Player ratings as March double extends Reds rot

From the AMEX – Solly March scored a double as Brighton embarrassed Liverpool to move up to seventh in the Premier League, further harming the injury-stricken visitors’ Champions League qualification hopes with a 3-0 victory.

Brighton dominated the Reds and made the breakthrough at the start of the second half when March touched Kauro Mitoma’s cross past Alisson.

The winger scored a stunning second minutes later to give Roberto De Zerbi’s side victory, with Jurgen Klopp’s visitors failing to conjure any moments of attacking quality.

Substitute Danny Welbeck came on to net a brilliant third, gathering March’s flick before powering his shot into the back of the net.

The home side started on the front foot and zipped passes around, with Trent Alexander-Arnold clearing March’s off-target shot just over the bar. A header from Alexis Mac Allister – making his first club start since the World Cup – from the subsequent corner was held by Allison.

Liverpool were penned in for the majority of the opening 25 minutes, only booting the ball into space for attackers Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo to chase. Their first proper sighter fell for Gakpo, whose fiercely-struck shot was charged down.

Brighton continued to recycle possession, constantly finding routes through the middle of Liverpool’s midfield before going wide to Mitoma and March.

It was March who appeared to win his side a penalty after going through and being brought down by Alisson, but the video assistant referee spotted his offside run in the build-up.

Liverpool’s midfield trio of Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson failed to exert any control on proceedings and Brighton got the lead they deserved when March tapped in.

The brilliant Mitoma again worked his way into the box and scuffed the ball across goal to March, who had the simple task of poking past Alisson for the game’s opener. It was his first strike at home in the league since 2020, but he didn’t have to wait much longer for his second.

The 28-year-old has hit his best run of Premier League form ever and his second strike took him to four goals in his last three top flight appearances. He was played through by emerging striker Evan Ferguson before arrowing a left-footed strike into the far corner.

A host of changes from the visitors did produce decent openings for Gakpo and Harvey Elliott, but the points were wrapped up with a third from home substitute Danny Welbeck. March flicked on a throw into Welbeck, who beat both Konate and Joe Gomez before firing in the third.

Brighton are now up to seventh thanks to their fifth win in seven league games, while Liverpool slip to eighth.

Solly March

Brighton were superb / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

GK: Robert Sanchez – 6/10 – On alert a few times to come out of his box and clean up, but not a busy day.

RB: Pascal Gross – 7/10 – Tucked infield pretty regularly and helped Brighton play through Liverpool’s lacking press.

CB: Lewis Dunk – 7/10 – Brought down Gakpo for a yellow card. Rarely had Liverpool attackers running in behind and used the ball well.

CB: Levi Colwill – 6/10 – Cool and calm when briefly put in tough spots in the first half.

LB: Pervis Estupinan – 7/10 – Bombed forward to provide Mitoma with more options in atack.

CM: Moises Caicedo – 7/10 – Constantly picked up loose possession and quickly asserted himself against Liverpool’s ageing midfield.

CM: Alexis Mac Allister – 7/10 – Combative, played cheeky passes around the corner and in tight spaces. Straight back into the flow on his first start since the World Cup.

RW: Solly March – 9/10 – Has hit form in recent weeks but this was an all-time career best performance from March. He gambled to get into the middle for his first strike and produced a brilliant finish to seal the points. Assisted Welbeck later with a header.

AM: Adam Lallana – 7/10 – Liverpool’s centre backs couldn’t decide who should pick up Lallana and he made use of the space, playing passes around the box to keep Brighton’s attacks flowing.

LW: Kaoro Mitoma – 8/10 – Slowed down and sped up out wide, constantly keeping Alexander-Arnold guessing. Deserved the assist for March, even if it was slightly scuffed.

ST: Evan Ferguson – 7/10 – Provided a physical contest Liverpool’s defence struggled with. Good pass played in March for his second.

Substitutes

Joel Veltman (66′ for Lallana) – 6/10 – A more conservative switch which paid off.

Danny Welbeck (66′ for Ferguson) – 8/10 – Added pace to Brighton’s counter attacks and sealed the win with a brilliant effort after collecting March’s header.

Jeremy Sarmiento (83′ for Mac Allister) – N/A

Tariq Lamptey (90′ for Mitoma) – N/A

Adam Webster (90′ for Dunk) – N/A

Manager

Roberto De Zerbi – 8/10 – Got his set-up spot on, exposing Liverpool’s ageing players and targeting their weaknesses out wide.

FBL-ENG-PR-BRIGHTON-LIVERPOOL

A day to forget / GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

GK: Alisson – 5/10 – Almost conceded a penalty but saved by VAR intervention. A couple of saves but not at his intimidating best.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 3/10 – Cleared a shot going wide over the bar. Saw Mitoma run past him again and again and Liverpool were eventually made to pay for it.

CB: Joel Matip – 3/10 – Slid in hard on Mitoma for a booking. Sloppy pass led to March’s opener.

CB: Ibrahima Konate – 4/10 – Slightly more composed than Matip but looked similarly at sea with Ferguson at times. Lost March for the third.

LB: Andy Robertson – 5/10 – Was high up the pitch when Matip gave the ball away, allowing March to exploit his absence. Probably the best of Liverpool’s defenders but hardly a standout performance.

CM: Jordan Henderson – 3/10 – Frustrated late tackle on Caicedo saw him booked. Off the pace.

CM: Fabinho – 2/10 – Couldn’t stop Brighton playing straight through Liverpool’s midfield and was positionally unaware throughout the contest.

CM: Thiago – 3/10 – Liverpool only started getting more of the ball late on, by which time is was a little late for Thiago to make an impact.

RW: Mohamed Salah – 4/10 – Had to chase long balls from the outset and didn’t get many scoring opportunities. Cut a frustrated figure.

ST: Cody Gakpo – 4/10 – First Premier League appearance and will hope for much improvement. Scarcely involved except for one blocked shot.

LW: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 3/10 – Only playing because of the injury crisis across Liverpool’s front three.

Substitutes

Ben Doak (68′ for Oxlade-Chamberlain) – 6/10 – Showed some vigour but the result had already been sealed.

Naby Keita (68′ for Fabinho) – 5/10 – Struggled similarly to Fabinho.

Harvey Elliott (69′ for Henderson) – 5/10 – Dragged one good opening wide when well placed.

Joe Gomez (69′ for Matip) – 5/10 – Couldn’t help clean up Liverpool’s poor defending.

Manager

Jurgen Klopp – 4/10 – Needed a more dynamic presence in midfield from the outset and saw his players overrun. Hands are tied a fair bit by injury but this defeat felt bleak.

Player of the match – Solly March