The Famous Five: Men at the back are grinding winters to give Liverpool their best chance at that elusive title
- The defense gets Liverpool over obstacles where they stumble
- Mohamed Salah scored the only goal, as they claimed an important victory in Brighton
- It was nervous, but it was the kind of display that characterizes potential champions
- Alisson and the defenders in front of him crushed the victories for Liverpool
- Their defensive record is great and it is the key to their chances of winning a title
Dominic King for the Daily Mail
They have missed these days. It may seem odd to make, considering how the tension increased and the nerves frayed, but in 90 minutes you saw in Brighton why Liverpool went 29 years without a title.
These are the kind of matches in which Liverpool stumbled historically. When the flair and flamboyance have disappeared from their playing for decades, this was usually a signal for their infallibility to appear and to break up title chances in one unexpected game.
Those who followed Liverpool in the 1990s will recoil when they think of the damage that Coventry City has inflicted on them; A defeat in Middlesbrough proved costly for Rafa Benitez in 2009, while a stupid draw at West Brom in February 2014 can be traced as a decisive day for Brendan Rodgers.
Virgil van Dijk (left) and Fabinho (right) helped Liverpool win a victory in Brighton
The dominance of Liverpool was indicated by the fact that Alisson Becker did not have to save
Brighton had all the characteristics in 2019 for one of those & # 39; moments & # 39; to be. The hosts were unrelenting and resilient and simply did not give Liverpool the space they wanted to weave their beautiful patterns.
When they faced Mohamed Salah's sanction, Brighton kept plugging in and pushing forward, looking for opportunities to take advantage of the weakest shine. We know that busy can do funny things and the closer Liverpool is to full-time, you wondered if there was a wrong step.
Then you saw Andrew Robertson running back and forth, making tackles as if his life depended on it. Next to him, Virgil van Dijk strolled through the madness with the calm of a holidaymaker on the promenade.
Then there were Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum, the craftsmen who made a block here, an interception there and the control over possession. It was mature and without nerves, the kind of execution that characterizes potential champions.
It's just the winning mentality and finding a way to do it, & # 39; said Robertson, whose preparations for the game on Thursday were happily disrupted when he became the father of a girl named Aria for the second time.
THE FAMOUS FIVE
The saving percentage of the Brazilian this season in 82.5 percent, the best of every Premier League goalkeeper.
The defender has made 30 tackles this season in the Premier League, second only to Andy Robertson (47) for Liverpool.
Gave more than five games against Brighton on Saturday, more than any other player.
Liverpool has kept 21 clean sheets in the 37 Premier League-games of Van Dijk for the club.
27 chances created by Robertson. Only Mo Salah (47) has more for Liverpool this season in the Premier League.
& # 39; That's what we did, but that's what all teams are doing now. Manchester City has not played at its best, but has won contests. Tottenham did the same, so I think we're all showing signs that we're doing it now.
& # 39; Whoever wins the competition, looks back at a number of games and goes & # 39; You know what? We were probably not at our best there, and that was probably one that helped us change a point in three or zero.
& # 39; Whoever wins the competition probably has three or four games to look back on. If we manage it, we will undoubtedly look back on this game as one of them. Brighton is a very difficult team to fight against and it was a fight. & # 39;
He was right. Liverpool did not have a shot on goal in the first half and the wall of blue-and-white shirts that confronted them was drilled into the bone. However, the aspect that distinguishes this team is the back five and the songs they produce are remarkable.
Manchester City is the only team in the Premier League that has scored more than once in a match against them and they simply do not give in to the cheap targets that were their Achilles heel; a measure of their dominance was indicated by Alisson Becker who did not have to save.
Liverpool-defender Trent Alexander-Arnold tackles Jurgen Locadia during Saturday's game
Andy Robertson galloped up and down the left side of the post, as if his life depended in Brighton
& # 39; In a game where it is 0-0 with 20 minutes to go, they can make the changes so they can win it & # 39 ;, noted Brighton manager Chris Hughton.
Of course it helps that Salah is bubbly. He was the only member of Liverpool's foremost four who seemed able to produce something else, and he sucked Pascal Gross to make a foolish grasp on his shirt and then on a journey. Some have tried to suggest that he has made the most of it, but it is nonsense.
"He's back in his game and is a world-class player," Hughton said. He is a top player, and if Liverpool wins the league, he will have played a huge role in it. & # 39;
The keyword is & # 39; part & # 39 ;. Salah is beautiful but if Liverpool goes over the line – and it remains a big & # 39; as & # 39; because of the excellent quality of the team that is chasing them – the men at the back are just as important.
What they have shown on the south coast is that they have the guts to take the tension. They are ready to deal with more of these anxious days.
Mohamed Salah was once again magnificent and scored the only goal to take three vital points
The men at the back will be the key to Jurgen Klopp's chances to win the league title