Pascal Gross levelled from the spot in stoppage time, cancelling out Diogo Jota’s goal in a match which was marked by controversy over VAR.
Neal Maupay had already missed one penalty for Brighton when referee Stuart Atwell pointed to the spot after consulting the pitchside monitor, while Liverpool had the ball in the back of the net twice only for VAR to rule out both goals for offside.
“It feels very unfair at this moment in time and very frustrating, but you’ve got to move on and get on with it,” the Liverpool captain told the club website.
“We just need to adapt and give everything for the games coming up.
“That’s the decision that was made, even though I don’t think it was the right decision by a long way. But it is what it is. We move on and we keep going.
“I don’t think it affects us. If anything it makes us stronger as a team.
“When you are going through difficult periods – whether that would be performance, results, whatever that is and at this moment in time it’s probably injuries – it makes the group even more together and more stronger.
“We need to try to recover and get players back fit as soon as possible.”
Jurgen Klopp’s already injury-hit squad were dealt a further blow when James Milner was forced off with a hamstring injury, although Henderson made his return for the first time since the international break as a half-time substitute.
Brighton defender Adam Webster believes the results will come if the Seagulls can maintain the performance they showed against Liverpool.
Speaking to the club website, the 25-year-old said: “This season it feels that in a lot of games we haven’t conceded many shots and Maty Ryan has not had a lot to do.
“Liverpool are the champions for a reason but we limited them pretty well on Saturday.
“We feel like we are building something. Each game throws up different challenges and it’s not easy to pick up points in the Premier League but if we maintain the consistency of performances, the results will come.”
More VAR controversy ensued as Liverpool moved to the top of the Premier League table, despite conceding a late goal to draw 1-1 at Brighton.
The Reds took the lead early in the second half with a well-worked Diogo Jota goal, but Brighton — with their second penalty kick of the day, after Neal Maupay missed their first — equalized late on through Pascal Gross’ spot-kick.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were denied goals for offside by the video technology, the first of which looked onside, and the visitors — whose injuries woes continued with James Milner picking up an issue — barely merited their point in a disjointed and at times understandably tired performance.
Liverpool, who lined up with a team full of attackers with Takumi Minamino, Salah, Jota, and Roberto Firmino all starting, started the game with verve and had two early openings in a bright first ten minutes.
Dropping deep, Firmino — who followed up his good showing against Leicester last weekend with another solid performance — played an incisive pass into the channel for Jota. Running through, the Portuguese international played a ball towards Salah that surely would have resulted in a goal if it wasn’t for the intervention of a Brighton defender.
Another opportunity soon landed for the Egyptian when Fabinho’s raking pass from the back sent him behind, but instead of taking it down, Salah opted to hit the shot first time and the ball flew wide.
The hosts settled from there on in and they had a great chance when Aaron Connolly, after the otherwise impressive Nat Phillips bit in too hard on a challenge he didn’t win and left a gap, was sent in behind the Reds’ defence. Bearing down on Alisson’s goal, the Galway man dragged his shot wide and the champions breathed a sigh of relief.
With Liverpool’s midfield a non-factor, the Seagulls began turning the screw and manufactured a chance to score when Connolly — the home team’s main out ball — was fouled by Neco Williams in the box. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and was correct given that the Welshman needlessly dove into the challenge.
Maupay stepped up but dragged his penalty wide and Williams’ blushes were spared.
The controversy in the opening half wasn’t done there, though, and the visitors thought they had opened the scoring when Salah — after a brilliant touch and through ball from Firmino — ran through on goal before expertly finishing past Mat Ryan. VAR was consulted and the Egyptian, by a barely believable fraction, was adjudged to have been offside.
With captain Jordan Henderson replacing Williams and Milner dropping to right-back, the visitors improved in the second half, and they made it count on the scoreboard after an hour. After he played a neat one-two with Salah on the edge of the box, Diogo Jota feigned shooting twice — waiting for the opportune moment — before picking his spot and firing low into the bottom left corner.
The assist was the Egyptian’s last contribution of note, and he was replaced by Mane soon after. The Senegalese flier thought he had wrapped up the points when he nodded Andrew Robertson’s free-kick home, but, for once, he was correctly determined offside and the goal was chalked out.
Looking jaded, the Reds — who had Curtis Jones, who replaced Milner, filling in at right-back — were under the pump in the closing minutes and repelled all of Brighton’s efforts until Robertson, unfortunately, kicked Danny Welbeck in the process of making a clearance and Brighton were rewarded their second penalty.
