'Brave against the best' Response against Liverpool pleases Graham Potter after early errors
Brighton and Hove Albion manager Graham Potter said his side showed ‘great personality’ to compete with Premier League champions Liverpool and that he wanted his team to be ‘brave’ against the best.
Albion lost 3-1 to Liverpool after man of the match Mohamed Salah’s brace helped Liverpool secure victory, but Potter highlighted room for improvement and said his team gave a good account of themselves.
Potter said: “We played well, over the course of the game we gave a good account of ourselves - good personality after going 2-0 down in the manner we did.
“Great personality to drag ourselves back into the game and created chances before we scored a really good goal. There are positives and things we need to learn from, we have to improve as well and that includes myself.
“It’s my responsibility. You’re going to get mistakes in football. Our decision making can improve. We wanted to be brave and play our game against the best, it’s the way to learn and improve.
“The way we responded was really good. The boys gave everything and I am really happy with them.
“It doesn’t help when you give them a start but overall we had some good opportunities. The players got themselves back in, lesser teams could have crumbled and we didn’t.”
Liverpool opened the scoring when Davy Propper was caught out by a high-pressing Naby Keita in the sixth minute, which saw the Guinean international square the ball to an incoming Mohamed Salah to tuck his effort away from inside the Brighton box.
Just two minutes after their first goal, Liverpool punished Brighton again to make it 2-0.
The goal came when Adam Webster overran the ball while stepping out of defence and was dispossessed deep in his own half, the ball eventually fell to Jordan Henderson who swept home a fine long range effort from the edge of the area.
Brighton dusted themselves down and came back at Liverpool, continuing to play some expansive and confident football which led to multiple good chances, most notably for Leandro Trossard and Pascal Gross - with the former being brilliantly denied by Neco Williams.
Brighton were knocking on Liverpool’s door and pulled a goal back just before half time after a lovely four-pass move saw Tariq Lamptey whip in a delightful cross for Trossard, who fired a well-timed half-volley past Alisson Becker to make it 2-1.
Dan Burn had a great opportunity to level the game in the 60th minute after he found himself free at the back post, but he was unable to sort his feet out in time to convert a golden opportunity.
Liverpool put the game to bed in the 75th minute when Andrew Robertson’s corner kick found Salah, who got away from his marker Lamptey and headed past Ryan at his near post from close range.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: “We started really well. We had to adapt a little bit as we knew what they wanted to do but it was a little bit hard to defend.
“We left one or two players in a position where if we won the ball we had players in the counter-attack position.
“We got the first two goals with super balls but we could have scored more. I said to the boys at half-time they could have been 2-2 too. It was a nice game to watch!
“We don’t have an influence on what the other team do. We just have to react. They left two offensive players between the line so when they won the ball it was difficult to protect.
“When you lose the ball in the wrong moment it was difficult to defend. So they deserved the goal but we scored the third goal then could have scored more with some really good chances.”
"I saw two very good football teams tonight, both trying to play football. They had a brave formation and set up but we had a super solution for that. Our high press was outstanding but when we lost the ball in the wrong moment it was really difficult.
"They deserved the goal so we just had to adjust a few things like our protection and position in midfield and it helped.
"The beginning was outstanding and the end was good again. I couldn't respect more what Graham [Potter] is doing here - they made it a really tough game."