Liverpool were absolutely shocking as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at Brighton on Saturday, with Jurgen Klopp clearly struggling to stop the rot in his squad.
Brighton 3-0 Liverpool
Premier League (18), Amex
January 14, 2023
Goals: March 46′ 53′, Welbeck 81′
Heading to the Amex as underdogs, given their struggle for form and mounting injuries, Klopp set his side up in a slightly different shape, with Thiago as a No. 10 in a 4-2-3-1.
Cody Gakpo led the line as central striker on his Premier League debut, but all the traffic went the other way in the early stages as Brighton dominated – as, sadly, expected.
It took the Reds 23 minutes to get their first shot on goal, and though it came from Gakpo – and was, technically, on target – the chance was blocked and soon fizzled out.
Brighton embarrassed the visitors with their pressing game, while the dangerous Kaoru Mitoma was a constant threat on the left flank as he exploited a struggling Joel Matip.
Alisson and his defence were then let off as, despite Solly March being brought down inside the area, the winger was deemed offside and the penalty ruled out.
HT: Brighton 0-0 Liverpool
Within a minute of the restart – and with no changes to either side – Liverpool were deservedly behind, with Matip at fault as Mitoma raced through and set March up for a toe-poked opener.
March made it 2-0 with an exceptional finish soon after, with Evan Ferguson playing the perfect ball for his team-mate as Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold both watched him drive into the space and fire home.
It wasn’t long until Klopp rolled the dice, with a quadruple change sending Joe Gomez, Harvey Elliott, Naby Keita and 17-year-old Ben Doak on for Matip, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The energy did improve, and Gakpo had a half-chance thwarted by Robert Sanchez from Alexander-Arnold’s delivery, but Brighton then made it 3-0 through Danny Welbeck.
It came from a simple throw-in routine, with March flicking it on and Danny Welbeck bamboozling Gomez before shooting past Alisson to cap a humiliating afternoon.
With their 3-0 defeat, Liverpool drop behind both Fulham and Brighton into eighth in the Premier League.
TIA Man of the Match: Ibrahima Konate
Brighton: Sanchez; Gross, Dunk (Webster 90+1′), Colwill, Estupinan; Mac Allister (Sarmiento 83′), Caicedo; March, Lallana (Veltman 66′), Mitoma (Lamptey 90+1′); Ferguson (Welbeck 66′)
Subs not used: Steele, Van Hecke, Gilmour, Undav
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip (Gomez 68′), Konate, Robertson; Fabinho (Keita 68′), Henderson (Elliott 68′), Thiago; Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Doak 68′), Gakpo
Subs not used: Kelleher, Tsimikas, Milner, Jones, Carvalho
Next match: Wolves (A) – FA Cup – Tuesday, January 17, 7.45pm (GMT)