As featured in liverpooloffside.sbnation.com
Liverpool: Salah 50’
Perhaps if you polled the 10, 20, 50, or 100 fans to sum up today’s 1-0 Liverpool victory over Brighton in one word, a majority of them would answer with: Professional. I know that’s my answer. In every facet of the game, Liverpool were the better side. Brighton never threatened Liverpool to be sure, but the Reds put in a performance of complete control.
Ask those same set of fans to sum up the first half in one word, and they’d all say: Boring. And that’s okay. It was boring. In a way, boring was exactly what Jurgen Klopp and the Reds needed. Heading into this match, there were some questions about how Liverpool would get on with only one healthy central defender. Klopp could’ve gotten weird with his solution, as he did last season when he slotted Gini Wijnaldum and Emre Can into the backline. Instead, he chose the more sensible option by playing Fabinho at the back.
Liverpool controlled the first half by constantly attacking down the left flank, either through Andy Robertson or Sadio Mane. This could’ve been because Trent Alexander-Arnold picked up a knock in the warmups, or it could’ve been because that’s the side Brighton allowed Liverpool the most freedom. Either way, Liverpool created chances and asked questions of Brighton. It was almost like the manager was collecting important sets of data that he’d later use to unlock Brighton’s defense. That’s exactly what happened later on, but we’ll get to that in