Just in: Brighton edge out Liverpool out of FA Cup
Brighton’s Kouru Mitoma scored a stunning goal in the 93rd minute to condemn Liverpool. The defeat further aggravates their crisis and heaps more pressure on Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool came out strong and a very incisive Mohamed Salah almost scored the first goal in the opening minutes, but Lewis Dunk made a goal-saving block on the line.
The Egyptian led the Reds’ attack, his speed causing real problems to the Brighton defence.
However, the Seagulls are tough to beat at home. A good run down the right flank by Solly March gave Evan Ferguson an opportunity But Trent Alexander-Arnold matched Dunk’s heroics to keep it 0-0.
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The England full-back is always criticised for his defensive frailty, but on this occasion he was perfect. Mitoma was starting to cause problems though. The Japanese was carrying Brighton’s attacking weight and with a repertoire of feints, he was driving Liverpool’s defenders crazy.
Salah missed another chance to make it 1-0 but all his pressure eventually paid off, as he set up Harvey Elliott who did stick it in the back of the net, continuing his scoring streak in FA Cup.
But Brighton are not about giving up, and certainly not at home. It was Tariq Lamptey’s faith that perfectly demonstrates the grit of this team.
The young full-back latched on to a ball from the edge of the box and with all the luck (or guile) in the world, Lewis Dunk was on hand to divert the ball into the back of the net. The defender gave a sheepish smile as he scored the goal, but they all count the same.
The Japanese was Brighton’s biggest danger point. He was giving Alexander-Arnold nightmares, who looked on helplessly as the Japanese was driving down the left flank.
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Klopp saw this and opted to change Alexander-Arnold for James Milner, precisely to stop Mitoma’s runs. The German also made two more changes, bringing on Darwin Nunez and Jordan Henderson to give the team more bite.
But Klopp’s changes did little good and Liverpool did not grow into the game.
Brighton did, and created the best chances of the second half through March, though Alisson made the save.
The game was on a knife-edge and either side could have taken it on the counter-attack. And in this atmosphere of chaos, Mitoma appeared. The Japanese had the last word of the match to eliminate Liverpool from the FA Cup.
Knocked out of the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and 21 points behind the Premier League leaders, Liverpool now have the Champions League as their only chance of winning a title this season.