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Brighton v Liverpool: FA Cup fourth round – live


Key events

88 min The VAR check is complete, and Fabinho is a lucky man. Ferguson is on his feet but limping very heavily.

87 min Ferguson is still down, and Fabinho is shaking his head a little ruefully. He looks surprised at his own … I don’t know what word to use. Indiscipline? Thuggery?

87 min I think Fabinho’s in trouble here.

86 min Fabinho is booked for plunging his studs into Ferguson’s achilles, and VAR are checking for a red card.

85 min: Liverpool substitution Fabinho replaces the quietly impressive Stefan Bajcetic.

84 min Hang on, the ITV commentary team are suggesting VAR can’t get involved anyway. So they can intervene for serious foul play but not for the denial of a goalscoring opportunity? I’ve not a scooby any more.

83 min Mac Allister is still down. There’s no suggestion that VAR are checking the incident, which is a bit strange. It was clearly a foul; the only issue is whether it was a clear goalscoring opportunity. I think it was.

82 min Mac Allister runs onto a long pass and goes over after being shoved in the neck by the last man Konate. The referee gives nothing, and the Brighton fans are fuming because a foul would sure have meant a red card.

Alexis Mac Allister is ‘challenged’ by Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate.
Alexis Mac Allister is ‘challenged’ by Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

80 min: Chance for Brighton! March beats Bajcetic, gets to the byline and cuts tbe ball back towards Mac Allister at the near post. Gomez’s woolly clearance goes straight to Ferguson, who belabours a shot from eight yards that is brilliantly blocked by the stretching Konate.

80 min “Who owns Brighton?” says David Horn. “Can’t Liverpool just buy them?”

79 min: Liverpool substitution Curtis Jones replaces Thiago.

77 min Alisson has to run a long way outside his area to beat March to Steele’s long punt.

76 min After a good move involving Bajcetic and Gakpo, Robertson’s cross is slightly too close to Steele.

Gakpo has been terrific since about the half-hour mark.

74 min “Poor old Jürgen has only served half the time Bill Shankly chalked up,” says Nigel Moore, “and already the vultures are circling waiting for a peck. Give him a break!”

You are familiar with a thing called the modern world, right? (Mind you, if everyone is ever going to do 15 years at a big club again, it probably is Klopp>0

72 min Liverpool break dangerously, but Nunez’s pass is slightly behind Salah. Lamptey fouls him and is lucky not to be booked.

71 min: Vital save by Alisson! Dunk curls a fine pass out to Mitoma on the left. He takes an insouciant touch and stabs the most delicious, precise cross with the outside of the right foot. March charges onto it, eight yards from goal, and rams a shot that hits the outrushing Alisson, rebounds off March and flies wide of the near post.

Solly March goes so close to putting Brighton in front.
Solly March goes so close to putting Brighton in front. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters

70 min “The taking one for the team foul by Dunk, as perfected by Ramos, should be clamped down on with an orange sin-bin card,” says Andy Tuohy. “If it has literally stopped a goalscoring opportunity it needs to be punished much harder. I’m all for sin-bins.”

Sin-bins and VAR; what’s the worst that could happen?

That’s a rhetorical question, please don’t email your scenarios.

69 min The increasingly influential Gakpo plays a good return pass to Milner, whose cross is headed behind by Dunk. Milner was shoved slightly by Estupinan as he shaped to cross, though it wasn’t enough for a penalty.

67 min: Brighton substitution Billy Gilmour replaces Danny Welbeck. Alexis Mac Allister will now play behind/alongside Evan Ferguson.

67 min “Obviously, I live in fear of Klopp leaving,” says Matt Dony. “But, can you think of anything funnier than seeing him rock up at PSG?”

I have to be honest, the first season of Peep Show would give it a run for its money.

66 min This is a good spell for Liverpool, their best of the second half.

64 min “Huh?” sniffs Bill Ireland. “Lots of jobs fit Klopp’s personality (many clubs have enthusiastic fans) and there isn’t any reason to think he would be uncomfortable working for rich owners- FSG are rich and they spend a lot of money to buy better opportunities for success.