This time, with a different taker, the Seagulls made no mistake and Gross slotted the penalty to end a controversial game in a draw.
Liverpool team: Alisson; Williams, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Minamino; Salah, Firmino, Jota.
Replacements: Henderson for Williams, Mane for Salah, Jones for Milner.
Subs not used: Adrian, Origi, Tsimikas, Williams
Referee: Stuart Atwell.
Liverpool under-23s were on the end of a heavy 7-2 defeat in an error-riddled performance against Man City on Saturday afternoon.Liverpool U23s 2-7 Man City U23s
Premier League 2, Kirkby
November 28, 2020
Goals: Morton 49’, Clayton 57’; Palmer 20’, 31’, Bernabe 25’, Delap 51’, 70’, Knight 78’, Doyle 85’
Barry Lewtas’ side headed into Saturday’s fixture with the opportunity to cement their place at the top of the Premier League 2 table following on from a four-game unbeaten run in the league.
They were coming up against a Man City side breathing down the back of their necks, despite having a game in hand, and despite being on home soil they were convincingly beaten.
A first start for the U23s came the way of Owen Beck at left-back, fresh of a new deal with the club, while Billy Koumetio took his place in the heart of the defence and Leighton Clarkson was in the starting XI fresh off the back of a place on the bench in the Champions League in midweek.
And while the prolific Layton Stewart had an early sight of goal, which was parried away, the young Reds would be punished for their carelessness at the back.
Koumetio was dispossessed in front of his own goal to leave Caoimhin Kelleher with little chance to deny Cole Palmer at the 20-minute mark before City doubled their lead five minutes later after Adrian Bernabe latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the area.
Two would soon become three as Palmer netted his second after finding the ball at his feet following a solid save from Kelleher in the moments prior in what was a busy half for Jurgen Klopp’s third-choice goalkeeper.
Half time: Liverpool U23s 0-3 Man City U23s
The Reds started on the front foot after the interval and gave themselves a glimmer of hope having pegged a goal back after Tyler Morton tucked away the rebound from Liam Millar’s initial shot.
It was to be the first of six goals in the second half, four of which went the way of City – with Clayton netting his third of the season for the U23s and the Reds’ second goal of the afternoon to make it 4-2 in the 57th minute.
And while Kelleher did his best amid an onslaught after a series of errors from Lewtas’ side in possession, he was unable to stop City as they piled on a further three goals to inflict a 7-2 defeat – the last of which was from an indirect free-kick beyond a wall of 11 Reds merely yards away from goal.
The result leaves Lewtas’ side on 16 points after nine games, enough to hold on to top spot as Man City, Chelsea and Blackburn all have a game in hand – the latter of whom is next up for the young Reds.
Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; Bradley, Savage, Koumetio (Sharif 72’), Beck; Clayton, Clarkson, Morton; Stewart (O’Rourke 75’), Millar, Longstaff
Subs not used: Orzynski, Norris, Larouci
Next Match: Blackburn (H) – Premier League 2 – Saturday, December 12, 1pm (GMT)
Liverpool's first-team players have signed and donated match-worn shirts in support of the Disasters Emergency Committee's Coronavirus Appeal, which is supporting people living in refugee camps and fragile states across the world most at risk in the pandemic.
Each of the signed shirts – used during the Reds’ 4-0 win over Southampton in February 2019 – have now been donated to the DEC, a unique alliance of the United Kingdom’s leading aid agencies that raises funds to provide rapid relief to people affected by humanitarian crises around the world.
The DEC will auction off the jerseys via Givergy to support its Coronavirus Appeal, which is helping people living in refugee and displacement camps in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Somalia to protect themselves from COVID-19.
The funds raised will provide families with clean water, soap and information on keeping themselves safe throughout the pandemic, alongside supplying frontline medical and aid workers with equipment and supplies to care for the vulnerable and sick.
Saleh Saeed, chief executive at the Disasters Emergency Committee, said: “We would like to extend our thanks to Liverpool FC and their first-team players for their generous donation towards our vital Coronavirus Appeal.
“Within refugee camps and makeshift shelters across the world, many people are living in crowded conditions with little food, clean water and medical attention. The money raised from the LFC shirt auction will help provide people who are at extreme risk from coronavirus to access the basic amenities and healthcare that they need in order to protect themselves.”
The DEC’s Liverpool shirt auction is running until Tuesday December 8 – to find out more or to bid on a signed shirt, click here.
For more information about the DEC’s Coronavirus Appeal, click here.
