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Live Commentary: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Liverpool - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Liverpool return to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion in Saturday's Premier League fixture.
Live Commentary: Brighton 0-1 Liverpool - as it happened
© Reuters

Liverpool have returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion in Saturday's Premier League encounter at the Amex Stadium.

The opening 45 minutes passed by without incident, but Mohamed Salah put Liverpool ahead from the penalty spot shortly after the restart.

The visitors squandered a number of chances to double their advantage, but one goal proved enough for Liverpool to extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points.

Find out how all of the action unfolded on the South coast courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Premier League between Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool. The Merseyside giants may sit top of the standings, but it is Brighton who are the form side heading into the game at the Amex Stadium.

LATEST! The first Premier League fixture of the day is nearing a close. West Ham United currently hold a 1-0 advantage over Arsenal with less than 20 minutes remaining. Click here to follow the closing stages at the London Stadium.

Without further ado, let's take a look at the two starting lineups, beginning with the home side...

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION XI: Button; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; March, Propper, Stephens, Gross, Locadia; Murray

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION SUBSTITUTES: Steele, Balogun, Bruno, Kayal, Sanders, Knockaert, Andone

LIVERPOOL XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah

LIVERPOOL SUBSTITUTES: Mignolet, Milner, Keita, Moreno, Origi, Matip, Camacho

Brighton boss Chris Hughton made a number of alterations to his side for the FA Cup tie at Bournemouth last weekend, but just one change has been made from the team which lasted started in the Premier League. It comes at left-back with Gaetan Bong replacing the injured Bernardo.

Brighton could line up in a number of different ways, but we feel that it will be a 4-5-1 formation with Jurgen Locadia out on the left flank rather than down the middle alongside Glenn Murray.

The home side remain with goalkeeper Mathew Ryan - who is currently on international duty with Australia - and so is Iranian Alireza Jahanbakhsh, although the winger may have only been named on the bench this afternoon.

The usual suspects are named among the replacements and so is youngster Max Sanders. The 20-year-old is yet to make his first-team debut for Brighton.

As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has decided to make two alterations to the team which started their previous top-flight fixture at Manchester City, with Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri both coming into the side.

Dejan Lovren misses out with the injury that he sustained in the FA Cup defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night. James Milner is the other player to drop out with Klopp going with two in midfield.

Joel Matip had been an option to feature at centre-back alongside Virgil van Dijk, but it appears that Klopp is erring on the side of caution with the Cameroonian.

Rafael Camacho has been named among the replacements. There had been reports that the youngster was off to Sporting Lisbon on loan, but Klopp has insisted that he will be staying at Anfield until at least the summer.

RESULT! The full-time whistle has gone at the London Stadium and West Ham have held on to register their first home win over Arsenal in the Premier League since 2006! You can read our on-the-whistle match report by clicking here.

That result has led to West Ham moving up to eighth position in the standings, five points ahead of 13th-placed Brighton. Realistically, Hughton's side can only move as high as 10th spot with victory this afternoon.

It could be a big day for this man...

Liverpool have suffered back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Wolves, and the Merseyside giants are looking to avoid three setbacks in a row for the first time since January 2017.

It has also been nearly three-and-a-half years since two defeats in a row were recorded in the Premier League. They came at the start of the 2015-16 campaign.

However, Liverpool love a 3pm kickoff on a Saturday. They have won eight times in a row, with wide triumphs being registered on seven occasions.

Much has been made of Salah's form, but Firmino has also rediscovered his touch in the final third. Four goals have come from his last 180 minutes of football in the Premier League.

Mane is the player who must start to improve for Liverpool. The Senegalese has netted eight Premier League goals this season, but he has scored just twice in all competitions since October 27.

While Liverpool have suffered two defeats in a row, Brighton have put together a four-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.

That followed a period which featured three defeats in succession, and unbeaten and losing streaks have been the story of Brighton's season. This current run represents their longest unbeaten run of the campaign, although they went six games without emerging victorious just after the start of the season.

Liverpool have issues in defence and that could let in Brighton from set pieces. The Seagulls have scored 62.5% of their goals in the top flight this season from free-kicks, corners or penalties.

Brighton have also scored in each of their last 13 home matches in the Premier League, which represents the longest top-flight scoring run in their history.

