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Brighton smashes haggard Liverpool

Danny Welbeck deftly flicks the ball over Joe Gomez's shoulder before smashing past Alisson to give Brighton a commanding 3-0 lead over Liverpool.

Brighton and Hove Albion roasted Liverpool 3-0 on Saturday in a score line that only begins to tell the tale from the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

March staked Roberto De Zerbi’s Seagulls to a two-goal lead after halftime and Brighton has now scored two or more goals in five-straight Premier League contests and won four of them. Danny Welbeck completed the scoring in the 81st minute after Liverpool showed brief signs of life.


Liverpool was largely controlled for the first hour of the match, conceding two goals in the first eight minutes of the second half in a manner that was entirely befitting their performance.

Brighton moves ahead of Liverpool into seventh place with 30 points. Both teams have played 18 matches and the Seagulls are two points clear of the Reds and five points off fourth-place Newcastle United.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Sluggish Liverpool ran off the pitch

We’ll get to Brighton in a moment, but let’s begin with Liverpool and start by saying that there are excuses for the Reds with injuries and fixture congestion but they weren’t excuses they were taking in previous years. Given their spending, losing to Brentford by two, drawing Wolves, and losing to Brighton by three consecutively just shouldn’t happen to this club.

This, frankly, wasn’t close and it looked absolutely uninspired. Given Jurgen Klopp’s reputation and acumen, the only excuse worth proffering is that the Reds are just finally empty after years of endless competition. Manchester City, at the moment, may want a piece of that conversation as well.

But Liverpool has now allowed eight goals in its last three matches across all competitions and all three could arguably be losses given the legislation of Mohamed Salah’s offside non-offside goal in the 2-2 cup draw with Wolves.

Pick a Liverpool player outside of, perhaps, Ibrahima Konate, Mohamed Salah, and Thiago Alcantara and you’re either talking about a player who was poor, lethargic, or both. Trent Alexander-Arnold was a passenger outside of possession aside from an early goal-line clearance. Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, and Jordan Henderson looked steps off the pace. Cody Gakpo... well, we learned he was out there when he nearly got Liverpool back in business with 20 minutes to play.

Brilliant Brighton flies the flag for talent identification.

And let’s credit Brighton for the above, too. The Seagulls exposed Liverpool with pace, electricity, and effort. The tactics were there, too, as De Zerbi flexed his depth without wantaway Leandro Trossard and with 18-year-old Evan Ferguson continuing to make a bright case in attack.

Ultimately, though, Alexis Mac Allister continues to show the brilliance of Brighton’s talent identification. An $8 million (approximation) buy in 2019 is now probably 10 times that in value, and Mac Allister really doesn’t have to be anxious to leave town. Moises Caicedo, too.

Kaoru Mitoma looks the truth, too, and when Brighton sells Trossard -- assuming they do -- the Seagulls can point to a possible discount given his complaints while adding him to a list of “Can Brighton survive their sale?” that already includes Marc Cucurella, Yves Bissouma, and Ben White

And these shows of strength are happening despite Enock Mwepu’s heart ailment ending his career so early. Even in the feverish fight of the Premier League, Brighton looks a mainstay.

Stars of the Show

Solly March

Alexis Mac Allister

Ibrahima Konate

Kaoru Mitoma

Danny Welbeck

What’s next

Brighton has a week to prepare for a trip to Leicester City on Jan. 21, while Liverpool has a Tuesday date at Wolves for an FA Cup replay before a visit from Chelsea on Jan. 21.

Jurgen Klopp reaction: ‘Can’t remember a worse game’ by Liverpool

“Congratulations to Brighton who played a super game against a bad opponent,” Jurgen Klopp said after the game.

“I can’t remember a good phase, period, whatever. Tried to change formation, it didn’t work, my fault. Second half, abd start, being 1-0 down and the rest... it was really too easy for Brighton. The organization was completely gone. It was just too easy. It was deserved defeat.”

How do you fix this? “Organizing it. Doing better than today should be easy because I can’t remember a worse game. ... There was no sign of this performance before the game. It was nothing I thought yesterday or this morning could happen.

Solly March goal videos: Two goals in eight minutes

Danny Welbeck goal video: March adds an assist

How to watch Brighton vs Liverpool live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, SaturdayTV Channel/Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Key storylines & (young) star players

Brighton scored four against Everton one week after conceding four to Arsenal. It seems likely to find itself in another high-scoring affair as Liverpool will not have Virgil van Dijk for this one.

Liverpool lost 3-1 at Brentford and gets a similar test on Saturday. The visitors followed up their loss to the Bees with a fortunate 2-2 draw against Wolves in the FA Cup. Can Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, and Co. deliver the goods?

Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Leandro Trossard (calf). OUT: Jakub Moder (knee).

Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: James Milner (thigh), Roberto Firmino (calf). OUT: Diogo Jota (calf), Arthur (thigh), Virgil van Dijk (thigh), Luis Diaz (knee).

Follow @NicholasMendola