Dubai: It was only 15 days ago when Liverpool went down 3-0 at Brighton in the Premier League and they suffered yet another defeat on the South Coast as the FA Cup holders were knocked out in a big shock in the fourth round.
This was a big day for Liverpool who have been well off the pace in the league and it was a chance to get their season back on track but Jurgen Klopp’s men once again looked off the pace and leggy.
The German coach made one change to the side that drew with Chelsea last week by recalling Trent Alexander-Arnold to the starting line-up and James Milner dropping to the bench.
Out of form
The Reds arrived at Brighton on the back of one win in five games and in the early exchanges they looked like a side struggling for form. Their usual snap and spark was nowhere to be seen. They have desperately been missing defensive lynchpin Virgil van Dijk along with the key attacking trio of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino to injury but took the lead against the run of play when Harvey Elliott found the net from an angle inside the box.
Brighton leveled when Tariq Lamptey’s long range shot deflected off Lewis Dunk and into the net for 1-1.
Both sides had chances to win it but in stoppage time the home side delivered the killer blow when Kaoru Mitoma provided an outstanding piece of skill in the box and fired home to send Klopp and co crashing out.
Brighton fans must be pinching themselves. They sit in sixth spot in the Premier League and have now knocked out the much-fancied FA Cup holders. It is another setback for Klopp and it is going to hurt.