“On the scale of football ownership, FSG has more in common with PSG than Dortmund or Mainz. Klopp seems likeable through a media prism and he’s been very successful but let’s not assume he shares your values or opinions. He’s not wearing a hair shirt or choosing to pass on opportunities to manage wealthy clubs.”

I think Klopp likes being, if not the underdog, then at least a relative outsider who prefers punching up and down. That’s just ma pinion; I guess we’ll find out in the next few years. Also, who says they are my values? Yes, it’s true, I did win the Champions League with Margate on Championship Manager 2001-02, but that shouldn’t necessarily define me.

63 min Dunk is booked for a brazenly cuynical foul on Gakpo, who had slipped him beautifully and was making a beeline for the penalty area. Gakpo has grown into this game and is doing a decent impression of Roberto Firmino with his pressing and slippery movement.

Lewis Dunk pulls back Cody Gakpo. Yellow card.
Lewis Dunk pulls back Cody Gakpo. Yellow card. Photograph: John Walton/PA

62 min Konate is booked for wiping out Ferguson, who has held the ball up really well today. Those two might be meeting in the Euro 2024 qualifiers in March.

60 min Milner plays a brilliant, Alexander-Arnoldian ball around the defence towards Salah. His touch takes him a bit wide and eventually Steele beats away his cross.

59 min: Triple substitution for Liverpool James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Darwin Nunez replace Trent Alexander-Arnold, who isn’t thrilled to come off, Harvey Elliott and Naby Keita.

Darwin Nunez comes on for Liverpool.
Darwin Nunez comes on for Liverpool. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

57 min Alexander-Arnold’s wicked cross is chested wide by Salah, who missed his attempted header. Salah was slightly offside anyway, but Gakpo – who was probably in a better position – was not.

55 min: Chance for Brighton! Mitoma slows down on the left edge of the area, then scoots away from Alexander-Arnold and into the box. Alisson blocks his cross-shot from a tight angle and the ball spins towards March at the far post. He chests it down to Gross, who can’t get over the bouncing ball and slaps it over the bar.

That was an exhilarating change of pace from Mitoma, who is starting to make himself at home in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s subconscious.

54 min Brighton are pressing a bit more aggressively since half-time, and they’ve been the better team so far.

53 min “Mate, admit it,” says Ian Copestake. “You get paid for every mention of Mitoma.”

I get paid for my time*, but I don’t know about Mitoma.

* Occasionally

50 min Gakpo fouls Mac Allister 30 yards from goal. Dunk wobbles a beach-ball free-kick that goes a few yards wide of the far post. Alisson probably had it covered.

49 min “Wouldn’t Klopp go for the romance option post Liverpool?” says Graeme Neill. “A few years out then go back to Mainz once it becomes available again. I can’t see him doing many more jobs post Liverpool (a time I hope doesn’t happen for years).”

Hmm, maybe, but I can’t see it being his next job. I’d imagine he’ll do one more longish stint, where it’s with Germany or a club side. Maybe he’d be tempted by the challenge of one of Serie A’s fallen giants.

48 min A wicked inswinging cross from March just evades Mitoma, who got away from Alexander-Arnold at the back post.

Kaoru Mitoma’s pace is causing all sorts of problems for Liverpool.
Kaoru Mitoma’s pace is causing all sorts of problems for Liverpool. Photograph: Jacques Feeney/Offside/Getty Images

47 min Mitoma surges past Alexander-Arnold, who gets away with a clear obstruction that allows Konate to come across and clear the ball. That should have been a free-kick and a yellow card.

47 min “Surely the only answer to the question of Klopp’s next club is Atletico Madrid?” says Brad Mcmillan. “I’d love to see a manager swap in fact, Simeone would fit like a glove at Anfield.”

What kind of gloves do you wear?

46 min Peep peep!

Brighton have made a half-time change Joel Veltman is on for Adam Webster at centre-back.

“Wakey wakey,” says Jeff Sax. “Guys, Klopp had his golden seven years at Liverpool… They will not improve until he leaves.”

