Six things we learned from Brighton's defeat to Liverpool
It was a harsh lesson for Brighton this afternoon as they lost 5-1 at home to Liverpool. Here's six things we learned from the game.
Nothing to get downhearted about
Games against the top six aren't going to decide if Albion stay in the Premier League or not.
The Seagulls had grown with every performance against the top sides up until now and caused problems for Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Today, Albion weren't at their top level and were punished by an impressive Liverpool side. If you're looking for positives, Glenn Murray's goal was the first Brighton have scored against one of the big sides but one of the major disappointments will be conceding from a corner again.
Albion have been solid defensively this season but have now conceded from corners in two of the last three matches at the Amex.
Albion boss Chris Hughton admitted it was a harsh lesson today.
It's perhaps too early to call next week's match at Huddersfield a six-pointer but it's a huge game for both sides. They were promoted together from the Championship last season; Albion sit 11th and the Terriers are 15th, two points behind the Seagulls.
That game could set the tone for the rest of the month for Brighton, with some tricky games to come. A win at Huddersfield could give Albion momentum to take forward and get some more much-needed points on the board.
Crazy two minutes
Liverpool all but put the game beyond Brighton in the space of 79 seconds in the first half.
Albion had looked fairly solid for the opening half-an-hour but then conceded twice in the space of as many minutes.
The first goal inparticular would have disappointed Seagulls manager Chris Hughton. Brighton have prided themselves on their defence this season but Emre Can was gifted a free header from a corner to emphatically head home from six yards.
Just moments later, Liverpool had doubled their lead from a swift counter-attack. Mohamed Salah played in Philippe Coutinho down the left and his inch-perfect low cross was tapped home at the back post by Roberto Firmino.
It left Albion with a mountain to climb and their six-game unbeaten run at the Amex came to an end.
Careless in possession
Make no mistake about it, Brighton were up against a quality side this afternoon but they didn't help themselves at times.
Too often in the first half, they gave the ball away too easily and that meant they were unable to keep hold of the ball for more than a few moments at a time.
Albion defended deeply, with ten men behind the ball at times, as Liverpool enjoyed 57 per cent possession in the match.
Brighton upped their intensity at the start of the second half but falling 3-0 down after just 48 minutes left them with too much to do.
After getting the score back to 3-1, Albion had a couple of half-chances to get another goal back. However, they were again punished in the closing stages as Liverpool struck twice more to send Brighton to their heaviest defeat of the season.
Everyone was aware of Liverpool's attacking threat and pace going forward before the game and they showed it with devastating effect three minutes into the second half.
Albion should have got the score back to 2-1 when Izzy Brown's delicious cross found Glenn Murray unmarked but he was denied by Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet from point-blank range.
Liverpool went straight down the other end at pace and when Mohamed Salah found Roberto Firmino, the Reds striker clinically drilled home his second of the match to make it 3-0.
Brighton did get a goal back shortly afterwards when Murray scored from a generous penalty decision, before Liverpool then perhaps unfairly added gloss to the scoreline late on when they struck two goals in the final three minutes.
Hot-shot in top form
There's been a lot of talk about Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah in recent weeks after his outstanding start to life with the club.
After joining from Roma in the summer, he has already scored 17 goals in all competitions and is the Premier League's leading scorer with 12 goals.
The pacy 25-year-old was a threat throughout but Albion handled him well for much of the game and denied him any clear opportunities.
He did set up Liverpool's third after a quick burst forward but it was the Brazilian combination of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino who caused the Seagulls the most problems.
Firmino could have found the net early on but still ended up with two goals, while Coutinho scored with a cleverly-taken free kick and provided three assists, after what he thought was a second goal went down as a Lewis Dunk own goal.
From Halifax to Liverpool!
It was 17 years to the day when Bobby Zamora scored THAT stunning volley in a 2-1 win at the Withdean against Halifax.
Zamora scored both goals in the Division 3 victory and Albion went on to win the first of back-to-back titles.
Zamora returned for a second spell with the club a couple of seasons ago and matches like today remind fans just how far the Seagulls have come in a short period of time.
Halifax - who dissolved and were brought back by fans as FC Halifax Town in 2008 - are now a semi-professional club and play in the National League, five divisions below Albion, who had the eyes of the world on them at the Amex this afternoon with free-scoring Liverpool their Premier League opponents.