Liverpool break yet another all-time record at Brighton

Liverpool continue to break records.

Jurgen Klopp and the Reds have won 30 matches in a season, faster than any other side in the entire history of English football after defeating a plucky Brighton side 3-1 at Amex Stadium.

Running and gunning right outa the gate, Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson put the lads two up before the ten minute mark. They continued to forward press for an advantage and might well have had a third goal before the 20 minute mark.

This heavy geggenpressing onslaught would prove to leave Liverpool exposed to the counter however, and they would spend the rest of the half trying to keep pace with a Brighton side that pushed up the field with several balls won in the midfield.

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I got this completely wrong. I predicted a Brighton game plan that would see them drop deep and defend parking the bus. But this just wasn’t in Graham Potter’s plan. They sought to win balls in the middle of the park and counter with excellent pace and some nifty through ball passing.

They fought for every 50/50 ball in the middle of the park. And found space on the counter, giving the Reds all they could handle in the defensive end.

Credit Potter’s squad, they had pluck and courage by the bucketful and were not be intimidated by the Reds and being two goals down. Quite the contrary in fact, as they would play the Reds even for the remainder of the first period.

They finally netted in the 45th minute, giving the complexion of the final half a much more intense and frenetic pace as Brighton hustled and countered with a good deal of through balls breaking through the defensive lines of Jurgen Klopp’s defense.

This is two matches running where Liverpool have conceded in the waning moments of the first half. This must be troubling for the gaffer.

The second half saw much of the same as the final 20 minutes of the first half. With both sides taking turns pushing the ball into dangerous areas in an attempt to bring the tie level for Brighton and to put the match beyond reach for the Reds.

Brighton managed to nick the ball off the boot strings of Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, and Gini Wijnaldum on several occasions. Pushing forward on the break to worry and attack a defensive shape that was frazzled and disjointed at several junctures.

This put a lot of pressure on Virgil van Dijk and the back line defense, where Allison once again proved his quality with a quick reflex save from a shot from two yards out, in the 65th. At 2-1 this was instrumental in keeping a tenuous cushion until Salah finally dusted off the tie with his second in the 75th minute.

Jurgen started Nico Williams in Andy Robertson usual spot and Keita in the midfield, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain taking Sadio Mane’s forward position through the initial period.

It was revealed in the commentary why Klopp has been giving the young lads a chance to shine with starting rolls, and second half subs. Apparently, in order to receive a winners medal, a player must have played in five matches.

So this is why we see Nico Williams, Curtis Jones, and Takumi Minamino and eventually Harvey Elliott in the side. This also gives him the opportunity to sub these regular starters. An added plus is giving these young lads quality minutes in real game situations.

Milner made a second half appearance, his first since coming off injured at the derby at Goodison Park. Robertson, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, and Mane came on in the 61st minute to run out the tie.

This proved to be the difference as Brighton just refused to quit, pushing and ball pressing into the 8 minutes of extra time.

Man of the match?

Salah’s brace and assist to Henderson’s goal? Allison’s world class save? Keita’s energy pace, and penetration throughout his minutes, which led to his assist on Salah’s first at the five minute mark?

Henderson’s running and running, and running; his general leadership; his superb organization of the side, keeping the shape relatively compact in the final third. And his bombing strike from just outside the penalty area on a clever pass from Salah?

I have to give the nod here to Mo…but this was a hard fought win on the road and to a man the Reds proved their class and pedigree against a Brighton side that played well above their 15th place in the league table.