PREDICTION! Brighton will be encouraged by Liverpool's recent slump in form and their issues at the back, but Klopp will be demanding a strong, professional performance from his team and we are backing the Merseyside giants to run out comfortable winners. Liverpool to prevail by a 3-1 scoreline.

HEAD TO HEAD! This afternoon's encounter will represent the 29th competitive meeting between the two clubs, with Liverpool registering 16 wins in comparison to four victories for Brighton.

However, the majority of those matches were played between 1958 and 1991, with only five contests being played since the start of the new Millennium. Liverpool have prevailed in each of those games, scoring 16 goals in the process.

It's time for the two teams to start making their way out on the South coast. The pressure feels huge on Liverpool heading into this contest, and Brighton usually relish the chance to take on the big clubs in front of their own supporters. This should be a really good game.

A reminder of the two starting lineups...

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION XI: Button; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; March, Propper, Stephens, Gross, Locadia; Murray

LIVERPOOL XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah

KICKOFF:  Brighton get us underway!

It's been a quiet start to the game at the Amex Stadium, although Liverpool have had the majority of the possession.

Liverpool may be forced into an early change here. Alexander-Arnold has picked up a knock and is not moving comfortable. Milner has been sent out to warm up.

The game is being played at a slow pace, and it looks like it has enabled Alexander-Arnold enough time to shake off that injury. Aside from that, literally nothing else has happened.

The tempo has gone up a notch, but Button is able to claim when Van Dijk attempts to find Salah with a long ball. Brighton are yet to have the ball in the final third.

Better from Liverpool. Robertson is released down the left and his first-time cross should be converted by Firmino, but the Brazilian fails to make a connection with the ball from around eight yards out.

The visitors have reverted back to a more measured approach again now, and Brighton are more than happy to sit deep rather than being enticed into making a mistake in defence.

Brighton finally spark into life with Locadia bursting down the left before Gross is given the chance to cross into the middle. However, Murray is flagged offside.

CHANCE!  It's the same combination again as Gross crosses for Murray but this time, the forward is onside. It's a difficult chance, but the veteran sends a free header over the bar from around 12 yards out.

It's looking increasingly unlikely that Alexander-Arnold will be substituted at some point. Firmino has just signalled to the bench that the right-back is still struggling.

Still not a lot of excitement from either side. Liverpool are playing quickly in flurries, but the majority of their play is not making a dent in Brighton.

From Brighton's perspective, they will be delighted with their first quarter of the game. Not many teams have kept Liverpool this quiet over the course of the last five months.

Liverpool think that they should be awarded a penalty for a shirt tug on Van Dijk from a corner, but there is very little in it.

The visitors are falling into the trap of giving Fabinho the ball on far too many occasions. It would be expected if the Brazilian was being used in midfield but as a stand-in centre-back, it is just prevented any momentum from being built.

CHANCE!  This is the closest that we have come to a goal. Alexander-Arnold cuts inside onto his left foot and delivers an inswinging cross for Shaqiri, who sends a glancing header just wide of the far post.

Liverpool are attempting to up the pace, but it's not easy with so many Brighton players behind the ball. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson are getting further down the flanks.

When Brighton play like this, it makes you wonder why they are not further up the table. Maybe things will change if they concede a goal before the break, although that's not looking likely right now.

The home supporters have started to make plenty of noise. It's perhaps a show of acceptance for Hughton's tactics. They are working a treat so far, even though it is not easy on the eye.

More of the same from Liverpool. Pass, pass, pass without much urgency. The front four players have barely been in the game.

Liverpool win a corner on the left-hand side but after it goes over to the far side, Henderson's ball back into the area goes out of play.

Just the five minutes to go until half time. Neither side really need a break given the pace of the game. It hasn't been completely dull, but it has not been a classic.

A quick update on Alexander-Arnold. He has looked completely fine over the past 15 minutes and it would come as a surprise if Klopp withdraws him at the break.

As I say that, the youngster is almost dispossessed by Locadia on the side of the penalty area, only to recover and clear the danger.

HALF TIME:  Brighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Liverpool

It comes as no surprise that there is no added-on time and we go into the break on level terms. Both sides have had one half-chance apiece but aside from that, it has been a game lacking in excitement.

