Roberto Firmino was the standout performer for Liverpool as Brighton & Hove Albion held the Reds to a 3-3 draw at Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool started the game in the worst way possible as Brighton & Hove Albion pounced on two of the Reds’ midfielders’ ball watching before Danny Welbeck found Leandro Trossard. And the Belgian international made no error in beating Alisson Becker with a well-directed shot. Brighton came close to scoring again a few minutes later, but Alisson kept his side in the game.
However, the Brazilian goalkeeper could not have done anything to deny Trossard a goal that was a Xerox copy of the opener. Liverpool slowly started to grow into the proceedings after Brighton controlled the game’s opening quarter. And the hosts pulled a goal back through Roberto Firmino, who Mohamed Salah cleverly set up with a cut-back that took Robert Sanchez out.
Brighton looked in control in the early stages of the second half, but Liverpool soon took charge, with Firmino scoring his second of the day after some superb work by Luis Diaz. The Reds then went ahead just after the hour mark when Adam Webster inadvertently knocked the ball into the net from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
But just when Liverpool seemed to be cruising to a narrow win, Brighton produced late drama, as Leandro Trossard scored from close range to complete his hat-trick and condemn the hosts to another winless result. The stalemate means Liverpool will be on the cusp of dropping out of the top half of the table. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
It finishes level at Anfield. pic.twitter.com/6S9u1fJWil
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 1, 2022
Alisson Becker: 7/10
Alisson was the only reason Liverpool did not go into half-time with an embarrassing deficit. The Brazilian goalkeeper could not have done better to keep out Leandro Trossard’s well-directed shots. But he made a couple of big saves to keep his side in the game. Alisson was again in business after the break, but he could not have done anything to stop Trossard from completing a treble.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 2/10
Klopp would have expected a positive reaction from Trent Alexander-Arnold after vehemently defending the English defender in his pre-match press conference. But Alexander-Arnold was disastrous against Brighton, with Trossard playing around him easily.
Leandro Trossard put Trent Alexander-Arnold on the floor ?? pic.twitter.com/eWD1bpRqBz
— GOAL (@goal) October 1, 2022
The Englishman also let Kaoru Mitoma drift past him in the build-up to the third Brighton goal. And while he nearly made amends with a long-range goal, Saturday’s game will leave Alexander-Arnold with a lot of nightmares.
Joel Matip: 6/10
Matip was the best Liverpool defender on the day, although he, too, looked nervy in the game’s opening quarters. But the veteran defender made some crucial clearances, one of which started the move for Liverpool’s second, as Jordan Henderson found Thiago Alcantara in acres of space immediately after his defensive intervention.
Virgil van Dijk: 3/10
Virgil van Dijk has been sub-par thus far this season, and the performance on Saturday again left a lot to be desired. He was too casual while defending in the build-up to the first and third Brighton goals, with the ball going through his legs before Trossard completed his hat-trick. He continues to be dreadful and needs to improve drastically.
Kostas Tsimikas: 5/10
Tsimikas’s run in the team continued, and he worked hard to make things happen for Liverpool. But the Greek full-back was not in his element and struggled to carve out the openings in the final third. And he let Solly March drift past him a few too many times. He might have lost his chance to push Andrew Robertson for a regular left-back berth.
Jordan Henderson: 6/10
Henderson’s so poor here. Yes, Trent gets done but he comes over so aggressively because he anticipates a drive/shot after he now has two guys to deal with.
Protect your defenders. https://t.co/jlIxkraZ0C
— UtdArena (@UtdArena) October 1, 2022
Henderson returned to the starting lineup but made a disastrous start to the game as he failed to win the ball from Alexander-Arnold’s clearance before Trossard found the back of the net. But the Liverpool captain improved considerably after that, with some of his first-time balls opening up the Brighton defence. Henderson even deserved an assist for a looping cross towards Firmino.
Fabinho was one of the players who went to sleep in the build-up to the opening goal instead of winning the ball. But the Brazilian improved as the minutes wore on and provided better cover to the defenders for much of the rest of the game. However, his output on the ball needs to improve.
Thiago Alcantara: 6.5/10
Thiago was the best Liverpool midfielder on Saturday, and he helped the Reds break the shackles after a subdued opening quarter. The Spanish international constantly looked to push his team forward, and he was involved in the build-up to Firmino’s second, finding Luis Diaz before the Colombian set Firmino up.
Mohamed Salah: 6.5/10
The game’s opening quarter seemed more of the same for Salah, who continued hugging the touchline and remained on the fringes. But Salah looked much more dangerous when he veered infield, and he unsurprisingly came close to scoring before setting Roberto Firmino with a clever cut-back. He looked menacing after the break, but his role constantly needs to see him be a threat inside the box.
Roberto Firmino: 8/10
Roberto Firmino’s last four Premier League games:
⚽⚽?️?️?️ vs. Bournemouth
⚽ vs. Newcastle
❌ vs. Everton
⚽⚽ vs. Brighton
8 goal contributions in his last 4 league games. ??? pic.twitter.com/iQpjLP0EdY
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) October 1, 2022
Firmino barely carried a threat in the game’s opening quarter, but he grew into the match as the minutes wore on. And the Brazilian attacker produced a clever effort to pull a goal back for Liverpool in the first half after Salah set him with a cut-back.
Firmino doubled his tally shortly into the second half, producing a sublime second touch to sit Lewis Dunk down before beating Sanchez. He should have completed his hat-trick shortly after, but he directed his header straight at the Brighton goalkeeper. However, Firmino’s presence helped put Adam Webster off for Liverpool’s third.
Fabio Carvalho: 5/10
Carvalho was a surprise starter for Liverpool, but he did not grab his opportunity with both hands on Saturday. The youngster drifted in and out of the proceedings while not retaining the ball well enough to help Liverpool mount sustained pressure on Brighton. Diaz unsurprisingly replaced him at half-time.
Luis Diaz: 7.5/10
After trailing 2-1 to Brighton at home, Jurgen Klopp decided to bring on Luis Diaz at Half-Time.
In just 18 minutes he's contributed an assist and a goal for the Reds, who are now leading.
???? ???????. ⚡️#LFC
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) October 1, 2022
Diaz was phenomenal off the bench, providing Liverpool with the impetus to push forward while leaving several Brighton defenders backpedalling. The Colombian attacker also showed the composure to hold the ball before delivering the assist for Firmino’s second. And his presence threw Webster off for Liverpool’s third. He is so crucial for Liverpool right now.
Harvey Elliott: 6.5/10
Elliott was a bundle of energy after replacing Henderson, and he barely misplaced a pass in the game’s final half hour. But while he pushed Liverpool forward, he should have fared better defensively and needs to add that part to his game.
James Milner: 6/10
Milner was decent after replacing Tsimikas, pushing forward and looking threatening in the final third. And with Brighton directing play from the opposite flank, he did not have any problems in the defensive phases.
Diogo Jota: N/A
Jota had fifteen minutes to make the difference, but he barely carried a threat and might need some more time to regain full sharpness.
Darwin Nunez: N/A
Nunez barely touched on the ball during his cameo, and Klopp should have introduced him much earlier.