Ten-man Liverpool hung on against Brighton to move to 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Alisson saw red late in the game for a handball outside the area, but it didn’t stop his side from taking full advantage of Manchester City’s dropped points at Newcastle this afternoon.
It looked as though it was going to be an easy afternoon for the Liverpool today, as they raced into a two goal lead pretty quickly in the first half. Virgil Van Dijk, who so often wins Liverpool games with his defensive ability, proved his effectiveness at the other end as he nodded Jurgen Klopp’s side into the lead after just 18 minutes.
Then, just a few minutes later, the Flying Dutchman doubled up his goal tally for the game. Much like he did for the first goal, Van Dijk rose highest to convert a cross from Liverpool’s star right-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold.
However, in very much old school Liverpool fashion, it didn’t end up being as easy as everyone thought. On 76 minutes, goalkeeper Alisson came rushing out of his area, in the way he does numerous times every game, to challenge Leandro Trossard. The Brighton winger tried to knock the ball past Alisson and as the Brazilian tries to clear it, the ball hits his hand. The referee was left with little choice but to give the Liverpool keeper his marching orders. The red card means that Alisson will miss the Merseyside Derby in mid-week.
Fortunately for Liverpool, they still had a spare sub to make when Alisson was dismissed – so on came Adrian. Three minutes later, Lewis Dunk pulled one back for Brighton when he cheekily knocked his free-kick into the far corner while sub Adrian was trying to set his wall. The goal was allowed to stand and it means that Liverpool are still without a clean sheet in the league since September 28th.
Despite a few late chances for Brighton, Liverpool did manage to hang on and pick up the three points – meaning the Reds remain unbeaten. After the game, Jurgen Klopp criticised the way Brighton scored their goal, as they caught out Adrian:
“I think in a situation like this, when you have sense for human beings, you don’t do it like this. It was very clever from Brighton but the keeper has just come on and is trying to set the wall. They are trying to get used to each other and the referee lets it go like this. We cannot change it but for me it’s not 100 per cent right.”
Despite all that, Liverpool will go to bed tonight knowing they are 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League with Leicester to play Everton tomorrow. If the Foxes can pick up all three points tomorrow afternoon – they will cut the gap to eight points. Either way, it’s a very healthy gap for the Reds – surely they can’t lose the title from here.