Liverpool's main chance went to Shaqiri, but the diminutive winger could only send a glancing header wide of the far post. Earlier in the game, Murray also failed to hit the target with a header, but the forward needed to generate his own power and it only led to the ball going over the bar.

KICKOFF:  Liverpool get us back underway. No changes for either side.

Both teams have already showed some attacking intent since the restart - this is a great sign! Nothing comes from either attack, but at least we are heading in the right direction.

CHANCE!  Salah finds some space for the first time in the match with the Egyptian getting the chance to shoot across goal from around 14 yards out. However, Button is equal to it and keeps hold of the ball.

PENALTY!  Liverpool win a penalty! It's the correct decision, too. Salah cut inside and got past Gross, but the midfielder hauled his man down.

GOAL!  Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah)

Salah gets up, dusts himself down and drills an emphatic effort to Button's left. The goalkeeper had no chance. This is a different game now. Brighton need to take some risks.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion on January 12, 2019.© Reuters

Liverpool are already back on the front foot. Klopp has clearly instructed his side to play much faster. Brighton are in survival mode for the time being.

The onus is now on Hughton to change something with his Brighton team. They are starting to be outclassed by a team who are playing with increasing belief.

Liverpool win a free kick in a deep position with the ball being sent towards Van Dijk at the back post. Duffy comes out on top, however, and is able to get the ball away.

Brighton probably should be level. A low ball is fired into the penalty area where Gross is waiting, but the midfielder sends a shot from 12 yards into Fabinho who is able to prevent the ball from going into the net.

As we move through the hour mark, both sets of substitutes are out warming up. It won't be long before a change is made. We expect Brighton's Andone to be the first man introduced into the action.

In all fairness to Brighton, they have responded well since conceding the goal. They still aren't creating much in the way of chances, but they are at least doing enough to prevent Liverpool from easing to victory.

Liverpool get down the left and manage to get the ball into the penalty area, but Dunk is well placed to divert the cross away for a corner. Nothing comes from the resulting set piece.

SUBSTITUTION! It's a double change for Brighton as Knockaert and Andone replace March and Murray.

SHOT!  This is speculative from Locadia, but the forward's 30-yard strike is diverted behind for a corner by Alisson. The ball had been going wide.

Liverpool start to regain a bit of rhythm in the middle of the park, but Klopp looks like he is ready to make his first change.

SUBSTITUTION! Milner is the player who is being sent onto the pitch with Shaqiri making way.

Liverpool are starting to build some pressure again. A couple of set pieces cause panic in the Brighton penalty area, but the home side just about survive.

SHOT!  The visitors are getting closer to a second. Firmino storms forward from the halfway line and despite having options, the striker gets a shot away from 20 yards which is blocked by Button.

More space is beginning to open up in all areas of the pitch. I'm not sure who that benefits! It's still going to take something special for Brighton to get back on level terms.

SUBSTITUTION! The third and final change for Brighton sees Kayal introduced for Gross.

SHOT!  Wijnaldum rarely scores goals away from home, but he nearly does here with a left-footed strike from 20 yards going marginally wide of Button's left-hand post.

Liverpool still look like they fancy a second, but they may start to think about running down the clock. Brighton are still threatening now and again, but it is not being sustained.

The visitors are making Brighton do a lot of chasing now, especially the forward players. They look in total control.

SHOT!  Mane has not looked a threat today, but the Senegalese looks about to score from 10 yards until Dunk deflects the ball wide of the target.

CHANCE!  Liverpool should really have this game wrapped up. Milner gets the ball across the box at the second opportunity, but Salah scuffs a shot wide from 10 yards out.

SUBSTITUTION! Liverpool make a second change with Keita replacing Mane.

There will be four minutes of added-on time.

Brighton create an opening inside the area but Andone cannot pick out a teammate with his low cross from the right. That may be the last chance.

SUBSTITUTION! Liverpool waste a bit more time as Origi is brought on for Salah.

FULL TIME:  Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Liverpool

The full-time whistle goes at the Amex Stadium and Liverpool have comfortably held on to secure a deserved 1-0 win against Brighton. It wasn't pretty at times, but Salah's penalty early in the second half has extended Liverpool's lead at the top of the standings to seven points. Brighton remain in 13th place.

That will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us this afternoon, and we hope that you can stick around for the game involving Chelsea and Newcastle United.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.

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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk celebrates scoring against Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 21, 2018
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