Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has claimed that Liverpool’s midfield didn’t control the tempo against Brighton.
Speaking to Premier League Productions via Liverpool Echo, the World Cup winner spoke about what he saw from Liverpool’s midfield in the 3-3 draw. He also insisted that Brighton were unlucky not to win.
“They [Brighton] took the Reds by the neck and I think Liverpool were very sloppy in the first 25 minutes, they made so many mistakes defensively and Brighton used it. They played brilliantly, and they deserved their point. To be frank, I think they deserved more from that,” said Petit.
“If you take away Firmino, who scored two goals and saved the afternoon for Liverpool, the best player after him was Alisson. That tells you a lot about how difficult it was for the Reds this afternoon.
“I think there are top players at Liverpool that are not at the right level that they should be; Van Dijk and Salah, as well. Then in the midfield as well – Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago – they are used to controlling the game and the tempo all of the time, and we didn’t see that today.”
Liverpool’s midfield not up to scratch
Liverpool’s midfield has been a constant talking point this season. The Reds failure to properly reinforce the middle of the pitch is already looking like a costly mistake.
Despite that, Jurgen Klopp was able to field his first choice midfield yesterday. It was just the second time this season that all of Fabinho, Thiago and Henderson started a game together.
But the trio didn’t gel against Brighton. Roberto De Zerbi’s side were able to play through Liverpool far too easily.
This did improve as the game went on, but the damage was already done.
With Naby Keita, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all still injured, Klopp doesn’t have too many genuine options to change things.
There’s Harvey Elliott, who came on yesterday, but he’s starting to look a little burned out himself. The 20-year-old has played a part in every game for the Reds this season and the poor results look to have hit his legs.
James Milner is still available, but he shouldn’t be considered. That really just leaves Arthur Melo. It’s understandable that Jurgen Klopp wants to protect his new player from his current stuttering team. But at the same time, Liverpool brought him in to help for exactly this reason.
We need to see what he can do at some point. There’s no time like the present.