Scintillating. Breathtaking. Phenomenal. Words that could be used to describe Liverpool as a whole or Mohamed Salah alone, as football aficionados run out of words to describe the record-breaking attacker after his three-goal showing at Old Trafford.
Naby Keita and Diogo Jota also made the net ripple against Man United – who also saw Paul Pogba sent for an early bath – as Liverpool’s remarkable goalscoring rate continued in a game that did not quite cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job in the Old Trafford dugout.
A much-changed Liverpool side struggled to score for an hour against Preston North End in Wednesday’s EFL Cup clash before Takumi Minamino’s outstretched leg helped his side break the deadlock, while a cheeky Divock Origi scorpion kick put the tie to bed as Liverpool advanced to the quarter-finals.
Seeking to stretch their unbeaten Premier League run to 20 matches this weekend, Liverpool remain second in the table – one point behind leaders Chelsea – and Klopp’s side have scored at least two goals in 13 of their last 14 top-flight encounters during that remarkable run.
All in all, Liverpool’s stunning rate of scoring at least two goals per game has now stretched to 11 successive matches in all competitions, but only eight of their 27 league strikes this term have come at Anfield, where Brighton have pleasant memories of last season’s battle.
Brighton’s resilience in the early stages of the 2021-22 season has certainly been admirable, but the results have not been coming for Graham Potter’s side in the last few weeks, as Man City ran riot at the Etihad Stadium in gameweek nine.
Phil Foden starred with a brace while Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez also got in on the act, and the Seagulls’ hopes of an EFL Cup run were also dashed in midweek, as Leicester City prevailed on penalties following a 2-2 draw in that last-16 tie.
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Now winless in five across all competitions, Brighton are just about managing to cling on to fifth spot in the table but are level on points with Tottenham Hotspur, while Arsenal, Leicester City, Everton and Manchester United are all within touching distance as well.
However, the Seagulls can take solace in the fact that their unbeaten away run in the 2021-22 Premier League is still intact – taking eight points from their four road fixtures so far – and they have only conceded twice on the road in that solid streak.
A Steven Alzate winner saw Brighton march to a memorable 1-0 win at Anfield in the Premier League last term, and they also held the Reds to a 1-1 draw at the Amex last November in a game that was remembered more for Klopp’s post-match rant at Des Kelly.