Liverpool overturned a two-goal deficit but were pegged back by Leandro Trossard’s third goal of the afternoon, earning Brighton a point in an enthralling 3-3 draw at Anfield on Saturday.
A quick double from Trossard fired Brighton into an early and thoroughly deserved lead. However, Liverpool rallied as Roberto Firmino scored twice either side of half-time before an Adam Webster own goal pushed the visitors ahead. Still, with seven minutes to go, Trossard made sure to share the spoils.
Roberto De Zerbi’s reign as Brighton manager got off to the perfect start as the visitors took the lead after just three minutes and 48 seconds.
Moises Caicedo bullied Jordan Henderson on the edge of Liverpool’s box, forcing the ball to Danny Welbeck. The Brighton frontman fed the ball to Trossard, who rattled the opener into the bottom corner.
The hosts entered the game off their worst start to the Premier League in seven years and were swamped and swamped by the visitors as Alisson made plenty of saves.
The Brazilian denied Trossard moments before the Brighton star sharply finished off a brutally quick counter-attack with an almost identical finish to his first.
Liverpool forced their way back into the match through sheer force of will as much as anything else. Twice in quick succession, the Reds threw enough crimson shirts around the ball to send a barrage of pinballs towards Mohamed Salah in the box. The Egyptian was denied by Robert Sanchez but Roberto Firmino leveled moments later to halve Brighton’s lead.
Jurgen Klopp brought on Luis Diaz on the break and it took less than ten minutes for the Colombian to have the desired effect. Diaz led Liverpool’s breakaway from the left and rolled the ball past Firmino into the box. A flash of quick feet left Lewis Dunk on board before firing Liverpool.
The nimble substitute was also involved in Liverpool’s third when he won a corner which Trent Alexander-Arnold delivered venomously. Sanchez swung under the crossbar, letting it fly past his team-mate Adam Webster and into the Brighton net.
However, visitors would not be appeased. Kaoru Mitoma came off the bench for Brighton before De Zerbi adjusted his setup and switched Trossard to the right. The pair combined for Brighton’s third when Mitom’s cross deflected over Virgil van Dijk’s holographic interception attempt to head Trossard for a famous third.
Liverpool vs Brighton player ratings – Premier League
1. Liverpool (4-3-3)
GK: Alisson – 8/10 – So quick off his line and blessed with razor-sharp reactions, despite multiple concessions, Alisson had to be at his best to keep the score down.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5/10 – Left in a tangled knot when trying – and failing – to defend Trossard one-on-one but did offer some threat with his penetrative passing.
CB: Joel Matip – 6/10 – Made a crucial interception, on the stretch, when Brighton were threatening to extend their lead in the second half.
CB: Virgil van Dijk – 6/10 – Got his feet in a muddle as he let Mitoma’s cross fly through his long and uncoordinated (on this occasion) legs for Brighton’s equaliser.
LB: Kostas Tsimikas – 3/10 – Struggled up against Solly March all game, befuddled by his movement off the ball and hauled off for James Milner inside an hour.
CM: Jordan Henderson – 4/10 – Caught napping under a dropping ball in the opening four minutes of the match, Henderson scarcely improved thereafter.
CM: Fabinho – 4/10 – On his 150th start for Liverpool, Fabinho struggled to exert any significant influence on proceedings.
CM: Thiago Alcantara – 4/10 – Lacked his normal silk on the ball once he’d sauntered into the final third.
RW: Mohamed Salah – 5/10 – Always alive to the bounce of a loose ball at the sharp end of the pitch, causing Brighton a number of problems which they often solved.
ST: Roberto FIrmino – 7/10 – Clumsy when trying to apply pressure high up the pitch, but in the right place at the right time to fire Liverpool back into the game.
LW: Fabio Carvalho – 4/10 – Drifting in off the left, Carvalho was eager to get on the ball but didn’t do a great deal when he got it.
SUB: Luis Diaz (46′ for Carvalho) – 7/10 – Whereas Carvalho continually came towards the ball, Diaz was desperate to sprint in behind, throwing Brighton off kilter.
SUB: James Milner (59′ Tsimikas) – 5/10
SUB: Harvey Elliott (59′ for Henderson) – 5/10
SUB: Diogo Jota (75′ for Firmino) – N/A
Manager: Jurgen Klopp – 7/10 – Was left watching on in astonishment at his side’s sluggish start but made a decisive change at half-time which turned the tide – although not quite as decisively as he would have liked.
2. Brighton (3-4-2-1)
GK: Robert Sanchez – 3/10 – Did Webster no favours with a Superman punch at thin air before the ball bounced off his centre-back and into the net.
CB: Joel Veltman – 7/10 – Supremely cool whatever the defensive scenario both on and off the ball.
CB: Lewis Dunk – 6/10 – Regularly hauled his gigantic frame in front of a Liverpool player taking aim but was deceived by Firmino for Liverpool’s second.
CB: Adam Webster – 5/10 – Unfortunate to see the ball ricochet into his own goal after marshalling Salah for much of the contest.
RWB: Solly March – 8/10 – Produced a string of probing crosses as well as a perfectly weighted, cushioned assist for Trossard’s second.
CM: Alexis Mac Allister – 6/10 – Offered more of a nuisance than nuance as he scurried around midfield off the ball.
CM: Moises Caicedo – 7/10 – Purposeful, powerful and precise in his pressure off the ball.
LWB: Pervis Estupinan – 6/10 – Exploited his speed to sneak a toe onto the ball from the blind side on more than one occasion – although that did highlight his poor positioning in the first place.
RF: Pascal Gross – 5/10 – Left the starring roles to other cast members for once this week.
LF: Leandro Trossard – 9/10 – Ruthlessly efficient with three razor-sharp finishes on his supposedly weaker side.
ST: Danny Welbeck – 8/10 – Linked play superbly and selflessly during a display littered with subtle and sumptuous flicks.
SUB: Kaoru Mitoma (65′ for Gross) – 7/10 – A wriggling thorn in the side of Liverpool’s right flank.
SUB: Adam Lallana (75′ for Estupinan) – N/A
SUB: Tariq Lamptey (87′ for Trossard) – N/A
Manager: Roberto De Zerbi – 8/10 – Caught Liverpool off-balance with a brilliant start that screamed De Zerbi – pressing high and luring Liverpool forward with possession deep in their half – before countering Klopp’s reaction.