A bright, sunny day at the American Express Community Stadium as Liverpool saw the Reds capture a 2-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion to go just three points back in the Premier League table.
It was another slow start for the Reds, being dominated early by their mid-table hosts for about 15 minutes before staging any sort of threat. Around the 20 minute mark, Joel Matip launched a brilliant through pass for a head-in from Luis Diaz.
The opening goal was met with more apprehension than celebration, however, as Diaz collided with Brighton keeper Robert Sánchez’s flying arm and leg going for goal and was down on the pitch grasping his head for a few moments. Surprisingly, VAR had nothing to say about the play, and Sanchez was not even booked. Diaz returned to the pitch uninjured and play continued with the Reds holding an early lead.
The first half continued on rather quietly, with Liverpool finally getting a grasp on possession and heading into the break-in total control of the match, finding a number of chances to break into dangerous territory.
The second half began much more as the first ended, rather than how it began, with Liverpool in comfortable control of the game. A handball in the box shortly after the break gave Mohammed Salah an opportunity from the line, which he cashed in for his 20th goal of the Premier League season, a milestone he’s reached four out of the last five seasons with the Reds.
From then until the final whistle, it was a calm masterclass from Liverpool. They missed a few changes to go up by yet another goal, but when they’re winning 2-nil, one can ignore some missed opportunities.
The Reds’ fifth clean sheet in six league matches has put them just three points behind first-place Manchester City in the Premier League table. Liverpool will next head to Arsenal on Wednesday for a midweek league match.
Alisson – 7
Alisson had a relatively quiet game, only really required to spring into action on the few opportunities Brighton were able to get. He nearly made a big mistake holding the ball in his hands outside the box, but just managed to keep the ball in the zone. He made a brilliant save to deny Welbeck from close range late in the match, and finished with two saves.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8
Alexander-Arnold had an extremely good performance defensively, dominating in the back right position. In addition to his 1 interception, 1 tackle, and having not been dribbled past a single time, the Scouser continued his excellence in assisting the offense and setting up opportunities for the Reds, finishing with 76 pass accuracy, 3 key passes and 9 crosses.
Joel Matip – 8
After winning Premier League player of the month for February, Matip’s streak of fantastic play continued on Saturday. He stood strong defensively which was crucial early on with Brighton attacking. Matip later launched a beautiful ball over the top of the Brighton defense to Diaz for the opener. Matip finished the match with four clearances and won four of four aerial duels in addition to the assist.
Virgil van Dijk – 7
Van Dijk read the Brighton game well defensively, collecting three aerial wins, four clearances, and one tackle. Van Dijk now leads the Premier League in clean sheets this season with 16.
Andy Robertson – 7
Robertson had a great game defensively for the Reds on Saturday. He led the team in ball recoveries with 8, interceptions with 3, and two blocked crosses at Brighton. He also won one aerial duel and had one tackle.