EPL

Lewis Dunk’s goal denies Liverpool come-from-behind victory at Brighton

By Sports Desk October 08, 2023

Lewis Dunk’s late equaliser earned Brighton a 2-2 Premier League draw with Liverpool at the Amex Stadium.

Winger Simon Adingra took advantage of an error from Alisson in the visitors’ goal to give the Seagulls the lead midway through the first half.

But the game turned on its head before the break, Mohamed Salah slotting home to level after being played in by Harvey Elliott, then firing Jurgen Klopp’s side in front with a penalty after Pascal Gross had hauled down Dominik Szoboszlai.

Ryan Gravenberch spurned a golden chance to seal the win when he struck the bar with the goal at his mercy, before the final word went to the home side, Dunk volleying in 12 minutes from the end to keep Brighton sixth.

Roberto De Zerbi made six changes from the side that drew 2-2 in Marseille on Thursday, in keeping with the trend in the early weeks of the club’s debut season in Europe. Yet in the first period they appeared to pick up where they left off in storming back from two down to draw in the Stade Velodrome.

Their first chance came after only four minutes. Dunk got free at the back post from a corner and nodded back across goal, the ball sitting up at a good height for Joao Pedro whose shot deflected wide.

The opening goal was a calamity of Liverpool’s own making. Alisson played a careless pass to the feet of Alexis Mac Allister, seemingly oblivious to the lurking Adingra. He stole in to nick the ball from the former Brighton player, and with quick thinking took the shot early and rolled it inside the post before goalkeeper Alisson could recover and set himself.

Liverpool were shaken and Brighton began to take a hold of the game. Carlos Baleba exposed the visitors’ porous midfield when he collected inside his own half and drove through the heart of Klopp’s side, carrying the ball to the edge of the box before checking back and dragging a left-footed effort inches wide.

Liverpool equalised against the run of play after 39 minutes. Dunk gave the ball away to Szoboszlai near halfway and the Hungarian fed it forward to Darwin Nunez. He moved it on to Luis Diaz, whose ball in to Elliott was perfectly weighted for him to set up Salah to slot home.

Salah gave Liverpool the lead from the penalty spot in the 44th minute after Bart Verbruggen playing an awkward pass to Gross that put the midfielder under pressure. He was dispossessed by Szoboszlai and in a desperate attempt to recover the ball he yanked down the Liverpool midfielder, allowing Salah to step up and bag his second from the spot.

The hosts almost restored parity in the first few minutes of the second half, Evan Ferguson finding Adingra with a reaching pass into the right channel. Adingra darted beyond Andy Robertson and feinted to shoot, instead cutting back inside and hitting a low effort that was well saved by Alisson.

Gravenberch, on as a half-time substitute, wasted a glorious chance to extend the lead when he struck the crossbar with the goal gaping from Szoboszlai’s cross, before the Hungarian turned provider for Diaz who burst into the box and blasted wide.

Karou Mitoma thought he had won Brighton a penalty after 69 minutes, cracking a shot at goal from six yards that appeared to ricochet onto the arm of Joel Matip. The award never came, and furious De Zerbi was booked for remonstrating with the fourth official.

Brighton’s equaliser was no more than their assured performance warranted.

Solly March’s whipped free-kick from the left had pace and bend, and as Andy Robertson missed it at the near post it was met first time by Dunk, who thumped home on the volley.

Pedro should have won it when he was left unmarked from 10 yards out, instead the striker leaned back and ballooned a glorious chance over as an entertaining game finished level.

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