Monday, November 29, 2021

Liverpool 2-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls earn hard-fought Anfield draw

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Oct 2021

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Liverpool made it 20 Premier League games unbeaten but were left frustrated after a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield.

First-half goals from Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane – his first ever strike against the Seagulls – were cancelled out by Enock Mwepu and Leandro Trossard.

With Chelsea claiming a dominant win over Newcastle United, Jurgen Klopp’s men slipped three points off the pace at the summit.

The only negative in a bright start for the Reds was losing Naby Keita to injury after just 20 minutes. The Guinean appeared to be suffering from the same problem sustained in the incident that saw Paul Pogba sent off during last week’s 5-0 win at Manchester United.

Graham Potter’s side were ultimately well worth their point and brushed off their 4-1 defeat at Manchester City last time out with a spirited showing on Merseyside.

After an early scare when Alisson Becker had to save well from Solly March, the hosts took the lead in the fourth minute when Mohamed Salah cut the ball back to Henderson on the edge of the penalty area and the Reds skipper swept expertly past Robert Sanchez.

Yves Bissouma forced Alisson to turn his fierce shot onto the post, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – who came on for the injured Keita – put in an inch-perfect cross for Mane to head in.

The visitors were fortunate not to go 3-0 down in the 34th minute when Sanchez hit his clearance against Mane, but the ball had rolled into the net courtesy of the Senegalese’s arm.

That seemed to give the visitors belief as Mwepu pulled a goal back for Brighton late in the first half in spectacular fashion, whipping a shot from long range up and over the helpless Alisson.

Trossard then finished calmly in front of The Kop in the 65th minute after being set up by former Red Adam Lallana, with Klopp’s charges unable to hit back.

What does it mean? Reds still unbeaten, but draws mounting up

This result makes it 20 Premier League games unbeaten for Liverpool, the third time they have gone on such a run under Klopp (21 games between May and December 2018 and 44 games between January 2019 and February 2020).

The German becomes the third manager to have three separate such runs, after Alex Ferguson (six) and Arsene Wenger (four).

However, it is also their fourth draw of the season, and their third at home, amounting to eight dropped points that could be crucial in the title race.

Lallana returns to haunt old club

Lallana was right at home being back at Anfield as he played a key role in getting a point for his current club.

As well as providing the assist for Trossard’s equaliser, the 34-year-old managed one shot on goal, and made two key passes in his 77 minutes on the pitch, as many as anyone else in the Brighton side. He also won 85.7 per cent of his duels, the highest of all the visiting players.

‘No’ Salah

It was an unusually quiet Saturday afternoon for Salah, and the man known as ‘The Egyptian King’ was unable to extend his scoring run to 11 consecutive matches. He did have the ball in the goal early in the second half, but it was ruled out for offside.

Otherwise, he had just two shots and one effort on target all game, though he did register an assist for Henderson.

What’s next?

Liverpool host Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, while Brighton entertain Newcastle United next Saturday.

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