[Liverpool 2 – 1 Brighton].

One more trap was avoided, but only barely.

Albion under De Zerbi – one of the leading candidates to take over from Klopp next year now that Xabi has declined – has become one of the thorniest thorns in Klopp’s behind. As Danny Wellbeck put a screamer of a finish behind Kelleher with less than two minutes into the game, I sighed heavily. Was this the game when we slipped in the tightest race the league has seen for what feels like forever? Forest came close, but the Seagulls are known trouble.

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If you were judging by the opportunities created, it wasn’t really close, as Liverpool dominated. But Brighton could have easily spoiled the soup with the opportunities they did have – which is what trap games often look like.

A sigh of relief on the final whistle was therefore warranted.

The opening twenty minutes saw Adingra make a mockery of Liverpool’s right side again and again. To Coinor Bradley’s credit, he eventually got Adnigra’s number, and from that point onwards, he and Quansah more or less nullified the threat. Once the two youngsters, who play so smoothly together (on account of their joint academy experience), sorted things out on the right, the Red machine purred to life, and created chance after chance.

POST MATCH: Liverpool 2 Brighton 1

Darwin Nunez came extremely close to scoring another cheeky goal. Lucho, whose first goal was a brilliant combination of anticipation and composure, had a second that was called off by VAR on such a marginal offside, it can compete with that armpit hair one from Firmino a couple of years ago. But chief waster of opportunities was the very same player who scored the winning goal, Mo Salah. I don’t recall the name presently, but there was a famous forward back in the day who used to quip that it didn’t matter how many times you missed, as long as you put one in, nobody would remember the misses. Salah today fully epitomized that sentiment and could have easily added a couple of assists to his already impressive season tally. It took an astonishing leap from Verbruggen to deny him a second even so.

It was the one he did score that mattered in the end.

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And what a goal it was. The assist from Macca was sublime, as was Salah’s cool finish. The drilled pass to Macca from Szobo was a work of art, as was the way Macca controlled the ball upon arrival. It all came off a lovely transition play from young Quansah. This kind of move is how Liverpool often do things, and it’s very pretty to watch when it unfolds.

Coote, the ref, was remarkably consistent throughout in how bad he was, but his bad decisions appeared to go equally against both sides. He also issued seven more yellows than were necessary (there were eight in total). The only deserved one was to Wataru Endo, who played a great game again. It’s hard to pick between him, Virgil, and Macca for man-of-the-match, but I’m going to go with the skipper, who was a big reason why Albion’s punch-through-the-center style didn’t see more success. Virgil this season really is back to his glorious imperial form, and if Liverpool goes on to win the treble, should be a serious contender for this year’s Ballon d’Or.

This run-in is going to test everyone’s hearts and raise all of our blood pressure.

In the meantime, over to the Etihad. Will we stay on top after that game?

Another Monday of looking for answers as we look at the recent struggles but put all of it in perspective as we talk about the 35th anniversary and what it means to us
  1. The Drought
  2. Let's Stare At The Eclipse
  3. Generational Dutch Oven
  4. Build-A-Manager
  5. Patreon Days
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