocked early in the second half, but doesn’t carry the same threat on the wing that he does in the midfield.
RW – Mohamed Salah (Subbed after 84’): 9
No second-guessing who the man of the match was today. The Egyptian was constantly looking to run in behind and cut in on his left foot. Struck confidently for Liverpool’s first and bagged a rare headed goal for his second. Visibly frustrated not to have recorded a hat-trick, showing the standard that he played at today.
ST – Roberto Firmino (Subbed after 87’): 6
Moved all across the frontline in an attempt to create opportunities for others. Faded a bit in the middle of the game and still hasn’t scored a Premier League goal since January.
Andy Robertson (45’): 8
Came on for Williams and helped mitigate the threat present on that side in the first half. Assisted Salah’s second goal and brought a new dynamic to the Liverpool attack. Extremely encouraging given his rare dip in form in recent games.
Sadio Mane (61’): 7
Had a few errant touches, but instantly gave Lamptey something to worry about. Took on players with confidence and almost netted a stunning curling effort late on.
Fabinho (61’): 6
Brought on to help stifle the growing Brighton threat and did so pretty effectively. Showed his passing range, but also picked up an unnecessary yellow card.
James Milner (80’): NA
Entered the frame late on. Provided reliable steel in the midfield to see the game out.
Takumi Minamino (87’): NA
Eager to make an impact in his brief cameo and had a good chance repelled by Brighton’s backline near the end.