Despite Liverpool initially coming back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 against Brighton at Anfield, the Seagulls snatched a point right at the death as Roberto de Zerbi’s first match in charge of the south coast side ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw.
The Seagulls took a shock lead after just four minutes, as Leandro Trossard finished well into the bottom corner from close range past Alisson in the Liverpool goal after some neat one-touch play in the build-up.
Brighton’s afternoon at Anfield then got even better as Trossard had his brace after 18 minutes. The Belgian latched onto Solly March’s first-time through pass in the penalty area to once again finish low into the corner of the net, as the home crowd were stunned.
Liverpool slowly grew into the game despite Brighton’s threat on the break, and in the 33rd minute, the hosts had one back. Mohamed Salah’s cut-back in the penalty area found Roberto Firmino, and the forward had an easy tap-in at the back post. After a VAR check for an initial offside call against Salah, the initial decision to disallow the goal was overturned.
Jurgen Klopp’s side then had their equaliser nine minutes into the second half, as Firmino notched his second goal of the game with a cool finish into the net from close range following a clinical counter attack.
Liverpool thought they had completed the comeback with 25 minutes to play as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner rebounded off the arm of Adam Webster in the six-yard box and into the Brighton defender’s own net to give the Reds what appeared set to be their third league win of the season.
However, Brighton dramatically equalised seven minutes from time, as Trossard tapped in at the back post from Kaoru Mitoma’s cross to seal a stunning hat-trick and to secure a vital point for his side.
TALKING POINT – GREAT START FOR ROBERTO DE ZERBI
The 43-year-old newly appointed Brighton head coach certainly saw a lot out there today in his first match in charge of the Seagulls. Despite seeing his side concede three goals, there will definitely be a lot positives to take.
Brighton looked fantastic during the first half and caught Liverpool out on many occasions, particularly on the counter attack. De Zerbi has stated in his press conferences that he doesn’t intend to change things too rapidly at the club following the departure of Graham Potter, and it is clear that the Italian has been left with solid foundations to build on as he looks to put his own stamp on the team.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – LEANDRO TROSSARD
What a clinical performance from the 27-year-old Belgian attacker, who becomes just the third opposition player in Premier League history to score a famous hat-trick at Anfield.
Trossard proved to be a menace in the penalty area to deal with, and he linked up play very well with the team-mates around him such as Danny Welbeck and Pascal Gross.
In total, Trossard scored three goals from his four shots on target and takes his goal tally to five for the season in the league for Brighton.
Liverpool: Alisson 6, Alexander-Arnold 6, Matip 6, van Dijk 6, Tsimikas 6, Henderson 6, Fabinho 7, Thiago 7, Salah 6, Carvalho 6, Firmino 8. Subs: Elliott 6, Milner 6, Nunez 6, Jota 5, Diaz 7.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Sanchez 7, Webster 6, Dunk 6, Veltman 6, Estupinian 7, Mac Allister 7, Caicedo 6, March 7, Trossard 9, Gross 6, Welbeck 7. Subs: Lamptey 6, Lallana 6, Mitoma 7.
4’ – GOAL! (Leandro Trossard) – What a start for Brighton here! Trossard strikes from close range! A cross comes in from the right, which Alexander-Arnold does not fully deal with, as he heads it back into the path of Henderson, but he loses out to Caicedo. Some one touch passing sees it threaded through to Trossard in the area, and he finishes it well into the bottom corner past Alisson!
18’ – GOAL! (Leandro Trossard) – Unbelievable here – what a start for Roberto de Zerbi in his first match in charge at Anfield! Estupinian plays in Welbeck down the left, and the striker cuts inside, and plays in March. He picks out Trossard in the area with a sublime first-touch pass, and the Belgian finishes beautifully again into the far corner.
32’ – HOW’S THAT NOT GONE IN? – What a save from Sanchez! Alexander-Arnold plays in a pass forward initially intended for Salah, who is in an offside position, but the ball actually finds Carvalho. The young attacker is initially crowded out by the Brighton defence in the penalty area as he tries to release the Egyptian with a through pass, but the ball eventually cannons off Dunk and back into Salah’s path, but Sanchez makes a brilliant last-ditch save with his legs to deny him from close range!
33’ – GOAL! – (Roberto Firmino) – Henderson plays a ball over the top for Salah, who then takes it down and plays in Firmino inside the area with the cut-back, and the Brazilian finishes well into the net beyond Sanchez from close range. Initially the goal is ruled out for offside on Salah, but after a VAR check, the Liverpool forward is level with Webster, and the goal is given. Liverpool are back in it.
54′ – GOAL! – (Roberto Firmino) – What a counter attack by Liverpool! At one end, Brighton look to score as March’s cross towards the back post is cut out, and the home side instantly break in numbers. The ball is worked out to the left flank for Diaz, and the Colombian drives with it towards the penalty area. He then cuts inside, and plays it to Firmino inside the area. He takes a couple of touches to take the ball away from Dunk and Webster, before finishing well into the middle of the net!
64′ – GOAL! (Adam Webster OG) – The hosts have completely turned this game around, and it is a scrappy goal! A corner comes in from the right-hand side from Alexander-Arnold and Sanchez comes off his line for the ball, but he completely misses it! The ball then cannons off the arm of Adam Webster and into the back of the net.
83′ – GOAL! (Leandro Trossard) – Anfield are stunned here! Mitoma sends a cross across the box from the left, and Van Dijk completely misses his clearance. Welbeck leaves the ball for Trossard to strike, and the Belgian has his hat-trick despite Alisson’s best efforts to keep it out!
90+1′ – BIG FINGERTIP SAVE – Alexander-Arnold opts to hit the free-kick from 30-yards out, and he bends it over the wall, but Sanchez makes a brilliant save with his fingertips to just about tip it past the post!