MX23RW : Friday, January 18 04:15:26
May 13, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Anfield
Attendance: 50,752
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion
Salah (26'), Lovren (40'), Solanke (53'), Robertson (85')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Live Commentary: Liverpool 4-0 Brighton & Hove Albion - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Liverpool's 4-0 win over Brighton, as the Reds rounded off their league campaign with a convincing victory.
Live Commentary: Liverpool 4-0 Brighton & Hove Albion - as it happened
© Offside

Mohamed Salah hit his 32nd Premier League goal of the season as Liverpool brushed aside Brighton & Hove Albion 4-0 at Anfield on the final day of the Premier League season.

The Egyptian forward tucked the ball past Mathew Ryan to top the scoring charts, before Dejan Lovren powered a header home prior to the interval.

Two more followed in the second half, as Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson got off the mark with their first goals for the club in a one-sided affair.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

2.00pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League meeting between Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield. There is plenty play for on Merseyside on the final matchday of the season, as the hosts must avoid defeat if they are to seal a place in the top four of the Premier League, and thus secure qualification for next season's Champions League.

2.02pmThe Reds still have the small matter of this year's Champions League final to look forward to, of course, so even if the worst case scenario comes true today they may still be in UEFA's showpiece competition next term. Jurgen Klopp will not want to put all his eggs in one basket, however, and he therefore needs his players to get the job done today in front of a packed Anfield crowd.


STARTING XI: Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Salah, Firmino; Solanke

SUBS: Mignolet, Klavan, Moreno, Clyne, Lallana, Woodburn, Ings

2.06pmStarting with a look at the home team, Klopp has made two changes on the back of the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea last weekend. Dominic Solanke is brought into the side, although exactly what that means for the formation is anyone's guess. Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are all included, so it may well be a 4-2-3-1 formation, which would see Georginio Wijnaldum and skipper Jordan Henderson sit deep.

2.08pmHenderson is the other player to come into the side, taking over from the injured James Milner. Liverpool put the former Leeds United and Newcastle United's absence down as a "precautionary measure", but any sort of knock this close to the Champions League final is always a concern. With Emre Can and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also out injured, and Adam Lallana fit only for a place on the bench, it could mean one of Salah or Mane dropping into a three-man midfield.

2.10pmNathaniel Clyne drops down to the bench so Trent Alexander-Arnold will return to the backline, alongside the familiar faces of Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson. Joe Gomez would have been in contention to start today if not for an operation on his ankle that will now keep him out until next season, but this is very much the same back four - five with Loris Karius included - that Klopp will go with in Kiev two weeks from now.


STARTING XI: Ryan; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Stephens, Kayal, Propper; Knockaert, Locadia, March

SUBS: Krul, Bruno, Goldson, Suttner, Gross, Ulloa, Murray

2.14pmWith it being the final day of the season, and Brighton merely jostling for position, Chris Hughton has made a brave selection choice by leaving Pascal Gross on the bench. The German midfielder has seven goals and eight assists to his name this season, making him just as important to the Seagulls as Salah is to Liverpool, but Hughton has opted to change things around today and go with a 4-3-3.

2.16pmGlenn Murray is also among the subs for the second game running, so Brighton will instead go with Anthony Knockaert, Jurgen Locadia and Solly March across the frontline. Davy Propper, another key man in Albion's survival success, retains his place in midfield following his recent return from suspension, while Dale Stephens and Beram Kayal will also be used in the middle.

2.18pmThere are four changes made by Hughton in all from the 3-1 loss to Manchester City in midweek, as Kayal, March and Locadia are joined by Ezequiel Schelotto in the starting lineup. The change of formation may enable Knockaert to have a little more influence on the match - his most recent goal or assist for the Seagulls came eight matches ago in the comfortable win over Swansea City.

2.20pmJames Milner misses out on the Liverpool squad today due to a minor injury problem, meaning that Jurgen Klopp has been forced to shuffle his pack somewhat. Dominic Solanke comes in, meaning either a 4-2-3-1 spearheaded by the English striker, or the more familiar 4-3-3 with one of Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane dropping deep. As for Brighton & Hove Albion, they will also adopt a different shape as Chris Hughton is going with three up top.

James Milner has his studs tweaked during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Southampton on May 7, 2017© SilverHub

2.22pmThe Reds would no doubt have hoped for a quiet afternoon on the final day, but as it turns out they are left sweating for their place in the top four. Klopp's men are currently in that fourth and final Champions League spot, two points better off than Chelsea - who have the more difficult fixture away at Newcastle United - and with a vastly superior goal difference over their closest challengers.