Jordan Henderson found it difficult to accept leaving Brighton & Hove Albion with just a point on Saturday, but stressed Liverpool will move on from the blow.
The visitors saw two goals ruled out for offside in either half at the Amex Stadium, though they did take the lead through Diogo Jota's well-taken finish on the hour mark.
However, Brighton then snatched a 1-1 draw in the third minute of injury time when Pascal Gross converted from the penalty spot after VAR intervention.
Henderson and co will look to deliver a response on Tuesday when they face AFC Ajax at Anfield in the Champions League.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com post-Brighton, the captain said: "Very frustrating, especially the way it's happened in the last couple of minutes. Hard to take.
"It feels unfair at this moment in time and very frustrating, but you've got to move on and get on with it. That's the decision that was made, even though I don't think it was the right decision by a long way. But it is what it is. We move on and we keep going.
"I don't think it affects us. If anything, it makes us stronger as a team. When you are going through difficult periods – whether that would be performance, results, whatever it is, and at this moment in time it's probably injuries – it makes the group even more together and more stronger.
"We just need to adapt and give everything for the games coming up and try to recover and get players back fit as soon as possible."
The No.14 was introduced at half-time in the contest to make a return after a two-match absence due to a muscle issue.
He continued: "I thought the performance level was really good again and we deserved all three points. So it's disappointing but we move on.
"We are happy with the performance and on another day that's three points."
Jota's lovely run and finish on the south coast was his eighth goal in his last eight outings for the Reds in all competitions.
The sheer quality of that strike on Saturday lunchtime came as no surprise to his skipper.
"Jots has been incredible since he come in," Henderson said. "It's a fantastic goal and, again, that should win us the game but unfortunately it doesn't.
"But he's had a great start, so hopefully he can just keep going."
Liverpool returned to Premier League action against Brighton on Saturday and were frustrated once more by VAR calls in an eventual 1-1 draw.Brighton 1-1 Liverpool
Premier League, Amex Stadium
28 November 2020
Goals: Gross pen 90+2′; Jota 59′.Defensive merry-go-round costing chances
It’s not a surprise, but it certainly was a problem.
After 16 games, the Reds have had 11 different pairings at centre-back, plus there have been weekly changes at full-back, the midfield protection has had a rotating cast and we even had a goalkeeper injury earlier in the campaign.
With so little consistency and cohesion, it’s very difficult to keep a regular line, play the usual high offside approach, stay covered against runners in behind and generally be as solid as usual.
Brighton got in behind over and over in the first half with simple, direct balls over the top to a well-timed run.
The best way to avoid that was to keep hold of the ball far better, far higher up the pitch, and that’s certainly the approach Klopp demanded for the second half.Hendo back in action
Half the game gone and we called on the skipper.
After only a session or two with the team in training this week he clearly wasn’t quite ready for the full 90, but bringing back a very familiar face was crucial to regaining control of this game.
With Jordan Henderson on the pitch, Gini Wijnaldum pushed on a little more – it was interesting to see that switch after the No. 5 had filled in as the six every game recently – and a more dominant midfield ensued.
The Amex was, of course, where Hendo got injured last season, putting the trophy lift dance at risk, and he’s had a number of knocks and strains since then.
Hopefully this return to action on the same ground is the start of a much longer, much less-interrupted spell of games for him.Taki, Neco, Nat
Rather than assess their performances here, perhaps it’s more value to suggest what Klopp needs to see from each to get them into the side more regularly – on the evidence of this 90 minutes, there’s a bit of a list.
Taki was out of his usual role, but we still could have expected to see better use of the ball from him, being quicker on the turn and making little runs off the forward players.
He won’t ever be expected to be a creative, playmaking schemer, but the speed of transition is what makes him dangerous and able to open teams.
As for Williams, we’ve seen scant evidence of his aggressive final-third game which made him a stand-out in the cups last season, dangerous deliveries and tackling high upfield to support the attack.
Added to that, defensive mistakes have been seen too often, losing possession and of course the poor challenge here for the penalty. Consistency is everything to get into this team and he is lacking that at present, as is frequent for youngsters trying to step up.
Phillips is in a different situation and he probably is doing as much as he can right now.
This is an unexpected window of a few months for him and it’s hard to argue that he’s not making the most of it.Jota’s golden touch
Salah buried his one finish before VAR did its usual trick of frustrating Reds everywhere, so it was left to Diogo Jota to once more find a route to goal.
The Portuguese forward had, in all honesty, a shocker of a first half – losing possession easily, misplacing passes, not finding Salah for a clear shot with a straight-forward ball across the area.
