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Reds Column III

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Liverpool vs Brighton

Liverpool Fc (The Reds) were beaten by the visitors Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club 0-1 in the Premier League.

Due to an Unspecified Illness, Alisson Becker was ruled out of the Reds clash with the visitors Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club (The Seagulls) and as such, Caoimhin Kelleher deputised for the Brazilian Goalkeeper.

Aside from that, Jürgen Klopp opted to make a solitary change to the side that beat the hosts West Ham United Fc and the rest retained their spots. In place of Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino was restored back in the attack.

Ben Davies was named on the bench but Ozan Kabak did not feature in the Matchday Squad. With the aim of getting back to winning ways at Anfield (after their shock loss to the visitors Burnley Fc last month), the Reds started positively.

Mohamed Salah missed a clear-cut chance by shooting wide in the 2nd minute after being picked by Captain Jordan Henderson.

Firmino did not start well as he conceded possession early in the First Half. The physicality and blistering pace provided by Sadio Mané up front was sorely missed as Shaqiri struggled to outmuscle the Seagulls Defenders.

The Visitors game plan was to soak up the pressure from the Reds Attack and wait for the right moment for counter attack.

With the Seagulls sitting deep to defend, chances to score were scarce and they had to make those limited chance count.

Neal Maupay had a chance to give an early lead for the Seagulls in the 24th minute but his effort was blocked by Andrew Robertson.

The Reds looked to find a way to score a Goal through a packed Seagulls Defence.

Salah had his left footed shot from outside the box blocked in the 31st minute following an assist from Shaqiri.

The visitors again threatened to score an early goal in the 32nd minute but the header from Ben White was too high after an assist from Pascal Groß with a cross following a set piece situation.

Shortly afterwards, Solly March blazed his left footed shot too high following an assist from Pascal Groß in the 34th minute.

The Seagulls looked to grab a lead just before the Half Time but the header from Maupay was too high after an assist by Pascal Groß with a cross.

With the Match finely poised, the First Half ended at 0-0. From the Reds perspective, it was simply poor with no real threat going forward.

The Reds played the game too safe in possession during the First Half as they were bereft of ideas and needed to change their mindset with better reaction before the Second Half began.

Like the First Half, the Reds started well as Lewis Dunk tried to cut out a Robertson cross with Salah racing onto it, before blocking the follow-up from Firmino in the 48th minute.

Nathaniel Phillips’s mistimed clearance ricocheted off Steven Alzate to the bottom right corner of the net to make it 0-1 for the visitors in the 56th minute following a cross from Leanardo Trossard.

The Visitors looked to make it 0-2 but the header from Adam Webster was too high following an assist from Solly March with a cross following a corner.

In the 64th minute, Shaqiri and Wijnaldum were replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Origi.

The Reds almost equalised but Mohamed Salah shot missed to the top right corner following an assist by Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 70th minute.

Lewis Dunk had his header from the right side of the six yard box blocked after an assist by Pascal Groß with a cross.

Firmino’s miserable night continued in the 78th minute as the shot from Brazilian missed the top right corner after an assist from Alexander-Arnold. 

The Brazilian’s misery was ended as Curtis Jones was brought on to replace in the 78th minute.

Leandro Trossard had his shot blocked by Kelleher in the 81st minute after being assisted by Neal Maupay.

Yves Bissouma came close to sealing the game in the 89th minute but his shot from outside the box was too high following an assist by Adam Lallana.

With the Reds unable to find the equaliser, the visitors held on to snatch a well deserved 0-1 over the Reds.

The Reds has now suffered back-to-back home defeats and shockingly, this is the first time since the 1980’s that the Seagulls had beaten the Reds in all competitions.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Caoimhin Kelleher – 6: Comfortable with handling and swept when needed. Saw few shots blazed over the bar by the Visitors during the First Half and made fine saves during the Second Half but could not much about the Visitor’s opening Goal.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5: Caught napping as Burn was found at the back post in the build up to Alzate’s goal. Defensively looked shaky facing the visitors’ attackers.

Nathaniel Phillips – 6: Defending well especially dealt well with the Ariel threat from the Seagulls during the First Half but his performance jaded as the game went on. Unfortunate to conceed the Goal as a result of his mistimed clearance.

Jordan Henderson – 7: Set up the chance for Salah early in the First Half. Did a decent job as a Makeshift Defender and kept things simple. His presence is sorely missed in the Midfield and that has been telling!

Andrew Robertson – 5: Had to deal with Solly March and was unable to make an impact throughout the game especially going forward.

Midfield:

James Milner – 6: The Veteran was in the right positions and played deep as the game went on. Too slow for this sort of game where pace was needed to break down defensive minded oppositions.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5: Crowded by the visitors, the Dutchman tried to get the Reds on the Front Foot during the First Half but was largely ineffective. Subbed during the Second Half.

Thiago Alcântara – 5: Played the game too safe and avoid giving possessions. But he was not helped by an ineffective forward line either. 

Forwards:

Roberto Firmino – 3: Very abysmal performance. Conceded the ball too easily and did very little try to initiate the attack. Jota’s return could not be any sooner.

Xherdan Shaqiri – 5: Complete contrast to the West Ham United away Fixture. Spent too much time on possession but did make any of them count.

Mohamed Salah – 5: Abject performance. Missed a clear cut chance to give an early lead for the Reds, blazed another shot during the Second Half and his threat was nullified effectively by the visitors. Goal Scoring Chances like the First Half especially against Defensive Minded sides should not be wasted but that has been the case with the Reds forward in general this Season.

Substitutes:

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5: Few shots, some blocked and one off target. Did not bring the desired impact needed for this game.

Divock Origi – 3: Offered almost nothing in the attack. Hope the decision to loan Minamino instead of offloading Origi might not come back to haunt the Reds!

Curtis Jones – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 4: Generally every defensive minded sides just to look to soak up the pressure and score on the counter. This has been the theme this Season to negate the Reds.

The Reds were so flat and lacked the sense of urgency throughout the Match. Klopp for his part could have tried a different formation (4-3-1-2) like the one utilised against the hosts West Ham United Fc.

The Reds were not helped by the fact that their misfiring forwards continued missing Goal scoring chances.

More importantly, the Reds should concentrate on securing European Qualification this Season before letting that slip away from them.

Manchester City Fc will not have a better time to face a Reds side that is short on confidence and bereft of ideas.

 

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