2.24pmIt is fair to say that Liverpool have taken their eye off the ball somewhat domestically speaking, which is understandable when taking their incredible European run into account. The Reds have now failed to win any of their last three Premier League games and have one win in five since the start of April. From challenging Manchester United to holding on for fourth, this was not quite what Klopp had planned.

2.26pmSix points from a possible 15 has to at the very least become seven from 18 today, or else Liverpool will head into their Champions League final showdown with Real Madrid on a slight downer. The Reds really have balanced continental and domestic football better than any of their rivals across the duration of the season, however, and if they do get the job done today then this will go down as another positive campaign.

2.28pmAs Jordan Henderson said in the week, however, Liverpool now have two finals of sorts as they cannot afford to lose today - it is as simple as that. Chelsea winning at Newcastle United is far from a gimme, but Liverpool have to assume that will be the case and they will therefore need to keep their unbeaten run at Anfield going. In many ways, having something to play for today could actually prove a blessing in disguise for the Reds.

2.30pmRather than switching off in the three weeks leading up to the Champions League final, Liverpool have instead had to remained switched on. Klopp has the chance to keep his players ticking over in a high-intensity match, before then taking them on a three-day break to Marbella next week, where he will get the chance to fine tune each individual for that truly massive Champions League clash.

2.32pmSome players are battling for a starting place for that Kiev final, while for others the World Cup is also now on the horizon. England boss Gareth Southgate is not here today, but he will no doubt have someone here watching Trent Alexander-Arnold closely, while Adam Lallana is also likely to feature from the bench. Will either of those players be included in Southgate's final 23-man squad on Wednesday?

2.34pmLiverpool have lost back-to-back matches in all competitions, following up their 4-2 second-leg less to Roma in the Champions League semi-finals with a 1-0 defeat against Chelsea a week ago. Prior to that, they had suffered just one loss in 17 - that coming away to rivals Manchester United in mid-March - so Klopp will be keen to get some momentum going with one eye on the Madrid match.

2.36pmDID YOU KNOW? IF Liverpool avoid defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion today they will have gone the entire Premier League season unbeaten at Anfield. The Reds have dropped points seven times during that run, however, so they only actually have the fourth best home record in the division, behind Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United. Only on six previous occasions have they achieved the unbeaten feat.

2.38pmLiverpool have lost one of their last five league matches, but they have been unable to overcome Everton and relegated pair West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City during that spell. The Reds have lost their scoring touch, too, as they are at risk of going three matches without a goal in the Premier League for the first time since February to March 2005 - pretty incredible when you think of the number of goals Salah alone has netted.

2.40pmMohamed Salah landed the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award last week, adding to the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award from earlier in the month. The Egyptian forward really has been incredible this season for the Reds, and he now needs just one more goal to become the outright leading scorer in a single Premier League campaign.

Mohamed Salah and Victor Moses in action during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Liverpool on May 6, 2018© Offside

2.42pmFollowing a recent dry patch, saving arguably his quietest match of the season for his return to Chelsea last time out, Salah still needs that one goal to overtake Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Alan Shearer for that particular record. Salah has not gone three games without a goal all season long, though, and only Manchester City (105) have scored more times that Liverpool's 80 this term, so surely the Brighton net will be breached today.

2.44pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS! Liverpool have won the last four meetings between the two sides, including a 5-1 triumph at the Amex Stadium five month ago. Brighton & Hove Albion have won just four of the 26 encounters overall, in fact, losing 14 and drawing eight, with their most recent success coming by a 2-1 scoreline on home soil in January 1984.

2.46pmBrighton head into this match sitting 14th in the Premier League table, two points adrift of the top half in what is, remember, their first campaign in the Premier League. The Seagulls know that victory today could possibly lift them into 10th, which would be worth an additional £11m to them and a welcome boost for Hughton as he prepares to strengthen his side ahead of next season.

2.48pmIf last year's transfer window is anything to go by then Brighton are in good hands with Hughton in charge. Pascal Gross, benched today for this final game of the season, has been one of the best buys of the campaign after chipping in with seven goals and eight assists, playing a direct part in near enough half of his side's top-flight goals. Mat Ryan has also been ever-present in goal, while Davy Propper has adapted to the Premier League well.

2.50pmBrighton secured their place in the top flight for another season thanks to their 1-0 win over Man United, coming on the back of credible draws with Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley to make it one defeat in five. Then came the midweek loss to Man City, although even that result was hardly enough to dampen Hughton's spirits, with the runaway Prem champions unable to kill off the match until 18 minutes from time.

