Liverpool beat Brighton 3-1 on Wednesday and moved closer to the Premier League point record. Here are five things we learned from an interesting game for the Reds.
Liverpool’s pressing is as good as ever
Liverpool earned two goals inside the first eight minutes, purely from how well they pressed the ball. It was remarkable and even a side like Brighton, who are used to playing it out from the back, couldn’t begin to cope.
It’s been a trend since the return to football. The Reds’ pressing was phenomenal against Crystal Palace, for instance, while they also troubled Manchester City – until things fell apart.
Neco Williams needs time
Hardly a surprise but the teenager isn’t quite ready for Premier League football. He’s close, though, but Tariq Lamptey troubled him at the Amex.
But Williams is only 19 and was on his first start – there was always a chance he’d struggle. Two things are worth remembering, though. Firstly, he did look good going forwards and secondly, he didn’t have Sadio Mane in front of him. Williams definitely deserves more time and hopefully, this was a great learning experience.
Joe Gomez is out of sorts
Gomez hasn’t really looked right since the Palace game. He’s perhaps struggling to rebound after a difficult game against City, where Jurgen Klopp took him off at half-time. He didn’t recover against Aston Villa and again didn’t look quite right here.
It’s nothing to really worry about, of course. Gomez has played a vital role in the title win this season and it’s only been a few games. That and he’s still just 23. But we hope to see some better performances over the next four games.
Naby Keita looks threatening
Keita didn’t shine all game but he troubled Brighton right from the start and set Liverpool on their way for the 3-1 win. He pressed and got an assist for Mohamed Salah’s first and he won the ball back for the second, too.
Keita had a few good moments running with the ball, too. He’s still not quite at the elite level we hope from him but this was a promising performance. If he can keep improving and influencing games, Keita can build a platform to really kick on next season.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain needs a good game
Oxlade-Chamberlain had another game where things didn’t quite work for him, even from the wing. And he’s got reason to be wary about that – the likes of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott want chances.
We wrote recently that Jones, in particular, is looking for a midfield berth. Keita backed up his own place but Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t delivering at the moment. If he doesn’t step things up soon, he might find himself quite far down the pecking order.