Ruthless Liverpool score five in demolition of Brighton
Brighton 1 - 5 Liverpool

Ruthless Liverpool score five in demolition of Brighton

02/12/2017

Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino demolished Brighton to keep Liverpool's top-four charge on track.

The Brazil international duo, ably assisted by Mohamed Salah, tore the Seagulls to shreds in a thumping 5-1 victory on the south coast.

Emre Can opened the scoring before Firmino added a quickfire second and then doubled his tally in the second half.

Glenn Murray pulled one back from the penalty spot but Coutinho hit the fourth and then forced an own goal from Lewis Dunk to complete the rout.

Injuries and illness had forced Jurgen Klopp to play with two midfielders, Can and Georginio Wijnaldum, alongside his only fit centre-half, Dejan Lovren, in a makeshift back three.

But when the Reds boss has a front three in this kind of form he could probably dispense with centre-backs altogether.

Since losing heavily at Tottenham in mid-October, Klopp's side have now taken 16 points from a possible 18.

It was not all plain sailing, though. Liverpool's unfamiliar rearguard got themselves into a mess after a quarter of an hour to almost gift Brighton the lead.

Wijnaldum's pass was intercepted and the ball was moved out to Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown on the left wing, but Murray could not convert his cross.

At the other end Brighton were holding firm despite the probing of Salah and Coutinho.

So manager Chris Hughton will have been hugely frustrated that they fell behind to a regulation set-piece, Can nodding in Coutinho's corner on the half hour.

Just 79 seconds later they conceded again, but this time it came from a ruthless counter. Salah led the charge before feeding Coutinho who swept a first-time cross in for Firmino to tap home from six yards.

Moments after half-time Brighton should have scored when Murray met another Brown cross but Simon Mignolet somehow kept the ball out from point-blank range.

And Brighton were immediately, and brutally, exposed once more as Salah went marauding up the field, taking four home defenders with him before slipping the ball to an unmarked Firmino to hit number three.

The Seagulls did get on the scoresheet when Jordan Henderson fouled Shane Duffy at a corner and Murray tucked away the penalty.

They almost set up a nervy finale when substitute Jose Izquierdo wriggled into the area but Trent Alexander-Arnold's last-ditch challenge saved the Reds.

Instead Coutinho secured the points when he cheekily rolled a free-kick under the wall before seeing his shot deflected in by Dunk to complete the scoring.

Related news

Arsenal appoint Unai Emery as head coach to replace Arsene Wenger

Arsenal appoint Unai Emery as head coach to replace Arsene Wenger

Arsenal have hired former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery to take them into a new era following Arsene Wenger's departure, with sources telling that he has signed a three-year contract.

Eden Hazard's first-half penalty hands Chelsea FA Cup win over Man United

Eden Hazard's first-half penalty hands Chelsea FA Cup win over Man United

Eden Hazard fired Chelsea to FA Cup glory against Manchester United as Antonio Conte's expected farewell ended with a memorable triumph against old foe Jose Mourinho.

Michael Carrick signs off with a win as Manchester United sink Watford

Michael Carrick signs off with a win as Manchester United sink Watford

Michael Carrick bade farewell to Old Trafford by helping set up the goal that delivered a 1-0 win for Manchester United over Watford.

Man City land 100 points as late Gabriel Jesus goal beats Southampton

Man City land 100 points as late Gabriel Jesus goal beats Southampton

Champions Manchester City became the first club to amass 100 Premier League points after Gabriel Jesus scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner at Southampton.

Tottenham hit back to edge nine-goal thriller as Harry Kane nets twice

Tottenham hit back to edge nine-goal thriller as Harry Kane nets twice

Tottenham said goodbye to Wembley in style as they came from behind to beat Leicester 5-4 in a thrilling final-day Premier League encounter.

Chelsea's Champions League hopes ended as Ayoze Perez leads Newcastle to victory

Chelsea's Champions League hopes ended as Ayoze Perez leads Newcastle to victory

Ayoze Perez struck twice to end Chelsea's faint hopes of Champions League qualification as Newcastle secured a top-10 finish on their return to the Premier League.

Mohamed Salah strikes as Liverpool ease into top four with win over Brighton

Mohamed Salah strikes as Liverpool ease into top four with win over Brighton

Liverpool secured a top-four spot with very little fuss as Mohamed Salah's new Premier League goalscoring record paved the way for a 4-0 victory over Brighton.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger signs off with win against Huddersfield

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger signs off with win against Huddersfield

Arsene Wenger bowed out with a victory as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first-half goal secured a 1-0 win for Arsenal in their season finale against Huddersfield.

Manchester United seal second after goalless draw with West Ham

Manchester United seal second after goalless draw with West Ham

West Ham and Manchester United played out a dull goalless draw at the London Stadium -- although the result was enough to see Jose Mourinho's side secure second place in the Premier League.

RELATED NEWS

Arsenal appoint Unai Emery as head coach to replace Arsene Wenger
Arsenal news

Arsenal appoint Unai Emery as head coach to replace Arsene Wenger

Arsenal have hired former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery to take them into a new era following Arsene Wenger's departure, with sources telling that he has signed a three-year contract.

Eden Hazard's first-half penalty hands Chelsea FA Cup win over Man United
Chelsea 1 - 0 Man United

Eden Hazard's first-half penalty hands Chelsea FA Cup win over Man United

Eden Hazard fired Chelsea to FA Cup glory against Manchester United as Antonio Conte's expected farewell ended with a memorable triumph against old foe Jose Mourinho.

Michael Carrick signs off with a win as Manchester United sink Watford
Manchester United 1 - 0 Watford

Michael Carrick signs off with a win as Manchester United sink Watford

Michael Carrick bade farewell to Old Trafford by helping set up the goal that delivered a 1-0 win for Manchester United over Watford.

Man City land 100 points as late Gabriel Jesus goal beats Southampton
Southampton 0 - 1 Man City

Man City land 100 points as late Gabriel Jesus goal beats Southampton

Champions Manchester City became the first club to amass 100 Premier League points after Gabriel Jesus scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner at Southampton.

Tottenham hit back to edge nine-goal thriller as Harry Kane nets twice
Tottenham 5 - 4 Leicester

Tottenham hit back to edge nine-goal thriller as Harry Kane nets twice

Tottenham said goodbye to Wembley in style as they came from behind to beat Leicester 5-4 in a thrilling final-day Premier League encounter.

Chelsea's Champions League hopes ended as Ayoze Perez leads Newcastle to victory
Newcastle 3 - 0 Chelsea

Chelsea's Champions League hopes ended as Ayoze Perez leads Newcastle to victory

Ayoze Perez struck twice to end Chelsea's faint hopes of Champions League qualification as Newcastle secured a top-10 finish on their return to the Premier League.

Mohamed Salah strikes as Liverpool ease into top four with win over Brighton
Liverpool 4 - 0 Brighton

Mohamed Salah strikes as Liverpool ease into top four with win over Brighton

Liverpool secured a top-four spot with very little fuss as Mohamed Salah's new Premier League goalscoring record paved the way for a 4-0 victory over Brighton.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger signs off with win against Huddersfield
Huddersfield 0 - 1 Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger signs off with win against Huddersfield

Arsene Wenger bowed out with a victory as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first-half goal secured a 1-0 win for Arsenal in their season finale against Huddersfield.

Manchester United seal second after goalless draw with West Ham
West Ham 0 - 0 Manchester United

Manchester United seal second after goalless draw with West Ham

West Ham and Manchester United played out a dull goalless draw at the London Stadium -- although the result was enough to see Jose Mourinho's side secure second place in the Premier League.