But he made up for all that with a brilliant solo run and finish, opening up Brighton’s entire defence with some close control and the only notable effort on target in the whole match – the other being Minamino’s tame outside-of-the-boot strike.
This was far from Jota’s, or Liverpool’s, best attacking display – but he still found a way to keep up that great strike rate, which is both pleasing to see and enormously important.Decisions for midweek
Let’s ignore VAR for today – the penalties can’t be argued with, Mane was offside and Mo… well, there’s a debate on the defender’s “line” perhaps, but it isn’t going to change a thing.
The bigger questions lie over the midweek challenge against Ajax and our need to find a win: who plays right-back? Which midfield combination will provide a supply line? Which of the forwards can come out or be the biggest threat? Just how many kids are going to be in that squad?
James Milner is a massive loss, because of his versatility as well as his influence, but it’s not a shock given his recent game load.
Klopp has more magic to work.
Jordan Henderson admitted he would rather play without VAR after it once again became the talking point from Liverpool’s draw at Brighton.
The use of VAR in the Premier League has been a constant source of debate and conjecture, with its use often emerging as a talking point each weekend – and not as a positive.
Arguably, the technology is not to blame, rather the referees who oversee it and apply the rules – with slow-motion replays and the confusion over ‘clear and obvious’ the major bugbear for many.
And on Saturday, Liverpool were once again thrust into the VAR spotlight after a penalty was awarded to the Seagulls in stoppage time after referee Stuart Attwell consulted the pitch-side monitor.
In real-time viewing, he didn’t give Andy Robertson‘s challenge on Danny Welbeck a second glance until he was asked to review the footage – and from there the decision seemed inevitable.
Both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane had goals chalked off for offside, the latter more obvious than the former, and while the captain was careful in his selection of words as to not be punished, he gave his view on the use of VAR.
“I can’t really speak about it because I’ll get myself in trouble,” Henderson told BBC Sport. “If they’re offside, you do the line thing, then what can you do?
“The third one, I don’t know, it’s not a penalty. You can think I’m biased but if you ask four or five or their lads they will say the same thing. They said it walking off the pitch.
“You feel as though there are a lot of decisions that go against you but that decision for me today is baffling.
“I don’t want to speak for anybody else but in my opinion, I would [want to see it go],” he continued. “I just want to play football as normal.
“I saw Kevin De Bruyne saying in an interview they have changed so many rules we don’t know what they are anymore. That for me is a big problem.
“We are talking about instances all the time and not the football. In my opinion, I would rather play without it, yeah.”
It’s “clear and obvious” we need a serious discussion about VAR. Sure I’m not alone in feeling like they are falling out of love with the game in its current state. pic.twitter.com/5FGgLtqbHs
It’s a feeling no doubt shared among fans, with its application largely inconsistent, while also robbing the instantaneous reaction from supporters.
And the fact that it is consistently a major talking point for players, fans and pundits alike speaks volumes.
Ajax warmed up for their trip to Anfield in the Champions League this week with a comfortable win at FC Emmen on Saturday evening.
The Dutch side head to Merseyside for Tuesday night’s clash knowing that they must win in order to keep their chances of progressing to the knockout stages alive.
Erik ten Hag’s side were 3-0 up by half-time, thanks to goals from Davy Klaassen, Zakaria Labyad and Lassina Traore.
Such a comfortable lead meant Ajax were able to fully utilise all five subs and change two of their front three at half-time, with the third forward rested for the final half-hour.
Jurgen Ekkelenkamp and Quincy Promes added to the lead in the second half to give Ajax a 5-0 win, leaving them two points clear at the top of the league.
Promes and Klaas Jan Huntelaar were the half-time subs, showing the depth now available for Ten Tag at this stage of the season.
Since losing 1-0 to Liverpool in Amsterdam last month, Ajax have won every league game – including a 13-0 win over VVV – and drawn with Atalanta and beaten Midjytylland twice in the Champions League.
To describe them as free-scoring in Eredivisie would be an understatement, with 31 goals in five league games since they played Liverpool.
They’ll certainly be arriving at Anfield in confident mood.
Wijnaldum, though, is certainly in what is described as the ‘red zone’ after playing all three games in a week for the Reds, directly after playing 200 minutes while on international duty for the Netherlands.
Klopp rested Sadio Mane at Brighton and it could be that he looks to rest Wijnaldum against Ajax to avoid the Dutch midfielder picking up an injury.