2.52pmThis tough end to the season - games against Man United, Man City and Liverpool - could have completely derailed the Seagulls' campaign, but instead they head to Anfield with the chance to experiment a little. Hughton will want to see his side improve on their away record, though, having gained just 11 points from their previous 18 matches away from the Amex Stadium - only basement side Stoke City have collected fewer.

2.54pmBrighton have just two wins on their travels all season, coming in the space of a couple of weeks against West Ham United and Swansea City pretty early on, though they have never once been completely blown away. Overall, it is one win in nine for the Seagulls heading into the final day, drawing three and losing five either side of the Man United victory. Still, that has proved to be enough to get them over the survival line.

2.56pmAlbion are the joint-lowest scorers in the division away from home, netting only 10 goals all term, while their overall tally of 34 is bettered by 15 other sides. Defensively speaking, though, Hughton's men have been very impressive - only Newcastle United have conceded fewer from those outside of the top seven, and they are seeking an 11th clean sheet today. That would be quite some achievement.

2.58pmWith kickoff on Merseyside now just a couple of minutes away, let us check out some pre-match thoughts from both camps.

Jurgen Klopp: "We have had a good season but now we have to deliver it all again. I have no problem concentrating on Brighton, I have not been skipping forward to think about Real Madrid. I do not have a lot of skills but one discipline I learned early on was to concentrate fully on the next step, because in football if you don't you can fall flat on your face. Brighton are a good team, in a position to play without pressure. We need to be careful."

Chris Hughton: "I think the next step is making sure that we stay in the division again. I think it has to be that way, this is only our first season in this Premier League. We are learning still, we're trying to improve as much as we can. We will try in the summer to add to the squad, even though I don't see big additions. I think you have to be stable in a division first before perhaps you can make bigger steps."

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton watches on during his side's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at the Amex Stadium on November 28, 2017© SilverHub

1 minKICKOFF! Liverpool get us under way at Anfield on the final day of the Premier League season. Only four top-flight games have something truly riding on them today, with this arguably the pick of the bunch.

3 minThe hosts won themselves a corner inside the opening minute, but Brighton were able to stand firm. The match not really settled down yet, though it looks as though Dominic Solanke will play up top and Roberto Firmino just behind him.

5 minFourteenth-placed Brighton doing enough to keep their opponents at bay early on at a sunny Anfield. The ball set up nicely for Reds skipper Jordan Henderson a few moments ago, but his shot fizzed wide of Mat Ryan's goal.

7 minA lapse of concentration from Shane Duffy almost gave Dominic Solanke a route through on goal, but Mat Ryan did well to recover and collect the ball. The home side definitely on top at the moment, slowly probing away for an opener.

9 minHarry Kane has netted for Tottenham against Leicester, so Mohamed Salah may yet need to score today to finish as the Premier League's top scorer - enough breathing space for now. Still no clear-cut chances for either side thus far.

11 minA couple of wayward shots from the home side, with the visitors managing to stay strong at the back. No need to panic just yet, especially with Chelsea also goalless away to Newcastle United in that other big game at the top end of the division.

13 minSolanke needs to perform today, with big question marks over the young Englishman's ability to perform for a top-four side. No better chance to prove himself than by netting what would be a big goal in this final league game of the season.

15 minA very quiet start to the contest at Anfield, with Liverpool looking the brighter in an attacking sense but being made to work hard to create anything. Solanke the most advanced of the Reds' forward players today, remember, with Salah slightly deeper.

17 minPENALTY APPEAL! Liverpool have already had two minor penalty shouts rejected, but this one looked a far bigger call from Kevin Friend. Shane Duffy took out Mohamed Salah, but the Brighton defender may have got the smallest of touches to the ball.

19 minSAVE! Glorious chance for Liverpool to open the scoring, as Sadio Mane is played clean through on goal. Rather than squaring to an unmarked Roberto Firmino alongside him, he instead went for goal and was denied by Ryan.

21 minUPDATE! Newcastle United have taken the lead against Chelsea through a Dwight Gayle goal 22 minutes in. Liverpool, despite being held by Brighton, are now surely all but certain of a place in the Champions League next season.

23 minAlexander-Arnold, fielded at left-back today, cuts inside but cannot find the target with his shot. Liverpool with at least two penalty shouts rejected, with Duffy's challenge on Salah a few minutes ago the biggest call of the lot.


26 minLiverpool take a giant stride towards nailing down a top-four finish through record-breaking forward Mohamed Salah. Dominic Solanke poked the ball through and the Egyptian forward tucked the ball past a wrong-footed Mat Ryan for his 32nd Premier League goal of the season.

