22 min That penalty award shows the inconsistency of VAR. It was almost identical to a penalty that Connolly won against Manchester United after a foul by Paul Pogba, a decision that was then overturned by VAR.
MAUPAY MISSES THE PENALTY!
20 min Oh my days. Maupay sent Alisson the wrong way but slid the ball this far wide of the right-hand post.
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19 min: PENALTY TO BRIGHTON! A clumsy tackle by Neco Williams on Connolly has been penalised. Stuart Attwell took his time before giving the penalty, but I don’t think it will be overturned.
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18 min Brighton are having a more even share of the game now. March’s inswinging corner is headed away at the near post by Milner.
16 min I thought Minamino was playing as a No10 but increasingly it looks like he’s the third central midfielder alongside Wijnaldum and Milner. You can never get complacent with tactics, that’s the beauty of them.
15 min Jota slips White neatly and is flattened. White is lucky not to be booked.
14 min “Hi Rob,” says Gary Naylor. “I read an excellent piece last night that got to the heart of El Diego’s ‘other’ World Cup (well, one of them). It sounds, as so much does this week, more myth than truth, but truth it is.”
13 min Connolly almost gets in again, this time from Gross’s smart first-time pass. Alisson comes a long way from his area to clear.
11 min “Hi Rob,” says Duncan Edwards. “It’s a shame Tariq Lamptey isn’t playing today as he’d have given Andy Robertson something to think about other than getting forward and wreaking havoc. I can’t believe his red card wasn’t overturned as I don’t think he deserved that second yellow and the fad Grealish made a meal of it. Pah.”
I don’t think they can overturn red cards that are given for two yellows, a regulation that feels a bit outdated.
10 min: Connolly misses a great chance! Brighton almost scored with their first attack. Maupay turned on the halfway line and slid a lovely through pass to Connolly, who scooted between Phillips and Fabinho. He reached the edge of the area, opened his body and sidefooted the ball just wide of the far post.
7 min Brighton’s front three have barely had a kick so far. Liverpool have started with impressive authority.
5 min “So what if Messi didn’t score in a World Cup knockout,” says Tom Andejri. “Give it a rest man. Who cares about the WC anyway?”
The world? Anyway, that’s enough of Maradona v Messi. I can’t be bothered, and there’s a game to watch.
3 min Liverpool have made an excellent start. Fabinho drives a pass over the defence to Salah, who makes a fine run inside Webster. He takes the ball down on his chest and smashes a half-volley just wide from 20 yards.
3 min I thought Mo Salah might start in the centre but he is playing from the right, with Firmino as a false nine and Minamino the No10.
2 min Firmino slides a nice pass inside White to release Jota in the inside-left channel. He tries to find the unmarked Salah at the far post but underhits the pass slightly, which allows Dunk to get back and concede a corner.
“Can we all stop the Maradona hagiography now?” says Richard Hirst. “Not even the Argentinian GOAT, let alone the world’s. Unless of course it is true that Messi is from another planet and therefore ineligible.”
Messi has never scored a goal in the knockout stages of a World Cup. Anyway, let’s leave it, we’ll just bore each other.
It’s a beautiful November day in Brighton & Hove, sunny and clear. There will be a minute’s applause before the game to commemorate the greatest footballer we will ever see.
“Morning – sorry – afternoon Rob,” says Colin Young. “Why are LFC fans so fearful that Klopp ‘will be moving on’ when it’s not necessarily the case? True, there are those managers who like to make a point then move on (Mourinho being the most obvious space-hopper of the lot) but it’s not a nailed on certainty is it? Perhaps it’s all down to Arsene Wenger – who could have gone literally anywhere in the summer of 2004 but chose to stick around at Arsenal, winning diddly afterwards and watching as his career, and with it his reputation, slip away? It’s strange though… it now seems ‘obvious’ that managers will move on – even more so than players. Why is this?”
I suppose it’s because 99 per cent of them do move on. Post-Wenger, is there anybody in world football who has been at a club for over 10 years? I do think Klopp will buck the trend to some extent, though, and it won’t surprise me if he does a full decade at Anfield.
