Four things Klopp got right as Liverpool beat Brighton to pressure Man City

Liverpool continued to pile the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City with a comfortable 2-0 win over Brighton on Saturday.

The Reds maintained their relentless run in the league, claiming an eighth successive win to cut City's lead down to a mere three points.

Luiz Diaz opened the scoring at the AMEX less than 20 minutes into the contest, heading home after the Premier League's Player of the Month for February, Joel Matip, floated one in behind Brighton's backline.

The Colombian courageously nodded past onrushing Seagulls stopper Robert Sanchez, who was lucky to escape punishment after clattering the Liverpool forward.

Mohamed Salah then converted a second-half penalty to clinch a comfortable victory after Brighton's Yves Bissouma blocked Naby Keita's goal-bound effort with his hand.

Here, Daily Star Sport takes a closer look at what Jurgen Klopp got right against Brighton on a beautiful day on the south coast.

Recalling Diaz

Diaz's has made a seamless transition to Premier League football since his £50million arrival from Porto, even if he claims otherwise.

The Colombian told BT Sport prior to Saturday's match that his start has been far from "easy" but it's fair to say he's made quite the impact.

Klopp opted to drop him to the bench for Liverpool's 1-0 midweek Champions League defeat to Inter Milan and his absence was glaring.

At the AMEX, however, Diaz was in from the off and the German's decision to recall his new recruit was justified.

It took the 25-year-old less than 20 minutes to make his mark, racing in behind Brighton's backline before bravely glancing a header past the onrushing Sanchez.

The goal was Diaz's second in Liverpool colours and you get the impression there's plenty more to come.

Saving Salah

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Moments after Salah smashed in Liverpool's second from the spot shortly after the hour mark, the Egyptian sat on the turf, nursing a knock.

With Liverpool firmly in control and Brighton heading towards a fifth successive Premier League defeat, Klopp made the call to rest his star man.

Though the substitution appeared cautionary, it was a sensible one given Liverpool's cluttered calendar.

The Reds travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal on Wednesday for their game in hand over City, before an FA Cup quarter-final with Nottingham Forest next Sunday.

Klopp was wise to rest Salah with the points safe and Liverpool's quadruple challenge still very much on.

Learning from previous mistakes

Brighton caused quite the stir earlier in the campaign when they came from two goals down to inflict an almighty Anfield upset and claim a point in a 2-2 draw.

Goals from Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane put the Reds in a commanding position that day, before complacency set in.

A stunning Enock Mwepu long-ranger shortly before half-time gave the Seagulls hope, before Leonadro Trossard scored a shock leveller in game which Brighton could easily have won.

Saturday proved to be a different story, however.

Despite a solid start from the home side, Liverpool swiftly seized control of the match – something they failed to do against the same opposition back in October.

This time around, the result never looked in doubt.

Taking a gamble on van Dijk

Klopp made three changes for the Brighton contest but the biggest talking point with regards to his team selection was his decision to take a gamble on Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutch defender missed training earlier in the week amid reports of Covid cases at the club.

Van Dijk's absence led to fears that he may well miss Liverpool's trip to the AMEX, but regardless of the reasons for his training no-show, Klopp clearly felt he was fit enough to feature.

In from the off, the 30-year-old repaid his manager's faith, helping Liverpool clinch their third successive Premier League clean sheet – the first time they've managed that feat this season.

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