Liverpool title ambitions further dented as defeat by Brighton opens seven points behind Man City plus Player Ratings

Defeat leaves Liverpool seven points behind Manchester City, who also have a game in hand; Steven Alzate’s scrappy winner proved enough for brilliant Brighton.

Liverpool’s title ambitions were further dented as Brighton made it back-to-back defeats at Anfield for Jurgen Klopp’s men in a 1-0 victory.

Just as the defending champions looked to have got back to their relentless selves with away wins at Tottenham and West Ham, they were back in ponderous mood as Steven Alzate’s scrappy winner was enough for brilliant Brighton.


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Graham Potter’s side were anything but scrappy in their performance levels, playing confidently and bravely in attack whilst defending with great cohesion at the back.

After going 68 games unbeaten at home, Liverpool have now suffered straight defeats to Burnley and Brighton and haven’t scored in the last 348 minutes of action at Anfield. They had just one shot on target against the Seagulls in a toothless attacking showing.

The defeat leaves Liverpool seven points off league leaders Manchester City ahead of Sunday’s meeting between the two teams.

Liverpool Player Ratings

Caoimhin Kelleher (out of 10) – 6

With Alisson ruled out through illness, Kelleher was handed another chance to impress. The young Irishman was untested on the whole, dealing with the simple things and generally distributing the ball coolly. He could do nothing about Steven Alzate’s goal, but made a good save to deny Pascal Gross.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6

Alexander-Arnold has been much better in recent weeks, and while he was far from his world-class best at Anfield, he was one of Liverpool’s more creative players.

The right-back linked well with Mohamed Salah down the left flank in the first half, even though not every threaded pass paid off, and he handled the enormous Dan Burn well defensively.

Nat Phillips – 6

Phillips earned another start at the heart of the Reds’ defence and he did fairly well again. Aerially, the 23-year-old was typically strong, but he was also good in possession, not always opting for the easy pass.  He has grown into the role, but there are still times when his limitations are exposed.

Jordan Henderson – 6

The skipper has been a revelation at centre-back and he was reliable once again on Wednesday night, despite the result. He bit into tackles, often highlighting his expert reading of the game, and tried his best to drive the team forward, almost playing one superb through-ball to Roberto Firmino.

Andy Robertson – 5

After being superb for a number of months, there has been a noticeable drop-off from Robertson since the turn of the year. The Scot did little wrong, proving reliable defensively at left-back, but those lung-busting runs and whipped crosses were nowhere to be seen.

Gini Wijnaldum – 6

Wijnaldum again played at the base of Liverpool’s midfield, having excelled there in the victories away to Tottenham and West Ham.

He was less influential this time, failing to find his usual combination of physicality and intelligence, but he was also dependable. Others further up the pitch were more culpable when it came to a lack of creativity.

Thiago – 5

Thiago has looked more at home in a No. 8 position in the last two matches, with more freedom to express himself in the final third.

The Spaniard was disappointing by his high standards against the Seagulls, however, failing to unlock a stubborn Brighton defence.

He looked classy on the ball, producing some clever footwork, but he was guilty of putting style ahead of substance. Constant fouling was irritating, too.

James Milner – 5

Milner started yet again, when it was expected he would be given the night off. The midfielder really struggled to get into the game, not looking 100 percent fit after an early issue, with the game passing him by for large periods. Another start against Man City on Sunday could be one too many.

Mohamed Salah – 6

Salah took up his usual spot on the right, in what looked like more of a 4-3-3 system than the 4-4-2 diamond seen against West Ham. The Egyptian was lively early on, looking to replicate his performance in east London, but he grew increasingly frustrated as minutes passed. Brighton defended well against him, in fairness, and he just couldn’t inspire Liverpool to a positive result.

Xherdan Shaqiri – 5

Shaqiri again got the nod in the absence of Mane, appearing to start in a left-sided role, despite drifting inside often. That led to a lack of balance and natural width for Liverpool, especially with Robertson not at his swashbuckling best.  The Swiss disappointed in general, flattering to deceive and not providing enough guile at all. This is why he doesn’t start regularly.

Roberto Firmino – 5

Firmino is another who has been much improved lately, but he reverted to his previous poor form at Anfield. Passes were under-hit a number of times and his touch also evaded him, in what was a lacklustre performance until his substitution. When he isn’t good, neither are Liverpool.


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