28 minSalah, now three in front of Salah in the Golden Boot stakes, took that chance brilliantly. No player in Premier League history has scored as many goals in a single Premier League campaign than Salah's 32, and he still has time to make it 33.

30 minSHOT! A good chance for Roberto Firmino to double his side's tally, but he can only toe-poke the ball over the crossbar from inside the area. Brighton really struggling to keep hold of the ball, constantly allowing the Reds onto them.

32 minOFF THE LINE! How on earth did this one stay out? Brighton ripped apart again as Mane bursts through and this time squares to Salah. Mat Ryan did remarkable to block the Egyptian's first shot and the second was then blocked on the line by Shane Duffy.

34 minFollowing a pretty quiet opening 15 minutes or so, Liverpool have completely dominated the game and will question how on earth they have failed to double their tally. As things stand, the Reds are cruising towards a fourth-placed finish.

36 minBrighton boss Hughton must surely be tempted to change formation before the interval - his side have been pretty poor and could well be blown away at this rate, even if the Reds have so far managed just the one goal.

38 minSAVE! Sadio Mane slips the ball through for Georginio Wijnaldum, who should have done better from his chance. Instead, the midfielder rather scuffed his shot and Mat Ryan was able to save. Firmino then smashed a shot over the bar.

40 minChance after chance after chance for the home side at the moment, and the biggest concern for Klopp will be that it remains 1-0 heading into the half-time interval. Van Dijk lands awkwardly but is soon back to his feet and seems OK.


42 minA couple of minutes after Solly March got away his side's first shot on target, Liverpool decide to kill off the top-four race for good. Andrew Robertson, the best crosser of the ball in the division, sends in a delightful delivery for Dejan Lovren to power the ball home.

Dejan Lovren scores the second during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion on May 13, 2018© Offside

44 minThat was actually Dejan Lovren's first Premier League goal for Liverpool at Anfield. As simple as you like for the centre-back, being allowed to ghost past a couple of opposition players and simply nod the ball past Mat Ryan.


3.48pmLiverpool take a deserved two-goal lead into the interval, converting from a couple of their six on-target attempts in the first half. The Reds started pretty slowly but soon found their rhythm, and the biggest surprise is that they only netted twice.

3.51pmWith just one win in their last five outings, Liverpool were not quite at their fluid best in the opening 17 minutes of the match, although they did have a couple of strong penalty appeals rejected by Kevin Friend. Shane Duffy's challenge on Mohamed Salah inside the box was particularly contentious, but it would ultimately matter little as the Reds were soon on top.

3.54pmThe first of Liverpool's numerous chances went begging when Sadio Mane was kept out by Mat Ryan when he had Salah perfectly positioned alongside him, moments before Salah showed his teammate how to do it by tucking a Dominic Solanke through-ball past a wrong-footed Ryan. Roberto Firmino, playing just behind Solanke in a 4-2-3-1 formation of sorts, was then wayward with a couple of shots inside the box.

3.57pmLiverpool really should have had a second half an hour in, only for Ryan to claw away Salah's close-range shot after both he and Mane breached the Brighton backline, and Duffy recovered in time to clear the follow-up off the line. Georginio Wijnaldum was the next home player to waste a glorious opening, firing straight at Ryan, but the second goal did arrive before the interval as Dejan Lovren powered Andrew Robertson's delightful delivery into the back of the net.


LIVERPOOL SUBS: Mignolet, Klavan, Moreno, Clyne, Lallana, Woodburn, Ings

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION SUBS: Krul, Bruno, Goldson, Suttner, Gross, Ulloa, Murray

Danny Ings in action for Liverpool on December 17, 2017© Offside

46 minRESTART! We are back up and running at Anfield, where neither managed has made any half-time changes. As things stand, the Reds are well on their way to a top-four finish - only a disaster would prevent that from happening at this point.

48 minSAVE! Forget holding on for fourth - Liverpool are third in the current Premier League standings thanks to Leicester's 2-1 lead over Tottenham. Roberto Firmino with an early shot on target in the second half, which Mat Ryan does well to push behind.

50 minSAVE! From the resulting corner, Virgil van Dijk fires a shot straight at the overworked Mat Ryan. Liverpool in no mood to sit back on their two-goal lead, instead going all out in search of a third to kill Brighton off for good.


53 minWell Brighton can hardly say that the third goal had not been coming! With a couple of saves already since the start of the second half, Mat Ryan is finally beaten for a third time as Dominic Solanke raced through on goal and fired a rising effort into the back of the net.

