Liverpool again reduced the Premier League’s summit deficit to three points as they overtook Brighton with a 2-0 win at the Amex.
A brave header from Luis Diaz in the first half was followed by a Mohamed Salah penalty in the second as Liverpool took all three points and extended their league unbeaten run to eight matches.
It was the home side who started the game in the lead and could have taken an early lead when Neal Maupay launched an effort from close range. Moments later, Leandro Trossard tested Alisson after Brighton collected the ball near the halfway line, produced a fine build-up play before the Belgian’s curling effort was easily saved.
Liverpool grew into the game and started to look more menacing just before the 20th minute. Sadio Mane hit the side netting from a Salah cross, before Liverpool took the lead.
Joel Matip sent a delicious through ball behind and Diaz raced over it to nod past Robert Sanchez and into the empty net. VAR checked for a red card after the Colombian took an important shot from Sanchez seconds after scoring but it was ruled that there was no serious misconduct.
From then on, Liverpool were comfortable for long periods of play and never seemed to give up their lead. Andy Robertson launched an effort and Mane fended off a few chances before half-time as Liverpool came on the break.
The second half saw much the same as Brighton had an early chance to equalize before their play died down and Liverpool settled in. Maupay did well down the right to hold off two defenders and put Trossard on the edge of the box, but the Belgian smashed an effort over the top.
As the game reached the hour mark, Liverpool looked likely to score again. Salah reacted fastest to a stray ball in the box and tried to place an effort into the far corner. His shot deflected up and over the top of the crossbar, before Mane fired over the rebound.
Minutes later, the visitors were awarded a penalty after Yves Bissouma was charged with blocking an attempt by Naby Keita with his arm. Salah got up and kicked sideways through the middle, as Sanchez lunged to his left.
The rest of the game was comfortable for Liverpool, who kept the ball well and tired Brighton. Jordan Henderson saw an effort saved before Sanchez made a smart save from Diaz as the game climaxed.
In stoppage time, Brighton nearly pulled one back when Danny Welbeck forced Alisson into a fine save reaction from inside the box, but the Seagulls’ struggles to find home goals continued.
Victory for Liverpool means they close the gap on league leaders Manchester City with one game less, but for Brighton they are now winless in five and sit 13th in the table.
(Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)