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    Brighton 1-5 Liverpool Match Report

    Liverpool warmed up for their crucial Champions League encounter against Spartak Moscow in midweek by recording a resounding victory over Premier League newcomers Brighton at The Amex.

    Two first-half goals in the space of a minute turned what had been an even contest in Liverpool's favour and the visitors went on to scored five goals in the Premier League for the first time since November 2016.

    Despite the eventual margin of defeat, The Seagulls created several chances throughout the match but lacked the kind of quality in the final third of the field that their opponents produced with regularity.

    Both teams had opportunities in an even opening 30 minutes, with Roberto Firmino unable to make the required contact to convert a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross and Glenn Murray firing wide after Izzy Brown's excellent pass had picked him out.

    A decisive spell that influenced the outcome of the match duly arrived on the half-hour mark, when Emre Can and Roberto Firmino gave The Reds a 2-0 lead from which the visitors ultimately never recovered.

    German midfielder Can rose highest to head Philippe Coutinho's corner past a helpless Matthew Ryan from six yards, while Firmino doubled his side's lead a minute later when he slotted home Coutinho's left-footed cross from close-range in emphatic style.

    The visitors had to rely on the superlatives of Simon Mignolet in order to keep their two-goal lead in tact, however, with the Belgian international producing a point-blank save to deny Murray from converting another Brown cross from six yards.

    It proved to be yet another pivotal moment in the match as Liverpool produced a trademark counter-attack seconds later when Firmino emphatically side-footed the ball into the top left-hand corner following Salah's threaded pass.

    Although Brighton deserved their eventual consolation goal as a reward for their efforts throughout the match, it arrived in controversial circumstances after referee Graham Scott pointed to the spot when Shane Duffy was pushed by Jordan Henderson.

    Television replays showed the contact to be minimal but Glenn Murray made amends for his earlier profligacy by side-footing the ball past Mignolet to give The Seagulls a glimmer of hope with 40 minutes remaining.

    The home side then tried in vain to reduce the deficit further despite the best efforts of substitute Izquierdo Mena, who was denied by a last ditch-challenge from Alexander-Arnold after a give-and-go with Pascal Gross had created the opportunity.

    Any dreams of an unlikely comeback were finally quashed three minutes from time when Philippe Coutinho expertly drilled a low free-kick into the bottom corner, with the disguise on the set-piece catching out a jumping wall.

    Brighton's misery was then compounded two minutes later when the outstanding Coutinho escaped the challenge of Dale Stephens before his strike, which was missing the target, was headed into his own net by the unfortunate Lewis Dunk.

    The defeat is the heaviest that Chris Hughton's side have suffered so far this campaign, after 15 matches played, but the club can take comfort from the fact that easier challenges lie ahead between now and the end of the season.

    The Seagulls, who dropped from 10th to 12th over the course of the weekend, return to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to fellow Premier League newcomers Huddersfield Town.

    Liverpool, meanwhile, will go into Wednesday's crucial Champions League match against Spartak Moscow with plenty of confidence as they seek at least a draw to guarantee qualification into the last 16 stage.

    That encounter is then followed by Sunday's Merseyside derby, with Jurgen Klopp's fourth-place side taking on Sam Allardyce's 10th-place Everton at Anfield.
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    Item Reviewed: Brighton 1-5 Liverpool Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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