Potter’s magic haunts Anfield

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To be able to salvage a point away from Anfield in recent years is a feat few have achieved, especially when not leading one of the Top 6 teams, but Graham Potter has done just that. Brighton came back from a two-goal deficit to earn a point against the seemingly invincible Reds, a feat that even top-tier teams have struggled to achieve in recent weeks.

Graham Potter was overjoyed after his team came back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a point against Liverpool. Potter was pleased with his team’s performance, and he was even happier that it occurred at Anfield. This draw was a rude awakening for Liverpool, who were kept at home by goals from Enock Mwepu and Leandro Trossard as Brighton closed the gap.

The hosts never seemed to have complete control of the game, but their path to victory would have appeared clear if VAR had not disallowed Mane’s second and Liverpool’s third goals before halftime for handball. Mwepu’s 25-yard stunner caught Alisson off guard and gave Brighton hope moments before the break without that extra cushion. They equalised shortly after the hour mark when Trossard danced inside Andrew Robertson before beating Alisson at his near post after being set up by former Red Lallana.

It is highly uncharacteristic for Klopp and Co. to struggle so much against a single adversary, and yet this has been the case whenever they face Brighton, considering that with this draw, Brighton have now managed to stay unbeaten against them for 3 consecutive games. Consequently, it was only the sixth time in Premier League history that Liverpool failed to win a home game after leading by two goals. Klopp’s side is still second, but they missed out on a chance to close the gap on leaders Chelsea, who moved three points clear after a 3-0 win at Newcastle and Manchester City’s shocking 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace. It was not because Liverpool made such egregious errors or gifted these goals. Brighton were just clinical enough to take advantage of the opportunities that were presented to them. This is how Graham Potter leads, this is how his team plays, and this is how Brighton can pull off such stunning upsets against title contenders.

To avoid being swept aside by Liverpool, Brighton’s manager knew his team needed to strike the right balance between defence and attack. He was aware that being overly open would play into the hands of their ruthless opponents, while also acknowledging that being overly defensive would play into their opponents’ hands. As a result, he assembled his team in such a way that almost every aspect was more or less balanced. This was the vision he pursued, a team that would be able to cover any mistakes made in any department, and he has more or less succeeded in moulding the Seagulls in this manner. And the results are visible to all.

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