Brighton complete Europa League comeback – but unwanted record continues

Liverpool’s next opponents came from behind to pick up a draw from their first European away trip, but defensive frailties remain.

The Reds aren’t the only team with less than 72 hours to prepare for Sunday’s contest, with Brighton also in Europa League action on Thursday night.

Roberto De Zerbi made five changes as his side battled back bravely from a 2-0 deficit at Marseille in their Europa League group-stage clash to earn themselves a late point in the south of France.

Chancel Mbemba and Jordan Veretout fired the hosts into an early lead inside 20 minutes, with Pascal Gross getting one back shortly after the break.

Joao Pedro then converted from the spot in the final few minutes to earn the Seagulls their first-ever point in Europe.

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 29, 2023: Brighton & Hove Albion's captain Lewis Dunk during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the Falmer Stadium. Brighton won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was a well-earned draw, but Marseille’s two first-half strikes mean that Brighton are still yet to keep a clean sheet from their 10 fixtures so far this season in all competitions.

Their last league outing ended in humiliation at the hands of a rejuvenated Aston Villa, who swept them aside 6-1 in a result very few football fans saw coming.

You would have to go back to Brighton‘s 3-0 win away at Arsenal in May to find the last game they didn’t concede in, with Thursday’s result extending that run to 14 competitive fixtures.

There are unlikely to be reunions with James Milner or Adam Lallana this weekend, with both currently sidelined with different injury issues.

It is good news for Liverpool, who will travel to the Amex Stadium on Sunday afternoon having been in Europa League action themselves this week.

The Reds were far from their best against Union SG at Anfield but ran out fairly routine 2-0 winners to extend their perfect start in Group E.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side have been in fine goalscoring form so far in 2023/24, scoring in all 10 of their matches so far and notching 24 goals in the process.

The last time the Reds failed to score came in the 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge at the start of April, with goals coming in all 20 of the games that have followed.

Liverpool are set to be without Cody Gakpo for the trip to the South Coast, but the manager should have more than enough firepower at his disposal to extend that goalscoring run.