Salah & Alisson Turn On Style To Send Liverpool Top

Salah & Alisson Turn On Style To Send Liverpool Top

What’s red, squeaky clean and has vertigo? Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.

After Manchester City surprisingly dropped points against newly-promoted Wolves earlier in the day, Liverpool had the chance to sit top of the table.

All they needed to do was beat Brighton at home, which they did. But in stark contrast to the 9-1 aggregate score in both fixtures last season, Liverpool found this outing to be much more testing as Chris Hughton’s men pulled off a disciplined performance to hold the Reds to a solitary goal victory.

Jurgen Klopp named an unchanged side for the third game in a row. And although Liverpool were by no means at their best, they managed to grind out the win. Here are three talking points from the game.

 

The Main Man Mo

As could be said of most of teammates, Mohamed Salah seemed to be below par compared to the heady heights he had set himself last season. However, his few misplaced passes and skewed shots were all forgotten by the one moment of magic that ultimately decided the game.

In the twenty-third minute, captain James Milner won the ball back in midfield and a combination of Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Salah followed for the Egyptian’s second goal of the season.

Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold came the closest to opening the scoring with only Matthew Ryan and the bar respectively denying them. Salah demonstrated that even on an off day, he is a formidable threat.

 

Showboating Alisson

“He can obviously play football,” Jurgen Klopp quipped regarding his new goalkeeper in his post-match press conference.

He was alluding to an audacious chip Alisson successfully pulled off when he came under pressure by Anthony Knockaert midway through the second-half.

Klopp did say he much preferred Alisson’s eighty-ninth minute save from Pascal Gross that denied Brighton the point they craved.

The Brazilian was, however, nearly caught out a litter later on whilst playing it a little too cool for comfort.

But at the moment, his positives far outweigh any minor negatives and he is yet to concede a goal. The number thirteen may be unlucky for some but not so far for Alisson.

 

Centre-back Partnership

Virgil Van Dijk continues his stellar start to his Liverpool career by bringing calm to those around him.

Against Brighton, he led from the back (which defies the very definition of leading itself) and his composure emanates to those in his vicinity.

His statistics in a Liverpool shirt are impressive to say the least. Since his debut, Liverpool have conceded just ten goals, have had eleven clean sheets, and haven’t conceded at Anfield since late February.

He struck up a solid partnership with Dejan Lovren last season which appeared to be Klopp’s first choice, but Lovren’s stomach injury exacerbated by Croatia’s run to the World Cup final, has forced Klopp to bring in Joe Gomez alongside the Dutchman, and the youngster seems to have grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

He has been flawless in the first three games and with Lovren likely to be out until after the international break, Klopp will certainly have tough time deciding whether he brings Lovren back in or keeps the faith with Gomez who has deputised brilliantly in the Croatians absence.

If the clean sheets keep on coming, Lovren may not get back in at all.

Nine points from nine is wonderful but Klopp knows it’s a long season ahead. However, his team are showing the traits necessary for a credible title challenge; winning without playing well is a vital characteristic in champions of the past.

If Klopp can unlock this level on a consistent basis, who knows what Liverpool could achieve this season and beyond.

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