After game week 3, Liverpool find themselves atop the Premier League standings at the moment after a 1-0 victory over Brighton Hove and Albion at Anfield.
The Merseyside club were in a tough match-up against the visitors, with a Mohamed Salah goal being the main difference in the clash.
“YOU EXPECT NOTHING ELSE!”
🔊 It’s time for Match in a Minute… Turn that sound ON! 🔊 pic.twitter.com/40nYhqKlej
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 25, 2018
With three wins in the same number of Premier League matches, it appears that Jurgen Klopp’s men are realising that they are real contenders, with fans now looking at the club as a real threat against defending champions Manchester City.
On the other hand, Brighton continue to show improvement even in defeat. Coming from a big win against Manchester United in the previous game week, they held their own against the Merseyside outfit and even had their chances in the second half.
Chris Houghton’s men very disciplined in all aspects of the game, even threatening on multiple occasions, making Liverpool’s defence scramble at times just to stop their attack.
However, Liverpool still came out victorious and here are a few reasons why Klopp’s men emerged as such.
LIVERPOOL ATTACK ALWAYS POTENT
In previous game weeks, Sadie Mane was Liverpool’s best attacking option, scoring three times in two games for the Reds.
With much of the attention directed at Salah, Mane was able to operate and dissect the defences to open himself to chances of scoring. Roberto Firmino has yet to score for the Reds but his movement and passing ability has also helped the Reds in many ways.
Against Brighton, Mane was not up to his usual best, struggling with his finishing at times and directing the ball wide often when given the chance to score.
However, it was Salah’s goal that decided the game, with a beautiful pass from Firmino which only shows that the Reds are indeed a team and can still get victories despite the front three not all having incredible games.
They seem to have a great understanding of each other that they can pick up the slack when the others are struggling, and that is definitely a great thing to have for Klopp’s.
ALISSON’S TALENT ON DISPLAY
In previous years, the continuing narrative most have against the Reds is the lack of talent they have between the sticks. They attempted to correct that with the arrivals of Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius, but it appears this year may be the time they completely get rid of the criticism with Alisson.
Against Brighton, Alisson Becker put his entire repertoire on the pitch as he made key saves and was very organised in defending the goal despite a few lapses from the Liverpool defence. Brighton were able to challenge the Reds’ back line at times, causing confusion when they’re on the attack, but Alisson kept his composure.
Allison has ice in his veins. pic.twitter.com/ak0dU4ZogT
— Duncan Teyie (@dante_10en) August 25, 2018
Furthermore, he showed that he had flair in his game with some beautiful ball handling skills. One in particular is when he chipped the ball over Anthony Knockaert after he appeared set to blast the ball for a clearance. Fans responded positively with that cheeky move and it showed how confident he is as Liverpool’s last line of defence.
With good saves and impressive skills, Alisson now has three clean sheets in the Premier League in as many matches. He was brought in hoping to eliminate the club’s goalkeeping woes and it does seem that he is the right man for the job.
MIDFIELD GENIUSES SHINE AGAIN
As stated earlier, Liverpool’s attack were not their best on the night, with Mane struggling and Salah saving the day with a wonderful strike to win the game. The Reds’ defence can also share some criticism as they were unorganised at times and Brighton had their chances to make them pay.
Fortunately, the same cannot be said for Liverpool’s midfield, with club veterans James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum given special mentions.
Milner’s work rate and football IQ are now standard for Liverpool fans but it was, again, on full display against Brighton. He was tenacious with the ball and ultimately won the possession that resulted to Salah’s goal.
As for Wijnaldum, he was also very disciplined in the midfield and ensured that the Reds kept their shape in the middle of the pitch. He was winning balls and even had a chance to score in the game.
With the Reds adding depth in the midfield during the summer, there were many questions whether Gini and Milner would be getting enough playing time in the Premier League.
They have certainly exceeded expectations and proof of Klopp keeping the team unchanged in three Premier League games just shows how much faith he has with his current crop of players.
GET IN! 💪👏 pic.twitter.com/X4tvF78deY
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 25, 2018