Mo Salah scores, Georginio Wijnaldum the quiet star as Liverpool beat Brighton
Liverpool were made to work for it by the resolute visitors but they held on to take full advantage of Manchester City's slip up at Wolves earlier in the day. For much of the game it looked too easy for Jurgen Klopp's side but when they failed to add to Mohamed Salah's first-half strike, it began to get a little edgy; needing a fantastic late save from Alisson to preserve the three points.
Another clean sheet and another three points. Liverpool dropped far too many points in fixtures they should have won last season and a year ago this would have ended in a draw. It didn't this time because they finally have a real difference maker between the sticks.
The front three were far from their brilliant best. Perhaps it's the World Cup effect or maybe it was just an off day, but none of them look at their best at the moment. You could argue that's actually a positive. Three wins from three and top of the league even though the much vaunted forward line are a little off the pace.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Quite rightly named an unchanged side but was not afraid to change it when it became clear that the game was drifting and more urgency was needed. Henderson's arrival made a difference and Daniel Sturridge also played his part in helping keep the ball in the Brighton half in the closing stages.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 7 -- Produced a vital late save that prevented three points from becoming one. That's why he cost the big bucks. He might want to take less risks with the ball at his feet though. There is no doubt he's an accomplished footballer but just because you can play doesn't always mean you should.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 -- Some of the youngsters long-range passing was a joy to behold. One sweeping first time volley that landed on Salah's boot 40 yards away was reminiscent of Steven Gerrard in his pomp. Struck the crossbar with a curling free kick but also picked up his third booking in as many games. Nathaniel Clyne's opportunity might come a lot quicker than he expected at this rate.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 7 -- Brighton's lack of possession and limited attacking threat meant he had very little to do. As always provided a vocal presence and helped to keep everyone on their toes.
DF Joe Gomez, 7 -- Brighton attempted to exploit him aerially by bypassing Van Dijk and having Glenn Murray stick close to Gomez, but the youngster dealt with everything that came his way and was an assured presence throughout.
DF Andrew Robertson, 7 -- Heavily involved in most attacks and provided his customary energy and determination down the left. The tireless Scot was still rampaging forward in the latter stages and popped up behind the Brighton defence in the right wing position to help set up a terrific chance that was squandered by Salah.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 8 -- Liverpool's best player on the day. Cool and composed in the first half and then provided quality and thrust when moved further forward following the introduction of Henderson. He's started the season very impressively.
MF James Milner, 8 -- Another strong performance from the ever reliable Yorkshireman. Produced one or two thunderous tackles, one of which started the move that led to the only goal of the game. He was also on the receiving end of some heavy treatment too, although typically he just picked himself up and got on with it.
MF Naby Keita, 6 -- Surprisingly quiet. Not exactly a bad performance but the Guinean was unable to make much impact and it was little surprise when he was replaced by Jordan Henderson.
FW Mohamed Salah, 7 -- Produced the most decisive moment of the game with an unerring low finish into the bottom corner, but his finishing was uncharacteristically wayward after that. Put two good second-half chances into the Kop and hasn't hit top gear yet this season. Nevertheless, in three games so far he's scored twice, won a penalty and caused an opponent to get sent off. Imagine what he'll do when he hits his stride again.
FW Roberto Firmino, 6 -- He's not quite at it yet but he's still making a contribution and is improving by the week. It was his pass that created the only goal of the game and he was busy throughout. Only a fine save from Mathew Ryan kept him off the scoresheet.
FW Sadio Mane, 5 -- Never got going. His passing was wayward early on and very little he attempted came off. Made way for Sturridge late on but could have been brought off much earlier than he was.
MF Jordan Henderson, 7 -- Picked up the tempo of the game immediately and must be close to regaining a starting spot.
FW Daniel Sturridge, N/R -- Looks sharp and it can't be easy for him to just be getting a few minutes here and there. Providing he can stay fit he could have a big part to play this season.
DF Joel Matip, N/R -- Replaced Alexander-Arnold for the last few minutes as Klopp wanted to get some extra height in the backline.