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Match Reports


2 December 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Izzy Brown in action against Liverpool.

Brighton & Hove Albion's four game unbeaten home record came to an end with a 5-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday afternoon at the Amex Stadium.

A quick-fire first half double from Emre Can and Roberto Firmino was followed by another from Firmino three minutes after the restart. Phillipe Coutinho's brace added gloss to what the hosts will feel was a slightly harsh scoreline, with Glenn Murray's penalty which made it 3-1 getting Albion on the scoresheet.

Chris Hughton made two changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace on Tuesday. Gaeten Bong came back into the side in place of Markus Suttner, and Izzy Brown replaced Jose Izquierdo on the home side’s left-hand side.

Liverpool had the defensive trio of Joe Gomez, Alberto Moreno and Joel Matip absent, whilst Ragnar Klavan returned to the bench for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

The visitors started the brighter of the two sides, with Mohammed Salah seeing a close-range effort deflected behind and Firmino flicking a corner over the bar from the left-hand side.

The Seagulls' first chance of the game came on 16 minutes, Brown did well to work some space down the left-hand side and found Glenn Murray. The striker took a touch to set himself but could only fire high and wide from the centre of the area.

Anthony Knockaert then twisted and turned on the right and crossed into the box, but Dejan Lovren beat Murray to the aerial ball to snuff out the danger.

No sooner had Brighton established a foothold in the game than Klopp's men were ahead.

Coutinho delievered a corner from the right-hand side and Can rose highest to meet the set-piece in the area to head down the middle of the goal and past Maty Ryan.

Within 79 seconds the Seagulls found themselves further behind. A quick Liverpool counter-attack saw Salah find Coutinho, and the Brazilian midfielder fired the ball back across goal for his fellow countryman Firmino who had an easy finish to double the visitors' advantage in devastating fashion. 

Dale Stephens did well to track Salah after the Albion had surrendered possession to Coutinho on the left flank. The Brazilian looked to divert the ball in-field to the on-rushing Egyptian but the Albion midfielder intercepted before referee Graham Scott brought the half to a close.

There was a frantic start to the second half and Hughton's men had a glorious chance to halve the deficit when Brown's superb cross from the left found Murray in the centre. The striker met the ball on the half volley but Simon Mignolet blocked the effort - before another swift counter-attack saw Klopp's men score a third. 

The trio of Coutinho, Salah and Firmino once again combined and the latter finished off a free-flowing move from one end of the pitch to the other when he found the top corner.

But the Seagulls got their reward for a bright start to the second period immediately afterwards. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson was ruled to have pushed Shane Duffy in the back from a corner and referee Scott pointed to the spot.

Murray stepped up cooly to convert the penalty into the top right-hand corner of the net and give the hosts a lifeline back into what was an entertaining and at times breathtaking contest.

Hughton then made a double switch with just over 20 minutes left to play as Jose Izquierdo and Solly March replaced Brown and Knockaert on either flank for the home side.

Murray volleyed wide after Duffy's good knock down soon after the double change, before Ezequiel Schelotto replaced Bruno with 14 minutes of the contest remaining.

Izquierdo played a slick one-two with Gross before being crowded out as he entered the area, but Liverpool soon scored a decisive fourth.

Coutinho fired a clever free-kick under the Albion wall having been brought down by Davy Propper and then added a deflected second for himself and a fifth for the visitors put the gloss on the scoreline for Liverpool and leave Albion 11th in the Premier League table.

Albion line-up: Ryan, Bruno (Schelotto 76) ©, Dunk, Duffy, Bong; Knockaert (March 69), Stephens, Propper, Brown (Izquierdo 69) Gross; Murray.

Subs not used: Krul, Goldson, Kayal, Hemed.

Liverpool line-up: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Can, Moreno, Milner, Henderson (Grujic 89) Wijnaldum, Coutinho, Salah (Oxlade-Chamberlain 78), Firmino (Solanke 87).

Subs not used: Karius, Klavan, Mane, Sturridge.

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