A team cannot win every match in a season – there would defeats, which would help the team to grow and then there would be opportunities which allow the team to strengthen its position for the title race.
The clashes against the lower-ranked sides are always an opportunity for the top sides to boost their confidence and swell their points tally – either dropping points or losing against only make things tough. Real Madrid are experiencing this in La Liga while it seems Liverpool are experiencing the same this season in the Premier League.
Liverpool have failed to score against Newcastle, Southampton, Manchester United, Burnley and Brighton in recent weeks ❌
They've not scored at Anfield since December 27 ? pic.twitter.com/iIZRpowyp0
— Goal (@goal) February 4, 2021
While all eyes were on the battle against Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp’s side made a mess last night by losing 1-0 at home to Brighton on a wet, miserable night at Anfield. And which means, a home match with Manchester City at the weekend is now a do-or-die affair.
Even a draw will not suffice for Liverpool, with Pep Guardiola’s side already seven points clear of the champions with a game in hand.
City’s record at Anfield may be poor – they have not won here since 2003 – but their form means they will head into the game as favourites.
Just when it seemed the Premier League champions had reinvigorated their campaign with successive away wins at Tottenham and West Ham, they succumbed to a second consecutive home defeat as Brighton executed their game plan to perfection to record a first league win over Liverpool since 1982.
Loss to Burnley at home. Loss to Brighton at home.
Next up for Liverpool: Manchester City at home ? pic.twitter.com/akQFCzggue
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 3, 2021
After 68 Anfield league games unbeaten, they have lost their last two, the first time that has happened since 2012. They have failed to score in their last three on home soil, the first time that has happened since 1984.
Surprisingly the Reds were abject against Brighton.
Still, the Reds posed a threat in the early part of the game and threatened to end the three-consecutive clean-sheet of Brighton.
Mohamed Salah was presented with a glorious chance to score his fifth goal in four games by Jordan Henderson. Liverpool’s captain, starting once again alongside Nat Phillips in central defence, floated a perfect pass from the halfway line into Salah’s run behind Webster.
Salah controlled well but scuffed his second touch high over the bar with only the Brighton goalkeeper, Robert Sanchez, to beat.
Brighton beat Liverpool for the first time in Premier League history. There goes the title ?
— Faisal Caesar (@faisalyorker1) February 4, 2021
Brighton committed to outnumber the Reds by throwing bodies at the back and it was the moment for Liverpool to break the resistance and gain the tempo.
What a waste of a great opportunity!
Sanchez did not have a save to make in the first half as Brighton’s three central defenders provided commanding protection against Liverpool crosses and eight, sometimes nine outfield players dropped deep whenever the Reds had the possession.
But on the break, they did have their time – Pascal Gross whipped a first-time cross into the box and Maupay, arriving in space in front of Roberto Firmino, headed wastefully over.
The last four managers to win a Premier League game against Liverpool at Anfield:
??????? Paul Clement (Swansea)
??????? Sam Allardyce (Palace)
??????? Sean Dyche (Burnley)
??????? Graham Potter (Brighton)
Full English. ? pic.twitter.com/zhGfFQ11zM
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 4, 2021
After the break, Dunk was equal to Liverpool’s growing threat, however, making an excellent interception to prevent Andy Robertson’s cross finding Salah and then throwing himself in the way of Firmino’s follow-up.
Firmino and Xherdan Shaqiri were anonymous in the Liverpool attack and substituted.
Yves Bissouma was central to a switch of play from left to right that ended with a superb cross into the penalty area by March for Burn – The defender’s header back across goal forced Phillips to throw himself into a clearance that struck Leandro Trossard on the thigh, rebounded against Alzate and then looped beyond Caoimhin Kelleher – who was the stopper man for the Reds instead of the ill Alisson.
The goal that saw @OfficialBHAFC shock Liverpool at Anfield ?
That build-up though ? pic.twitter.com/cTnGWFPqDU
— Goal (@goal) February 4, 2021
Despite the potential risk of an injury to March, Brighton defended with their life and hung onto the slender lead.
Ultimately, Brighton bagged the full points.
“It was no accident,” said the proud Brighton manager – Graham Potter.
“We deserved the three points. It wasn’t like we parked the bus and nicked a 1-0 win. It was a performance of quality, courage and effort. I’m so proud of the players. It is a great result for everyone connected with the club.”
Klopp said, “The gap to City … I am manager of Liverpool and so I have to say we want to be champions, and of course we do, but you need games for it and we need performances for it and we don’t have that.”
“We will fight for three points, it is not decided who will get the three points on Sunday, but we have to play better and we will try. These gaps are not interesting at the moment. They are the result of the results we had already. What we can influence is the next game. Tonight it was not enough. We know that and we have to change that.”
? "We looked mentally fatigued."
Jurgen Klopp says Brighton deserved to beat Liverpool pic.twitter.com/FYZM8hrcb9
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 4, 2021
“Brighton rightly won the game, deservedly won it. They were fresher than us, they did more good things than we did and we lost too many easy balls. The best way to defend Brighton is to keep the ball and then you have control. We didn’t create a lot, and for me, the team looked mentally fatigued tonight.”
“That leads to not the best play as well. It was a tough week travelling to London and back twice. We were not fresh enough which means we were not good enough to break the formation of Brighton and in the end, they scored a goal and had other chances. They deserved to win.”
Liverpool need to buck up on Sunday!