Mohamed Salah is hero for Liverpool as they battle back to beat Brighton

Egyptian star grabs winner for Jurgen Klopp's side as Premier League title battle heats up

Powered by automated translation

Mohamed Salah struck a fine winner for Liverpool as they came from behind to beat Brighton 2-1 and keep themselves in the Premier League title race at Anfield on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's comeback specialists were stunned as they went behind to a superb Danny Welbeck strike 85 seconds into the game.

But Liverpool responded well and dominated the game before Luis Diaz scored the equaliser just before the half-hour mark.

Salah was lively throughout but had spurned a host chances before he finally found the back of the net after 65 minutes to seal a vital victory.

The Egyptian star, making his first league start since New Year's day, had 11 shots before he netted the winner. It was his third goal in his last three games and his 22nd in all competitions this term.

After Klopp announced he will leave Anfield at the end of the season, one manager linked with the job, former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso, confirmed he intends to stay at Bayer Leverkusen.

Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi is also said to be a candidate to replace Klopp when the German steps down.

In their first match since their painful FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Manchester United before international break, Liverpool were on the receiving end of De Zerbi's enterprising tactics before two minutes had elapsed.

Brighton's Simon Adingra broke quickly in a devastating counter-attack that caught Liverpool right-back Conor Bradley out of position.

When Virgil van Dijk's scuffed clearance rolled to Welbeck just inside the penalty area, the Brighton forward lashed a strike into the top corner.

Shortly afterwards, Salah nearly grabbed the equaliser with a curler that whistled just wide.

He threatened again from Bradley's cross, but he couldn't keep his shot on target from a good position 10 yards out.

Liverpool's dominance was rewarded in the 27th minute when Brighton failed to clear Salah's header from a corner and Diaz volleyed home from close-range.

Darwin Nunez's agile effort from flat on the turf was saved by Bart Verbruggen just before the break.

Liverpool midfielder Alexis Max Allister squandered a chance against his former club with a header that flashed narrowly wide early in the second half.

Dominik Szoboszlai fired past the far post from 20 yards, while Nunez was denied by Verbruggen at the near post.

Wave after wave of Liverpool pressure crashed against Brighton's defensive wall before De Zerbi's men cracked in the 65th minute.

Mac Allister was the catalyst with a perfectly weighted pass that picked out Salah's run into the area and the forward dispatched a composed low finish past Verbruggen.

In a tense finale, former Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana should have punished his old team, but he rolled his shot wide to Klopp's immense relief.

After the game, Liverpool midfielder Mac Allister told Sky Sports: "We didn't start as we wanted but it was an amazing game. We played against an unbelievable team. I know them [Brighton] very well, I know what they can do and it was a tough match but in the end we won it and we are very happy.

"I would rather not concede so early but the mentality of the boys is amazing and that is what you need when you are 1-0 down, and today we showed it again. But next time we have to start the game winning, not losing."

On setting up Salah's winner, he said: "He's been asking for some passes and assists from me during the week. In the first half we tried to be connected – he missed a couple but then in the second half he showed his qualities."

Liverpool boss Klopp, told the BBC: "I would have loved to not be 1-0 down, I would love to have been four or five nil up but that's the best we played against De Zerbi's Brighton.

"Playing wise it was really good, defending wise, yes always a struggle but there's been games against Brighton we were never close but this time we were calm. That is the first of the last 10, let's keep going."

On move for the winner, he said: "That is an unbelievable ball [from Dominik Szoboszlai]. It is the creativity and the quality, seeing that. He sees Macca, his first touch is incredible and then he sees Mo. How wasteful we were at all the other moments it was good we had this genius football moment to finish the game off.

"Brighton have incredible quality. That is the measure I have for how good we were today because I really respect them. They had chances, they took more risks all of a sudden and we got slightly tired.

"We deserved to win the game. That is what you want and then on top of that it is really cool."

Unbeaten in their last 27 home league games, Liverpool are back in action at Anfield against lowly Sheffield United on Thursday.

Updated: March 31, 2024, 3:53 PM