Watch all the goals and talking points from Liverpool's 1-1 draw away at Brighton & Hove Albion on LFCTV GO now.
The Reds took the lead at the Amex Stadium through Diogo Jota after an hour of action but were made to settle for a point when Pascal Gross netted a 93rd-minute penalty.
Brighton missed a spot-kick earlier on in the contest as their visitors also had two goals chalked off for offside.
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Watch Diogo Jota's ninth goal of the season in our free match clip from Saturday's 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Liverpool No.20 continued his fine form in front of goal with an excellent, solo strike to open the scoring at the Amex Stadium.
After collecting Mohamed Salah’s pass, Jota weaved into the box from the left corner and guided a pinpoint finish into the bottom corner.
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Jürgen Klopp offered his assessment of Liverpool’s performance following a 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
An eventful afternoon at the Amex Stadium saw the hosts squander the chance to take a first-half lead when Neal Maupay slid a penalty wide of the post.
At the other end, Mohamed Salah had an effort ruled out by the VAR for offside prior to the break; nevertheless, Diogo Jota’s fine run and finish gave the Reds the opener midway through the second period.
Sadio Mane then had a header chalked off by the video assistant referee, but the visitors maintained their advantage heading into stoppage time.
However, play was halted when the VAR reviewed an earlier challenge by Andy Robertson on Danny Welbeck inside the box and, after referee Stuart Atwell consulted his pitchside monitor, Brighton were awarded a second spot-kick.
This time Pascal Gross converted, ensuring the Seagulls took a share of the points.
Read on for a summary of Klopp’s post-match press conference at the Amex Stadium…
On the second penalty given to Brighton and the two Liverpool efforts ruled out for offside…
My analysts told me Mo was offside – very close, a very small margin, like the toe or whatever. Sadio obviously with his upper body, I didn’t see it, I heard that. But that sounds like twice offside, even when it was close. But well played, good play, all these kind of things. The second penalty is a penalty because the ref whistled it. There was a contact and when the ref thinks it’s enough, then we cannot change that obviously. That’s the situation.
On Jota’s ninth goal of the season and the impact Jordan Henderson had in the second half…
I liked the first half as well. Of course, they had a bit more offensive situations because we had to adapt, we had to learn actually in the game. When you analyse Brighton, Brighton play football against each team, has a playing build-up against each team. Against us they obviously shoot the balls long, that’s OK. That was a little difference. Then, with Connolly up front they played pretty early balls in behind. How I said, this last line played now the first time together so they needed to adapt. After 20, 25 minutes we did that, we controlled that. The Connolly chance was a big one, all the other situations Ali sorted. So, I liked the first half as well. And, of course, when you have Hendo on the pitch that always helps, absolutely. We scored a goal and couldn’t score the second one. OK, scored a lot more goals but they were disallowed and couldn’t score a second one which would have been allowed. Then the penalty came, that’s how it is.
On whether Thiago Alcantara or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could return against Ajax or Wolverhampton Wanderers…
I don’t want to tell Ajax and Wolves too much, but I don’t think so.
On the five substitutes rule…
Look, if it would be about me then I would have never mentioned it, but it’s about the players and each moment when it would happen, it would be good for the players. Brighton lost two players with muscle injuries and they play one game a week. The most difficult time is coming up now. For Sheffield United as well, by the way. We will see. I can explain it one last time: in this period we are now in, five subs is not for tactical changes. And if ever one coach has the luck to use it for tactical changes, that would be the exception. Today we made an early sub at half-time, then we made a second sub and then we thought really if we are brave and [will] make the third sub. If you are not brave, you have to wait with the third sub until the 90th minute pretty much because until then when they show up five more minutes, for example, you can say, ‘OK, if we change now then probably nothing will happen, or we are only three or four minutes with 10 men.’ If we would have had five subs today then Andy Robertson I would have taken off, 100 per cent; I had Kostas Tsimikas on the bench, so he can play 15/20 minutes. So, we don’t have a lot of options in the moment – we have, but they’re all offensive – so you can just bring them all through the season. It’s not the solution, but it’s a little help. That’s all. Whatever Chris Wilder says, I don’t speak only about Liverpool – he speaks only about Sheffield United, that’s true. He admitted that in the managers’ meeting, but I speak about football players.
James Milner sustained a hamstring injury during Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
The vice-captain was forced from the field after 74 minutes at the Amex Stadium and replaced by Curtis Jones.
Speaking to BT Sport post-match, Jürgen Klopp confirmed Milner was unable to continue due to an issue with his hamstring.