Brighton stun FA Cup holders Liverpool once again

mitoma scores for brighton against liverpool

A last minute strike from Kaoru Mitoma sent Liverpool crashing out of the FA Cup as their terrible season continued.

But for Brighton, they continue to exert their authority on the so called bigger sides and look every inch comfortable in doing so.

Manager Roberto De Zerbi has done a stellar job since taking charge following predecessor Graham Potter’s departure in September.

They are sixth in the Premier League, chasing European football and are looking to go deep in this season’s FA Cup.

In stark contrast, Jurgen Klopp’s team are staring down the barrel after yet another damaging defeat, with his players looking jaded, out of form and lacking the energy and motivation to fight for wins.


Having lost on this ground only a fortnight ago, a 3-0 thrashing, Liverpool looked keen to make amends in the early stages.

And they almost took the lead as midfielder Naby Keïta drove forward, playing in Mohamad Salah, who cut inside on his left foot, only for Seagulls defender Adam Webster to block his initial shot.

The Egyptian stabbed a follow up effort that looked a certain goal, only for Lewis Dunk to fling himself across the face of the goal, and heroically clear off the line.

Danger averted for Brighton.

Ironically, a near similar situation happened at the other end of the pitch, as Pascal Groß put Solly March through, who zipped a fine ball across goal to striker Evan Ferguson, but the teenager’s shot was blocked on the line by Trent Alexander Arnold.

With both goal-line clearances, the match was beginning to liven up.

Brighton pushed for the opening goal, as left-back Pervis Estupiñán found Mitoma on the over-lap, who’s one-two with Ferguson gave a real goal-scoring opportunity, only for the Japanese international’s effort to go straight at Alisson.

The in-form Harvey Elliot, then clipped a fine through ball to Salah, but the Egyptian dragged his shot wide when one on one with Seagulls keeper Jason Steele.

Last season you would have banked your bottom dollar on him scoring that, or at least hitting the target.

But Salah did make amends and helped Liverpool make the breakthrough, as he slid in Elliot, who tucked home a lovely goal into the bottom corner as boss Klopp and the fans at last had something to smile about.

It marked the teenager’s second goal in the competition this season, in back-to-back matches, after he hit the winner in the third-round replay against Wolves.

But Brighton immediately hit back nine minutes later, as Argentina World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister swung an inviting cross into the Liverpool penalty area.

Alexander-Arnold’s header attempted to clear the danger, but the ball sat nicely for Tariq Lamptey, who drove a fine 25-yard thunderbolt at the Reds goal, and a small deflection off Dunk saw the ball slam home.

Alisson left with no chance to react.

The Amex was rocking and this was a pivotal moment in the match, as after that, Liverpool’s heads dropped, and Brighton grew in confidence knowing the win was there for the taking.


De Zerbi’s side almost took the lead after the restart, as Dunk’s free-kick went narrowly wide of Alisson’s left-hand post, but the shot-stopper appeared to have the angle covered anyway.

It was all Brighton now, as Mitoma continued to run Alexander-Arnold ragged down the left-hand side, and the Japanese’s cross was chested down by March, but Groß could only slam his volley well over the bar.

The hosts were establishing a clear dominance and hold on the match.

With Liverpool run ragged in the midfield area, Dunk whipped a fine through ball to the impressive Mitoma, and his excellent toe-poked cross was met by March, only for Alisson to produce a world class save.

Another chance came for the Seagulls, as March’s cross wasn’t cleared properly by Joe Gomez, and Ferguson’s effort was blocked by the outstretched excellence of Ibrahima Konaté.

But the script was clearly written, and Brighton grabbed a sensational last minute winner in the 91st minute of stoppage time.

Estupiñán sent in a fine cross from the left, Mitoma controlled the ball, before a mini-kick up as the ball bobbled before him, then he expertly fired into the top corner.

A goal worthy of winning any match.

The Japanese and his teammates went wild as the Brighton fans celebrated in euphoria.

There was a small moment of tension, however, as there was a VAR check on Estupiñán, but he was onside and the goal stood.

Brighton again continued their fine unbeaten record against Liverpool, who will be relieved not to face another difficult trip to the south-coast this season.


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Klopp – ‘We have to do better’

The German gaffer reflected on another painful defeat in as many weeks against the same opposition.

“Look, I’m not over the moon about this performance but, again, the only thing that happened really is that we lost against a good side, who we lost against two weeks ago in a horrendous game.

“Today was much better,” said the boss.

“Now we play Wolves again. We have to improve. We have to do better.

“The body language from a couple of the boys has to be much better, and defending in the formation has to be better from a few.”

James Spencer

My name is James and I have supported Liverpool since I was 6 years old. My favourite players growing up were Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia. My most memorable match would be the UEFA Cup Final win over Deportivo Alaves that finished 5-4 to Liverpool! I am studying journalism in Manchester although I am a Liverpool fan through and through.

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