‘Mature’ Liverpool have Klopp drooling
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