BRIGHTON 1-1 LIVERPOOL
- Goals: Pascal Groß (£5.8m) | Diogo Jota (£6.8m)
- Assists: Danny Welbeck (£5.5m) | Mohamed Salah (£12.2m)
- Bonus points: Gross x3, Jota x2, Lewis Dunk x1 (£4.8m)
JOT THAT DOWN
A Pascal Groß (£5.8m) stoppage-time penalty denied Liverpool a victory and left owners of Andrew Robertson (£7.2m) rueing the late VAR decisions in Gameweek 10.
But Diogo Jota (£6.8m) continued his fantastic scoring record with a 60th minute goal – the ninth since his £40m summer move from Wolves. It came from Liverpool’s left-hand side, as Robertson setting up Mohamed Salah’s (£12.2m) one-touch pass to Jota, who managed to wriggle through the defence to hit a low right-footed shot into the corner.
Such success has seen Jota’s ownership rise to 22% and this strike certainly won’t slow down the race to grab the league’s most in-form player. Initially perceived as a back-up option, Jota is making himself undroppable and faces Fulham in Gameweek 12.
In a match of two penalties and two disallowed goals, both Salah and substitute Sadio Mané (£12.1m) were victims of the latter. The Egyptian star was ditched by 1.4 million FPL managers when his positive coronavirus (COVID-19) tests ruled him out of last Sunday’s 3-0 win over Leicester.
Owners who risked that Salah would only miss one match were delighted to see him play in midweek and again here, hoping to add to his record of five goals and three assists against Brighton.
“I can explain it one last time: in this period we are now in, five subs is not for tactical changes. And if ever one coach has the luck to use it for tactical changes that would be the exception. If we would have had five subs today then Andy Robertson I would have taken off, 100 per cent; I had Kostas Tsimikas on the bench, so he can play 15/20 minutes.” – Jurgen Klopp
A couple of early opportunities did arrive for Salah. Firstly, Jota was released down the flank in the opening minute and almost provided a tap-in for his team mate, were it not for a defender getting there first. Two minutes later, Fabinho’s (£5.4m) long pass put Salah through on goal but his left-footed shot went wide.
However, when he converted a similar one-on-one, VAR ruled he was offside and that his calm finish past Mat Ryan (£4.5m) would not count. That was it for Salah, as the assist for Jota put him on six points – substituted off for Mané with a clean sheet point secured.
Salah was furious at being replaced but Mané, rested as part of Jurgen Klopp’s decision to carefully manage an injury-ravaged squad, perhaps a sign of an explosive score on the horizon.
Jota’s hot streak has coincided with Mané’s relative drought, scoring just once from his previous eight games in all competitions. He headed home a Robertson free kick in the 84th minute but VAR again deemed it offside.
It looked set to be a comfortable Liverpool victory, as the champions improved since the half-time introduction of captain Jordan Henderson (£5.4m). With a vocal leader on the pitch, they were able to nullify the threat of Brighton better than they had done previously.
Yet a late attack led to Robertson kicking the boot of Danny Welbeck (£5.5m) and the awarding of the Seagulls’ second penalty – this time successfully converted by Gross.
“Football is played by human beings, there’s going to be some mistakes and errors, including from the officials. We will be on the wrong end of them sometimes, but we will also be on the right end of them. We’ve got to accept that VAR is here and try and support it as best we can and not get too carried away with decisions because they’re nothing we can control.” – Graham Potter
This equaliser prevented the patched-up Liverpool defence from keeping their sixth clean sheet in the nine games since Virgil van Dijk’s (£6.3m) ACL injury against Everton. After hosting Wolves in Gameweek 11, encouraging fixtures against Fulham (away), Crystal Palace (away), West Brom (home) and Newcastle (away) will tempt many to return to Klopp’s back line, especially once Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) returns from his calf injury.
Brighton’s upcoming games are mixed – Southampton (home), Leicester (away), Fulham (away), Sheffield United (home) and West Ham (away). Those with Neal Maupay (£6.3m) might be wondering if he’ll ever score again. Without a goal since his spree between Gameweeks 2 and 4, disciplinary problems saw him dropped for the recent visit to Tottenham and the former Brentford man missed Brighton’s first penalty of the day.
His spot kick was given in the 19th minute, in a period where Aaron Connolly (£5.3m) was a constant menace to Liverpool’s inexperienced defence. Shortly before, he was put through on goal by Maupay’s defence-splitting pass but put his shot off-target. Then Connolly was fouled by Neco Williams (£3.9m), before Maupay put the eventual penalty wide. The Frenchman compounded his misery by limping off with a hamstring problem minutes later.
Injuries are everywhere right now, with Liverpool’s known troubles almost worsened when versatile James Milner (£5.3m) was in pain. Against his former club, substitute Adam Lallana (£6.2m) only lasted eight minutes for Brighton before he himself was replaced due to injury.
Head coach Graham Potter will be pleased with a point, especially as it was gained without suspended right-back Tariq Lamptey (£4.8m). His sending off against Aston Villa deprived the Seagulls of a huge attacking threat – second to Robertson in penalty box touches of defenders.
He is part of a Brighton defence that only has two clean sheets, despite heading into Gameweek 10 with fewer shots conceded than everyone else bar Man City, who have played one fewer match. Between them, goalkeepers Ryan and Robert Sanchez (£4.4m) had only made 13 saves, with Ryan adding one more here.
So their solid defence isn’t letting many shots through, yet those that do are often goals. Owners of Lamptey will hope that this peculiar rate sorts itself out over their upcoming fixtures, enabling him to bring in returns at both ends of the field.
BRIGHTON XI (3-5-2): Ryan; Dunk, Webster, White; Veltman, Gross, Bissouma, March, Connolly (Lallana 63’ (Jahanbakhsh 71’)); Maupay (Trossard 26’), Welbeck
LIVERPOOL XI (4-2-3-1): Alisson; N Williams (Henderson 46’), Fabinho, Phillips, Robertson; Milner (Jones 74’), Wijnaldum; Minamino, Jota, Salah (Mane 64’); Firmino
Lessons Learned from FPL Gameweek 10
- Crystal Palace 0-2 Newcastle United
- Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 Liverpool
- Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
- Everton 0-1 Leeds United
- West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Sheffield United
- Southampton 2-3 Manchester United
- Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
- Arsenal 1-2 Wolves
- Leicester City 1-2 Fulham
- West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa
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