Match Report

Match Report: Liverpool 4-0 Brighton – Reds seal Champions League qualification

Liverpool completed the league season with an emphatic 4-0 win over a Brighton side (who had already been assured of their place in the Premier League) to book their place in next season’s Champions League, and sign off with an unbeaten home record.

First half

Liverpool started the brightest with an early statement of intent when Jordan Henderson attempted an effort from some way out following a throw-in by Trent Alexander-Arnold. That was an adventurous strike from the central midfielder!

Sadio Mane could’ve helped to put his side ahead with 19 minutes gone, had he seen Roberto Firmino running, but went for the greedy option instead.

With 26 minutes gone, Mohamed Salah put his side in the lead following an assist from Dominic Solanke, as well as Alexander-Arnold playing a role in the goal (England youth at work)! Salah’s goal booked his place in Premier League folklore by becoming the first player to score 32 goals in a single league campaign!

Firmino could’ve doubled his sides lead a couple of minutes later following a textbook pass from Mane, but the latter couldn’t quite hit the target.

Liverpool should’ve made it 2-0 with almost half an hour played, but somehow didn’t. Mane was played on, who then teed up Salah, but his effort was saved on the line by Shane Duffy! Credit to Duffy though who sniffed out the danger!

Georginio Wijnaldum should’ve doubled when Mane put him through on goal, but his touch was too soft to make a real effort. Comfortable save by Mathew Ryan.

How the scoreline was STILL 1-0 with 35 minutes played, I will never know! Henderson picked out Salah with a fantastic cross from his own half, with the record goalscorer finding Mane, who then backheeled to Firmino who wasted a glorious opportunity to double the lead.

Eventually, on 40 minutes, Jurgen Klopp’s side did double their lead. A great cross from Andrew Robertson found Dejan Lovren who headed home from close range to extend the lead.

Second half

Klopp’s side commenced the second half in exactly the same fashion as they started the first with Firmino forcing Ryan into an important save.

Solanke got his name on the scoresheet for the first time this season to extend the score to 3-0 with 53 minutes played. Salah, who scored in the first half, turned provider to find the striker with Firmino playing a key role in the goal. The Australian keeper had no chance of saving a thunderous strike like that!

On 57 minutes, the blushes of both Gaetan Bong, and Ezequiel Schelotto were spared when Firmino failed to put through the fourth goal. Ryan prevented a goal, but the Brazilian should really be scoring from close range.

With five minutes to go, Robertson sealed the game to give his side a comprehensive 4-0 win. With the defender being well placed, he struck the target following a failed clearance from Lewis Dunk.

So with that result, coupled with Chelsea losing 3-0 away at Newcastle United, it means Liverpool will be playing Champions League football next season.

Thoughts on the game

I didn’t really expect much from Brighton if I’m totally honest. Heading into this game, they had no chance of being relegated, so they could play with ease.

Liverpool on the other hand, despite their 4-0 win, I felt they could’ve scored more goals to make it an absolute rout! Had they put their chances away, honestly, it could’ve been at the very least, seven, or eight nil! Brighton were very lucky to have only conceded four!

Chris Hughton’s side can now rest assured, safe in the knowledge that they’ll be playing top flight football next season. As for Liverpool, they have a crunch Champions League final to contend with when they play La Liga giants Real Madrid next weekend.

Featured Image Credit: Gene Hunt

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