Premier League • England

Liverpool surrender two-goal lead as Brighton tame Salah in pulsating draw

Liverp[ool pair Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino battling Adam Lallana in 2021

Brighton roared back from two goals down and kept Mohamed Salah quiet to hold Liverpool to a 2-2 draw in a pulsating contest at Anfield.

Both sides made a lightning quick start at Anfield, but with chances coming at each end, it was the Liverpool who were more clinical. Solly March sprung the offside trap to get in behind Liverpool’s defence, but Alisson Becker was equal to his rifled low strike.

Moments later, Virgil van Dijk’s superb cross-field ball sent Mohamed Salah scampering free. The in-form Egyptian teed up Jordan Henderson who whipped a fantastic strike into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Liverpool were dominating the possession stakes, but Graham Potter’s well-coached Seagulls were proving difficult to contain when afforded the chance to break forward.

Yves Bissouma forced Alisson into another fine stop with a vital fingertips save that pushed the effort onto the post. At the other end, Roberto Firmino scooped a glorious chance from inside the area wastefully over the crossbar.

The hosts were forced into an early substitution after just 19 minutes when Naby Keita was replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The Guinea international was a surprise inclusion after being stretchered off against Manchester United last week, and Jurgen Klopp’s gamble today appeared to backfire.

The Germans front three weren’t backfiring, however, and substitute Oxlade-Chamberlain soon teed up Sadio Mane to double Liverpool’s lead.

A lack of Brighton pressure allowed Liverpool to work the ball to the Oxlade-Chamberlain down the right. Under no duress, he picked out the unmarked Mane at the far post who powered his header beyond Robert Sanchez.

Sanchez then escaped what would’ve been a nightmare moment when his clearance cannoned off Mane into his own net. Liverpool’s high press proved too hot to handle for Brighton’s back-line, but VAR ruled the goal out after the decisive final touch had come off Mane’s arm.

What could’ve been 3-0 quickly became 2-1 when Enock Mwepu plundered a goal of the season contender. In similar fashion to Henderson’s strike, Mwepu curled a first-time strike from even further out over Alisson who appeared to lose track of the strike in the sun.

Salah saw a goal correctly ruled out for offside to begin the second half before Adam Lallana spurned a superb chance when shooting straight at Alisson. If the first five minutes after the break were anything to go by, the chances of the scoreline remaining 2-1 were incredibly slim.

Brighton levelled the scores in the 65th minute when a sweeping counter-attack cut Liverpool open.

Lallana’s pass was the decisive one, playing in Leandro Trossard saw off Andy Robertson with a fake shot before cutting inside and slotting beyond Alisson.

Trossard had the ball ion the net for a second time soon after, but the lively Belgian was adjudged to have strayed slightly offside in the build-up.

Diogo Jota was called upon to replace Firmino as Klopp shuffled his deck. With 15 minutes remaining, the scores remained 2-2 with both sides believing they could snatch a winner.

But despite the best efforts of both, the stalemate would persist until the final whistle as Liverpool were held to a costly draw with Brighton.

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