- Albion are narrowly beaten by Liverpool
- Mohamed Salah scores for the hosts
- Trent Alexander-Arnold hits the woodwork with a free-kick
- Pascal Gross almost equalises in the closing stages
Brighton & Hove Albion were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Liverpool, despite an impressive display at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah’s strike was enough to give the Jurgen Klopp’s side all three points, but Albion will take plenty of plaudits following a positive and disciplined performance on Merseyside.
Chris Hughton gave Leon Balogun and Yves Bissouma their first Premier League starts, as the duo replaced the injured Lewis Dunk and Pascal Gross in the starting line-up.
The hosts created their first chance inside five minutes when Salah spotted the onrushing Sadio Mane, but the latter fired wide from close range.
Albion made inroads into the Liverpool defence through Anthony Knockaert, as the Frenchman’s low strike was saved by Alisson after being picked out by Glenn Murray.
But Brighton had Mathew Ryan to thank for keeping the score goalless moments later, when the Seagulls shot-stopper made an outstanding stop to keep out Roberto Firmino’s close-range header.
Dale Stephens was penalised for a challenge on Naby Keita on the edge of the area, and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s resulting set-piece clipped the top of Ryan's crossbar.
Liverpool’s pressure translated into a goal with 23 minutes on the clock, after Bissouma was caught in possession and the ball was played through to Salah - the Egyptian beat Ryan with a composed left-footed strike.
The hosts almost doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time through Firmino, but the Brazilian’s effort just cleared the crossbar.
Albion broke forward brilliantly after the re-start with some brilliant link-up play involving Murray and Knockaert. The Seagulls frontman did superbly to work his way into the box and find the Frenchman, who fired wide from close range.
Leon Balogun was shown the first yellow card of the game for a late challenge on James Milner, and the Yorkshireman played a short free-kick to Salah, allowing the Egyptian to cross for Joe Gomez, whose header was comfortably saved by Ryan.
Bissouma was a key protagonist in Albion’s attacking play and he was given the chance to level the scores with a free-kick, after Milner’s handball on the edge of the area.
The Malian stepped up to take the set-piece, only to see his strike take a deflection off the wall and go behind.
Albion’s defence had to be alert to keep tabs on Liverpool’s dangerous front three, as Balogun did well to force Firmino out wide, with the Brazilian’s shot comfortably kept out by Ryan.
The Seagulls rallied late on and Bissouma’s delivery caused all sorts of problems in the Reds' defence, before the ball was hacked clear.
It proved to be the Malian’s final contribution of a tireless display, as he was replaced by Gross, as Hughton went all out in search for a share of the spoils.
It almost proved a masterstroke from Hughton in the 88th minute, when Gross powerfully headed Martin Montoya's cross towards goal, but Alisson dived to his left-hand side to make a fine save.
The German's chance proved the final opportunity of the game, and despite a superb effort from the Seagulls, Hughton's side departed Anfield with pride but no points.
ALBION: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Balogun, Bong; Knockaert (Locadia 75), Stephens, Propper, March (Jahanbakhsh 75); Bissouma (Gross 79); Murray.
SUBS NOT USED: Button (GK), Bernardo, Suttner, Kayal.