You misspelt ‘until Darwin Nunez settles and scores 50 goals next season, as he inevitably will’.

“Joe Pearson on 36 minutes is a lot kinder to the FSG-out bunch than I am,” says Espen Bommen. “They are fortunately few and far between but they are everything that’s wrong with modern football fans, crying because we didn’t buy the latest £100m big thing.

“FSG aren’t perfect but they have invested in the infrastructure and made us both competitive and financially self sufficient, which is very important, and are as morally sound as you can want from a hedge fund. When you look at the alternatives it makes me shudder and loads of reds will have to do some serious mental gymnastics if it happens.”

BUT THINK OF ALL THE MIDFIELDERS.

Half-time reading

Half time: Brighton 1-1 Liverpool

That was really good fun. Both teams played some bright, breezy football, with the left-sided attackers Kaoru Mitoma and Harvey Elliott to the fore. Elliott gave Liverpool the lead after a ruthless counter-attack; Lewis Dunk diverted an errant shot past Alisson to equalise for Brighton.

45 min Here’s the Brighton equaliser.

44 min Elliott fell into the rump of Steele after that Lamptey tackle, so there’s a break in play while he has a concussion check. He’s been such a threat today with those runs infield from the left.

43 min: Great chance for Elliott! Gakpo drops deep, beats Mac Allister through sleight of hip and eases a classy through pass to Elliott. His first touch is perfect, but the second is slightly too heavy and that allows Lamptey to come across and make a desperate last-ditch tackle.

43 min “I’ll admit that I have a hard time getting exercised over which set of billionaires own Liverpool, but I am fascinated by what Klopp does next,” says Kári Tulinius. “As much as I’d like to see him stick around for decades like a modern Ferguson or Wenger, it would be thrilling to see him start over at another club.”

Let’s say he leaves Liverpool at the end of next season. What are his options, realistically? I can’t think of any club jobs that fit his personality. I’m not sure how comfortable he would feel working for one of the netspend mafia.

41 min Dunk scored an own goal, one of three by Brighton players, when they lost 6-1 at Anfield in the FA Cup 11 years ago.

A left-wing corner was cleared towards Lamptey, 25 yards from goal. He ran impatiently towards the ball and cut across a shot that was going wide until it hit Dunk and wrongfooted Alisson.

Lewis Dunk scores with a lucky deflection!
Lewis Dunk scores with a lucky deflection! Photograph: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC/Getty Images

GOAL! Brighton 1-1 Liverpool (Dunk 39)

A stroke of luck for Brighton!

Alisson is wrong footed as Brighton level.
Alisson is wrong footed as Brighton level. Photograph: Sean Ryan/IPS/Shutterstock

38 min Or, in the case of the goal, from the passing of Salah and the movement of Elliott.

37 min Liverpool look really dangerous on the break, particularly through the passing of Elliott and the movement of Salah.

36 min “C’mon people!” pleads Joe Pearson. “You do realise that two years after FSG bought the Red Sox, the team broke an 86-year drought to win the World Series and have been consistently competitive since. Yes, they are a little more thoughtful with their money than say Todd Boehly. But then, who isn’t? Just chill a bit.”

34 min Mitoma is looking increasingly dangerous for Brighton, though the in-form March has been relatively quiet on the other side.

32 min There was a VAR check for handball against Keita in the build-up, but as he didn’t score the goal himself it can only be disallowed if it was a deliberate handball. It wasn’t.

Dunk got in front of Salah to win the ball near the halfway line, but his momentum meant he was out of the game when Keita quickly lobbed the ball into space down the right. Salah made 30 or 40 yards and then weighted his pass perfectly behind Webster for the onrushing Elliott. He dragged a first-time shot that hit the outstretched right hand of Steele and dribbled slowly into the far corner.

Harvey Elliott celebrates the opener for the away side.
Harvey Elliott celebrates the opener for the away side. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

GOAL! Brighton 0-1 Liverpool (Elliott 30)

Harvey Elliott does it again in the FA Cup!

Harvey Elliott scores for Liverpool!
Harvey Elliott scores for Liverpool! Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images/Reuters





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