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“Hi Rob,” says Kishalay Banerjee. “Based on Pep and Klopp’s statements over the years, it seems that they have plans for managing Spain and Germany at some point in the future. Given the intensity and detail-oriented nature of their management, I wonder how (or if) they would modify their approaches to suit the fact that they will have a much limited time with their international squads. It would be fascinating to watch how their approaches differ from their club tactics, and how it affects their head-to-head results.”
It’s a really good point. I’m not sure it would suit either of them, particularly Guardiola.
“Is that the weakest Liverpool bench you’ve seen for a while?” askys Neill Brown. “I know Mane is one of the best attackers in the world but the others are… trusted by Jurgen Klopp, so must be bloody good. But the bench still seems a bit thin for the best team in Europe. I don’t mind Brighton’s chances today.”
Henderson, Jones, Tsimikas, Mane… I’ve seen worse. I know what you mean, though – I fancy Brighton a bit more than I did before I saw the teams.
Alternative MBM action
“Morning Rob,” says David Horn. “As a Liverpool fan I’m forced to confront (and when I say ‘forced’ I mean ‘masochistically compelled’) the fact that one day Klopp will leave us. I like to imagine who, on that terrible day, might step into the breach, bringing something new while embracing something old. And, among others, Graham Potter springs to mind. He seems to me to have the right mix of idealism and pragmatism, innovation and tradition. Of course I also like to think we have a few more years of Klopp left. (Oh and Nuno is one of the others who my thoughts turn to, since you ask.)”
How long do you think Klopp will stay? I think he’ll want at least two more league titles, and ideally one more Champions League, before he does one.
“Hello Rob,” says Martin S. “Do we really think Spurs can mount a decent challenge this year? As that’s the fixture LFC fans will surely look closest at tomorrow. Or will Lampard have a shot? OR will it be a Mourinho flop?”
I think Liverpool will win by 10-15 points, but Spurs are capable of finishing above the rest and I certainly think they’ll finish in the top four. I hope they mount a challenge, though. There are few things I would enjoy more than Jose Mourinho winning the Premier League and turning his acceptance speech into a relentless eight-hour score-settler.
“As Larkin said, the dropping of Mane ‘brings the priest and the doctor, in their long coats, running across the fields’,” says Ian Copestake. “He was last left out for the Aston Villa debacle.”
If only they’d picked him; it might have been 7-4.
Adam Lallana is only fit enough to be on the bench against his old club. Aaron Connolly replaces him, and Joel Veltman is in for the suspended Tariq Lamptey.
Liverpool have made six changes from the team that lost at home to Atalanta. Joel Matip is rested, which means a start for Nat Phillips alongside Fabinho, and Takumi Minamino starts in what looks like a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Brighton (3-4-3) Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster; Veltman, Bissouma, Gross, March; Welbeck, Maupay, Connolly.
Substitutes: Steele, Burn, Lallana, Alzate, Molumby, Trossard, Jahanbakhsh.
Liverpool (4-3-3) Alisson; N Williams, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Minamino, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Jota.
Substitutes: Adrian, Tsimikas, R Williams, Henderson, Jones, Mane, Origi.
Referee Stuart Attwell.
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Hello and welcome to live, minute-by-minute coverage of Brighton v Liverpool at the Amex Stadium. Liverpool will go top of the Premier League if they avoid defeat. It might only be for 24 hours; it might be for the rest of the season. Although they have had a slightly odd start to this very odd season, there have been enough signs that Liverpool are still the best team in England by a fair distance.
Most of those signs have been at Anfield. Liverpool have won only one of their four away games in the league, though there were mitigating circumstances for the draws at Everton and Manchester City. It could be worse: Brighton have won only one league game at home all year. And they haven’t even drawn a game against Liverpool since 1991. Brighton are a decent, very likeable side but I’m not sure I fancy their chances today. If they do win, tomorrow’s front pages will be theirs.
Kick off 12.30pm.
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