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Diaz, De Zerbi & Mac Allister comparisons – Last word on Liverpool 2-1 Brighton

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Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Brighton wasn’t always pretty, but the Reds’ quality shone through in the end and helped them move two points clear atop the Premier League.

There was plenty to discuss from Liverpool’s victory over Brighton, with several strong performances across the pitch and one standing out in particular.

Arsenal now lie two points behind the Reds with Man City a further point back. A tense two months await but Liverpool will have the weight of their support behind them.

Here, Sam Millne (@sam_millne) and Patrick Allen (@P_Allen21) from Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Brighton.

 

Firstly, how good is Alexis Mac Allister?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

PADDY: Very, he looks like a World Cup winner.

A lot of people, maybe including myself, were a little quick to jump on him earlier in the season when he played deeper, but having him further up the field just highlights his quality. Class.

SAM: Just touching upon Paddy’s comment on his performances as a defensive midfielder, he was showing parts of what he could do, but just wasn’t always doing it in the right areas of the pitch.

Now, he can play with more freedom and is a class above everyone else at the moment. Coupled with his low centre of gravity, his passing display on Sunday was exceptional and was reminiscent of a prime Thiago performance.

Something that also stands him in good stead is his decent injury record; he could really become a vital, world class player for Liverpool.

 

At Anfield, did you feel the support from the moment we went behind or were there nerves?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

PADDY: Not particularly, but I think that was mainly down to the fact the Brighton goal was so early in the game.

It wasn’t as though they scored in the 60th minute or later and we desperately needed something. We had time and I think we all knew that.

SAM: Of course as the game goes on, tension rises, but for the most part I think Liverpool and the fans held their nerve.

It has been something we have had to get used to this season, picking up 26 points from losing positions in the Premier League so far this campaign.

 

Diaz seems to polarise opinion; how would you assess his performances of late?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's Luis Díaz celebrates after scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

SAM: Something you can never accuse Luis Diaz of is a lack of effort – that has clearly always been there.

It has been his decision-making and end product that have frustrated many in recent times. Against Brighton, though, he got it right and was probably the second-best player on the pitch.

Should he maintain that form, he could well be a Premier League winner in May.

PADDY: I agree with Sam in that, to be honest, I think this was his best game in a while.

He always tries his best but his final product can often leave a lot to be desired. Fortunately, on Sunday he turned up and was very unlucky to not come away with two goals.

 

Would you take De Zerbi as manager or are you steering clear?

PADDY: Not for me. Brighton play some lovely football, albeit very risky at times, and are a really, really good watch.

However, there are some major question marks about them defensively and those frailties were on show at Anfield. On a different day Liverpool could have scored five or six.

SAM: Like Paddy, I don’t want him to manage Liverpool, at this point in time anyway.

He has something unique, that’s undoubted, but managing a club the size of Liverpool requires the ability to manage more than just players.

Roberto De Zerbi would need to command the media, the crowd and manage his squad across four competitions – that’s something he hasn’t shown he can do yet.

 

Any changes for Sheffield United?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

PADDY: There is nothing that really springs to mind.

I think we’re at that stage of the season when rhythm is so, so important, especially in the middle and final third.

If Ibrahima Konate and Andy Robertson are fit, they come back in for Jarell Quansah and Joe Gomez but I wouldn’t touch anything else.

SAM: Konate and Robertson come in if they’re fit, particularly the former.

Klopp may also look to start Harvey Elliott, giving one of Alexis Mac Allister, Wataru Endo or Dominik Szoboszlai a rest before Man United.

Cody Gakpo‘s lack of form also means that the front three will probably remain the same, though Nunez hasn’t played two games a week too often this season.