Liverpool 2-1 Brighton: Van Dijk double powers reds to 11 point lead

Premier League
Saturday 30 November 2019 - 3:00 pm
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⚽️ van Dijk18'
⚽️ van Dijk25'
69'↔️ Montoya off, Alzate on
69'↔️ Bissouma off, Trossard on
Salah off, Lallana on ↔️70'
Firmino off, Origi on ↔️75'
Oxlade-Chamberlain off, Adrián on ↔️77'
79'⚽️ Dunk
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Liverpool ended November by taking an eleven-point lead over existing champions Man City, and became the first league club to hit the 40 point mark.

Despite some initial promise it was the reds who dominated the first half, with a 2-0 lead flattering Brighton - who had much to thank of their goalkeeper Mat Ryan who pulled off four saves to deny extra goals in the Liverpool account.

However the reds took their foot off the gas in the second half and Alisson Becker was sent off when he handled outside the area, with Brighton scoring from the resultant free kick.  It ensured that ten-men LFC ended the game under some pressure.

Reds first without Fabinho

The reds midfielder was due to miss this game in any case due to collecting 5 yellow cards this season.  Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came in to the midfield, allowing Jordan Henderson to start the game in front of the back four.

Trent Alexander-Arnold also returned to the starting line-up and his return was to prove pivotal.  From a free kick and then a corner he provided two perfect crosses for Virgil van Dijk to dispatch and get started on what could have been an amazing first half hat-trick.

Mat Ryan pulled off a string of first half saves.  Denying Mane, a couple from Firmino and Oxlade-Chamberlain from putting a serious dent into the away sides goal difference.

But the second half didn't see the reds advance further.

As it happened: LFC 2-1 Brighton

A long ball upfield from Brighton saw Alisson commit to coming out of his area to smother the chance.  He did stop the chance, but illegally by using his hands outside the area.  The resultant red card will see him handed a one match ban - the Merseyside derby.

Adrian quickly came on and tried to set the wall for the free kick, but whilst doing so Martin Atkinson blew his whistle and Lewis Dunk quickly put the free kick in the opposite corner.  Adrian stranded.  2-1.

Liverpool fans will be rightly concerned that Martin Atkinson, he of Roberto Firmino's armpit decision, will be in charge of VAR in the midweek Merseyside derby.

The final minutes were left frantic.  The reds down to ten men and Adrian without a decent warm up in the freezing Liverpool temperatures.

But he saved a late shot from Aaron Mooy and eventually got rid of a dangerous situation with Pascal Gross and the reds made it over the line to the full time whistle.

11 points clear of City and Leicester - although Brendan Rodgers do still have to play their 14th game of the season.

A tough month is ahead but Liverpool could not have dreamed of such a cushion when the campaign began in August.

Next up.  Everton.

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