‘Ma­ture’ Liver­pool have Klopp drool­ing

The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT -

Brighton – Liver­pool man­ager Juer­gen Klopp hailed his side’s ma­tu­rity as Premier League con­tenders after break­ing down an ob­du­rate Brighton thanks to Mo­hamed Salah’s (right) 50th-minute penalty in a 1-0 win on Satur­day.

Klopp’s men had lost their last two games in very con­trast­ing fash­ion as Manch­ester City in­flicted Liver­pool’s only Premier League de­feat of the cam­paign nine days ago be­fore a muchchanged side lost in the FA Cup to Wolves.

Liver­pool were far from their flu­ent best on Eng­land’s south coast, but ground out a vi­tal win to move seven points clear of City, who are in ac­tion at home to Wolves tonight, thanks to a 13th clean sheet in 22 league games this sea­son.

Salah was just one a num­ber of first-team reg­u­lars to re­turn from Mon­day’s de­feat by Wolves, but the Egyp­tian and the rest of Liver­pool’s for­ward line were starved of ser­vice be­fore the break as Brighton sat deep and the vis­i­tors dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion with­out any cut­ting edge.

“It was very hard but that is how it is,” added Klopp. “I liked the per­for­mance. It wasn’t an opera of foot­ball but it was a re­ally nice song.”

Salah im­me­di­ately sig­nalled a change in Liver­pool’s in­tent after half-time as his pow­er­ful shot at the end of a pur­pose­ful run was well saved by David But­ton.

Brighton, though, were ar­chi­tects of their own down­fall mo­ments later. Salah was given too much room in­side the area to turn and Pas­cal Gross then hauled down last sea­son’s Premier League Player of the Year.

Salah stepped up to blast the penalty past But­ton and move level with Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang and Harry Kane as the league’s top-scorer on 14 goals for the sea­son. – AFP

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