Whilst it did not happen in gritty performances against Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United, we were going to catch one eventually and we did yesterday when we were the whipping boys. My neighbour said a fair score would have been 8-5. Liverpool took a 2-0 lead into the half-time dressing room but on resumption Glenn Murray missed a gilt-edged chance and Liverpool went down the other end to make it 3-0. Murray did convert a penalty to make it 1-3 but Liverpool added two more. Whilst no one played particularly well heads did not drop. Rest assured Chris Hughton will get this defeat out of the system and prepare diligently for the crucial away game at Huddersfield next Saturday.
I grew up with the great Liverpool sides of the 70s that dominated domestically and in Europe and this was not one of them. They have some fine players in Coutinho, Firmano and Salah but the defence is not good enough. It always amazes me how the big clubs build a team or rather don’t. The best player on the pitch last Tuesday in Brighton’s game against Crystal Palace was their Sakho, the very type of muscular defender Liverpool need and who sold him to Palace. Mourinho got rid of Luiz, Bruyne and Cuadrado – all of whom would probably be in the team and in Luiz’s case expensively is. At clubs like Brighton you have to get it right or in the neck from your chairman for a £15m misfit.
For the first time I saw Philip Coutinho in the flesh and was initially struck how tiny he is. He drifted away from 2 players with a sublime dribble and when the Brighton wall jumped up too early from free kick he coolly slotted the ball under them into the net. I suspect he would look even better alongside the likes of Messi, Suarez and Iniesta.
Conversely the technique and vision of Jordan Henderson looked very moderate and I doubt if he would make the squad of Spain, France ,Brazil or Germany.