Liverpool were outclassed in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon as they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
A torrid first half for the Reds saw them second best across the pitch, with Japan international Kaoru Mitoma at the heart of a number of bright moments for the home side.
The half-time break couldn’t have come soon enough for Liverpool, but it took just two minutes from the restart before they found themselves behind when Solly March netted an easy finish from Mitoma’s pass. Things got worse when March produced an excellent strike six minutes later to double the lead.
Jurgen Klopp’s frustration was exemplified by his quadruple substitution in the 69th minute, though that did little to overturn what was one of his side’s worst displays this season, as he watched Danny Welbeck add the final touch to a move that began from a throw-in to make it 3-0.
A positive performance by Ibrahima Konate shows that Liverpool look to be secure at centre-back despite the absence of Virgil van Dijk, and that will be vital if the midfield struggles continue.
This was one of Liverpool’s worst performances of the season. The Reds looked disjointed and almost as if they hadn’t played together before. Worrying signs from a Liverpool perspective.
Manager rating out of 10
5 — Klopp could have improved his midfield selection by including Naby Keita, but it’s not clear what he could have done to change the game with four first-team attackers out through injury. A quadruple substitution in the second half summed up his thoughts ahead of a long trip back to the north-west.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 5 –The Brazil international made the saves he was expected to make, but overall faced too much pressure amid a poor Liverpool performance.
DF Andy Robertson, 5 — Not many Brighton attacks developed down his flank, but Robertson was also quiet in terms of his attacking output.
DF Ibrahima Konate, 7 — The France international looked to deal with a lot of attacks that came his way, often making key challenges to relieve pressure on his side. Liverpool’s best of a bad bunch.
DF Joel Matip, 6 — Defended well against waves of pressure from the home side. Impressed when helping out Trent Trent Alexander-Arnold with the threat of Mitoma, though he could have been better for Brighton’s first goal.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 — A difficult battle against Mitoma saw a mixed performance from the right-back. He was sometimes slow to track runs in behind, but defended well in isolated situations. He also provided the only signs of life in Liverpool’s attack with dangerous crosses into the box.
MF Fabinho, 4 — Missing too often in the areas where his team needed him. It wasn’t clear what benefit he was adding to the side.
MF Thiago 5 — Made a number of positive defensive plays but couldn’t influence the game to add any sort of control, and that’s what Liverpool needed most in a game where they were completely dominated in the centre of the pitch.
FW Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 5 — Tried to get his side moving in the right direction by carrying the ball forward, but a poor header that was easily dealt with by Brighton in the second half summed up Liverpool’s attacking display.
FW Cody Gakpo, 4 — Liverpool struggled to get Gakpo on the ball in his Premier League debut and it was an underwhelming performance.
FW Mohamed Salah, 4 — Salah was quickly crowded out by Brighton without much sign of support from his midfield. Anonymous in the second half.
DF Joe Gomez, 6 — Came on in a quadruple substitution in 69th minute but couldn’t change the game.
MF Naby Keita, 6 — Helped improve Liverpool’s press, but couldn’t make a difference overall.
MF Harvey Elliott, 6 — Worked tirelessly until the final whistle despite the game being out of Liverpool’s reach.
FW Ben Doak, 6 — A difficult match to come into. The teenager tried to make things happen when he had possession but didn’t make an impact.