Brighton's Irish defender Shane Duffy (L) vies with Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on August 25, 2018. (Photo by Lindsey PARNABY / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /
Brighton defender Shane Duffy, left, up against Liverpool goalscorer Mohamed Salah. AFP 

Liverpool go top as Mohamed Salah goal sinks Brighton

It would mean more in May than August, but Liverpool are top of the league. They may have extended their 100 per cent start to the current campaign with the least spectacular of their three displays but a team who have dropped too many points at home against their inferiors in the past can savour both the result and the sight of the table. For the first time since November 2016, they can stare down from the divisional summit.

Manchester United’s conquerors Brighton & Hove Albion were beaten by Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian’s record-breaking 32nd Premier League goal of last season came against Albion. So did his second of the new campaign and it sufficed for a Liverpool side who were not at their most explosive or dynamic.

Their performance peaked in the game's opening quarter, culminating in Salah's well-taken goal, as Liverpool began in the manner of a team who were given a fillip by the full-time score from Molineux, where Manchester City had dropped points against Wolves, and Bournemouth's comeback against Everton.

That bright start proved a fine way of combating Brighton’s defensive approach. Albion had the division’s worst away record last season, recognised the need to be tougher to beat on their travels and duly dropped the creator Pascal Gross, who was instrumental in last week’s win over Jose Mourinho’s side, to reinforce the midfield with the summer signing Yves Bissouma.

Yet stopping Liverpool is not as simple as that. By the time Salah broke the deadlock, they had already come close three times, offering different illustrations of how to combat the congestion in the middle. Andrew Robertson outflanked Brighton when he crossed and Roberto Firmino drew a superb save from Mathew Ryan with a header. Trent Alexander-Arnold showed the merit of long-range shooting, clipping the bar with a free kick after Naby Keita had been fouled. Liverpool’s feared front three had also demonstrated their ability to combine when Salah found Sadio Mane, who had sidefooted wide.

Salah had been profligate in Monday’s win over Crystal Palace, although he still contributed to two goals. His radar functioned rather better here as he scored one, his 29th goal in as many games at Anfield. It was steered in with expert precision. Firmino was the provider, sliding the ball into the Egyptian’s path after a move that also involved Mane, but the instigator was James Milner, who regained possession by dispossessing Bissouma. It highlighted both the merits of Klopp’s gegenpressing, with Liverpool swift to score after winning the ball, and Milner’s early-season excellence.


Read more:

No complaints from Guardiola as late Laporte header rescues point for Man City

Richard Jolly: Liverpool's costly upgrades prove their worth in 'big step' win over Crystal Palace

In pictures: Mohamed Salah at the centre of dive storm as Liverpool defeat Crystal Palace

Liverpool report Mohamed Salah to police for using mobile while driving


At one stage, Brighton seemed to be taking in in turns to foul Milner in a bid to nullify him. Meanwhile, Gini Wijnaldum had a fine first half in the holding role, even if his defensive credentials were scarcely tested, as Jurgen Klopp named an unchanged team. Once again, Fabinho, the first of his summer signings, was not even on the bench.

Chris Hughton was more proactive in selection in a damage-limitation exercise. His teams had conceded at least four goals in each of his five previous managerial meetings with Liverpool. This amounted to his best result at Anfield, with neither Brighton’s goal difference nor their morale taking a hammering.

That owed something to Ryan, who made further saves from Wijnaldum, Mane and Joe Gomez. Yet Liverpool were uncharacteristically lacklustre in a second half when they created too little. Mane, after an electric start to the season, misjudged some passes while Firmino’s wait for a first goal of the campaign goes on.

But Brighton are yet to score on the road. While Anthony Knockaert drew a save from Alisson with an early shot, the goalkeeper was tested more by Alexander-Arnold, with a slice the goalkeeper had to tip wide. His third consecutive clean sheet was notable for an impudent piece of skill to deceive Knockaert.

The French winger had spurned the chance to be the first player to score against the Brazilian since his move to Liverpool, skewing an effort wide. The substitute Gross came closer, with Alisson’s acrobatics to keep out his header showing why Liverpool valued him so highly.

They, too, could have scored late on, through Alexander-Arnold’s shot and a Wijnaldum flick that required a goal-line clearance from Shane Duffy, but one goal was enough. They are top.


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets


1.           Featherweight 66kg

Ben Lucas (AUS) v Ibrahim Kendil (EGY)

2.           Lightweight 70kg

Mohammed Kareem Aljnan (SYR) v Alphonse Besala (CMR)

3.           Welterweight 77kg

Marcos Costa (BRA) v Abdelhakim Wahid (MAR)

4.           Lightweight 70kg

Omar Ramadan (EGY) v Abdimitalipov Atabek (KGZ)

5.           Featherweight 66kg

Ahmed Al Darmaki (UAE) v Kagimu Kigga (UGA)

6.           Catchweight 85kg

Ibrahim El Sawi (EGY) v Iuri Fraga (BRA)

7.           Featherweight 66kg

Yousef Al Husani (UAE) v Mohamed Allam (EGY)

8.           Catchweight 73kg

Mostafa Radi (PAL) v Abdipatta Abdizhali (KGZ)

9.           Featherweight 66kg

Jaures Dea (CMR) v Andre Pinheiro (BRA)

10.         Catchweight 90kg

Tarek Suleiman (SYR) v Juscelino Ferreira (BRA)

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

Nepotism is the name of the game

Salman Khan’s father, Salim Khan, is one of Bollywood’s most legendary screenwriters. Through his partnership with co-writer Javed Akhtar, Salim is credited with having paved the path for the Indian film industry’s blockbuster format in the 1970s. Something his son now rules the roost of. More importantly, the Salim-Javed duo also created the persona of the “angry young man” for Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s, reflecting the angst of the average Indian. In choosing to be the ordinary man’s “hero” as opposed to a thespian in new Bollywood, Salman Khan remains tightly linked to his father’s oeuvre. Thanks dad. 

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government


Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Film: Raid
Dir: Rajkumar Gupta
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Ileana D'cruz and Saurabh Shukla

Verdict:  Three stars 


Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy