Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah were on the scoresheet as Liverpool beat Brighton 2-0 away to close the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester City to three points.
The Seagulls, who had lost their four previous games, made a bright start in the early stages with Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard spurning chances.
Jurgen Klopp’s side eventually got going and took the lead when Diaz bravely headed in Joel Matip’s cross before being taken out by goalkeeper Robert Sanchez who was fortunate to escape a card.
The Reds dominated the rest of the half with Mohamed Salah, on a mini goal drought, going close twice.
Graham Potter brought on Adam Lallana at the break, who was replaced seven minutes later after a suspected hamstring injury, and they should have equalised at the start of the second half with Trossard hammering the ball over from close range.
Salah continued to be uncharacteristically wasteful in front of goal but doubled the lead from the penalty spot with aplomb after a handball from Yves Bisssouma to seal the win.
The result sees Liverpool close the gap on Man City with both teams having played the same number of games while the Seagulls remain in 13th position.
Should Robert Sanchez have been sent off?
VAR took a look at the Diaz goal where he was caught by the keeper’s leg recklessly but bizarrely ruled it was okay. It certainly merited Mike Dean to at least have a look at the on-pitch monitor and give the keeper a red or a yellow card. There have certainly been previous instances of keepers sent off for similar incidents, Sanchez had lost control as he clattered into Diaz who fortunately escaped serious injury. It was among a host of incidents the referee and his assistants got wrong.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Luis Diaz (Liverpool): The Colombian only made his debut a month ago but looks like he has played for the Reds for years with the way he has adapted to their style of play, a lesson in smart recruitment. The former FC Porto player created numerous chances with his pace and unselfish play down the flank and broke the deadlock with a brave header.
BRIGHTON: Sanchez 5, Lamptey 5, Veltman 5, Dunk 7, Cucurella 6, Alzate 5, Bissouma 5, Mac Allister 5, Trossard 5, March 5, Maupay 5. Subs: Gross 5, Lallana n/a, Welbeck 6.
LIVERPOOL: Alisson 6, Alexander-Arnold 8, Matip 8, Van Dijk 7, Robertson 7, Keita 6, Henderson 5, Fabinho 5, Salah 6, Mane 5, Diaz 8. Subs: Jota 5, Thiago 5, Milner n/a.
19′ – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Diaz with a header, beating the keeper to the ball, from Matip’s long ball. The Colombian is hurt though after a collision with Sanchez.
47′ – WHAT A CHANCE! Maupay looked to have used his arm to control the ball, it runs loose to Trossard in the box who smashes it over.
58′ – SALAH MISS! Diaz with a fine run, he squares it to Salah whose scuffed shot goes wide.
60′ – LIVERPOOL PENALTY! Bissouma is adjudged to have blocked Keita’s strike with his hand. Salah steps up and hammers it down the centre.