55 minThat was Solanke's first goal of the season at the 25th attempt. It has not been easy for the England youth international since joining from Chelsea, but that will do him the world of good. A nice finish it was, too, following good play from Salah.

57 minBRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION SUBS! Hughton makes a couple of changes that probable should have taken place during the interval. Glenn Murray and Pascal Gross are on in place of Jurgen Locadia and Beram Kayal for the remainder.

59 minSAVE! Roberto Firmino will need to do better than this against Madrid in 13 days' time. Another glorious chance, which the Brazilian this time fires pretty much straight at Mat Ryan from seven yards. Still just the three Liverpool goals.

61 minUPDATE! Newcastle, beaten in their last four matches prior to today, lead Chelsea 2-0 at St James' Park through Ayoze Perez's goal on the hour. Not that it matters to Liverpool - they are assured of fourth and now battling for third.

63 minMore than an hour played at Anfield and Klopp can now relax ahead of that huge match against Real Madrid in a fortnight. The German has yet to make any changes, but he will surely take off Salah and a couple of his other big-hitters shortly.

65 minUPDATE! Tottenham Hotspur lead Leicester City 4-3 at Wembley Stadium in a crazy match, so Liverpool are back down to fourth. Newcastle have a third against Chelsea, meanwhile, only increasing the pressure on Antonio Conte.

67 minThe match has gone rather quiet since Solanke belted home Liverpool's third. Firmino did waste that big chance a few minutes ago but, that aside, the Reds now seem quite content to play out the remainder of this match in second gear.

69 minVery much a case of job done for Liverpool, then, and what has turned out to be a good run-out for their players. Brighton have pretty much put together about two attacks all afternoon, badly struggling to contain their rampant opponents.

71 minSolly March is wiped out by Loris Karius, leading to a stoppage in play for the Brighton man to receive treatment. Liverpool's players use the break to take on some fluids and receive some further instructions from Klopp.

73 minBRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION SUB! Connor Goldson, who has had to battle back from a career-threatening heart condition, replaces Shane Duffy in the heart of Brighton's defence for the final 15 minutes or so. All three Albion changes now made.

75 minLIVERPOOL SUB! England international Adam Lallana, restricted to just one Premier League start all campaign, is on in place of Sadio Mane. The midfielder may yet be in contention to feature in the Champions League final on May 26.

77 minUPDATE! It is 4-4 at Wembley between Tottenham and Leicester, so Liverpool supporters will be checking updates from the final 10 minutes or so of that match. As things stand, the Reds will finish in fourth place.

79 minIn fact, Tottenham now lead 5-4 in that match - incredible! Certainly a little more entertainment in the second half of that match than this one at Anfield, where Liverpool are happy to see things through without threatening the Brighton goal.

81 minBrighton looking a little better since going a third goal down, though that is largely because Liverpool are allowing them to attack. Incidentally, Kane is now two goals behind equalling Salah at the top of the Prem scoring chart.

83 minNo real change in the flow of the match - Liverpool looking in control without creating anything, pretty much as it was in the opening 17 minutes. This Reds side has the ability to turn things on at just the right time, as witnessed again today.

85 minLIVERPOOL SUB! Danny Ings, who has got a fair few appearances under his belt in recent weeks, takes over from Mohamed Salah in attack. What a season it has been for the Egyptian, who bows out with 32 Prem goals to his name. Roberto Firmino was also taken off in that double sub from Klopp, with Welsh youngster Ben Woodburn being given a rare run-out.


87 minLike Dominic Solanke earlier in the half, Andrew Robertson gets off the mark with his first Liverpool goal. A loose ball fell nicely for the full-back to strike, hammering it past Mat Ryan in the Brighton goal. Still time for a fifth...

89 minHughton will be glad to see the back of Liverpool, having lost 5-1 and 4-0 to them this term. In fact, that is 15 goals shipped by the Seagulls in their last two visits to this ground - they will have to do it again at some point next term.


4.56pmLiverpool cruised over the line in the end, with this 4-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion seeing them finish five points in front of fifth-placed Chelsea. Mohamed Salah notched his 32nd Premier League goal of the season and Dejan Lovren added a second before the break, while Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson also netted for the first time since arriving last summer.

4.58pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events from Anfield. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, while reaction from all of the day's Premier League action can be found elsewhere on the site in due course. Thanks for joining!

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Mohamed Salah in action during the Champions League playoff between Liverpool and Hoffenheim on August 23, 2017
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