Caoimhin Kelleher starts as Liverpool fall to Brighton

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Aaron Connolly also featured on the Brighton bench.

Caoimhin Kelleher started his first Premier League game for two months this evening as Liverpool took on Brighton at Anfield.

Kelleher’s previous start came against Wolves in December. A game he impressed in as he kept a clean sheet and made a handful of impressive saves.

Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies signed for Liverpool on deadline day but neither were to be seen in the starting line-up.

Instead, Davies took to the bench while Kabak didn’t feature in the squad at all.

Aaron Connolly started on the Brighton bench just days after receiving vile online abuse which caused him to deactivate his Twitter account.

The abuse came after Connolly missed a chance to double Brighton’s advantage over Tottenham on Sunday.

A win for Liverpool would propel them to 3rd in the table, overtaking Leicester City.

Brighton, on the other hand, were hoping for a positive result to create further distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

FIRST HALF

The match started at a frantic pace but goalscoring opportunities were hard to come despite the intense approach.

Defences stood firm during the opening period of the half, however both teams were looking more and more dangerous as the minutes passed.

In fact, it wasn’t until the 23rd minute that an opportunity of any kind came along.

The ball was played onto Neal Maupay and he initially did well in the box to evade a handful of Liverpool defenders before his shot was deflected. The ball then found it’s way to the feet of Dan Burn but his effort sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Chances remained at a premium as the first half finished scoreless.

Brighton looked the more likely to score of the two, much improvement was needed from Jürgen Klopp’s men in the second half.

SECOND HALF

Liverpool started the second half with much more urgency than they ended the first.

They did, however, struggle to create chances of note.

The same cannot be said about Brighton as they opened the scoring with a brilliant team goal in the 56th minute.

Steven Alzate was the goalscorer as he started a rare Premier League game. He got on the end of a Dan Burn header and made no mistake in finding the back of the net.

The Colombian international burst onto the scene a couple of years ago but his game time has become increasingly limited. Perhaps this evening’s solid performance and goal will give Graham Potter something to think about in the coming weeks.

Mohamed Salah had an excellent opportunity to equalize from a Trent Alexander-Arnold low cross in the 70th minute but he uncharacteristically blazed over the bar. The Egyptian was in plenty of space in the box but he failed to make it count.

Caoimhin Kelleher was called into action in the 74th minute as he displayed good reflexes to deny Pascal Groß’s low effort.

He denied Brighton a second time moments later with another strong save to avoid any mounting danger.

The Corkman did well to keep the scoreline at 1-0.

Another Irishman, Aaron Connolly, came on in the 82nd minute to add more fuel to an already impressive Brighton attack.

Liverpool had their half chances but never looked likely to find the net realistically.

Full time sounded with the scoreline at 1-0 to Brighton, and deservedly so, too.

Liverpool remain in 4th while Brighton climb to 15th, easing their relegating worries by a great deal.

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