5 talking points as Liverpool punished by late Brighton penalty in dramatic draw

Pascal Gross netted an injury-time penalty for Brighton to deny Liverpool three points in a 1-1 draw at the Amex.

The Seagulls were handed a golden opportunity to open the scoring when Neco Williams brought down Aaron Connolly in the box after 20 minutes, but Neal Maupay put his penalty wide.

On the hour mark Diogo Jota scored yet again to give the Reds the lead with a low finish into the bottom left-hand corner.

But Andy Robertson caught Danny Welbeck in the box late on and Gross made no mistake from the spot at the end to earn his side a point.

Here are five talking points from today’s game…

Stuttering Reds struggle again

Pascal Gross’ penalty earned Brighton a point

This was yet another Liverpool performance which looked worlds apart from their superb displays last season.

Much of the talk will centre around the VAR decision to earn a penalty at the end, but the simple fact is Brighton were well worthy of a point.

The Reds lack conviction going forward and look shaky at the back, and unless things improve dramatically soon they will really struggle to retain their Premier League title.

Jurgen Klopp has a lot of thinking to do over the coming days to see how he can put things right as soon as possible.

Jota becoming undroppable

Diogo Jota’s goal gave Liverpool the lead

Despite the disappointing result, Jota’s dream start at Liverpool continued at the Amex as the Portuguese forward scored yet another vitally important goal for his new club.

Just when the Reds were looking to be growing frustrated by a stubborn Brighton defence he popped up with a fine individual effort to take the ball past two defenders and coolly finish past Mat Ryan.

Jota’s strike means he has now scored a sensational nine goals in 14 games since joining from Wolves, and he is surely now becoming one of the first names on Jurgen Klopp’s teamsheet.

What a piece of business his signing is proving to be.

Henderson importance outlined

Jordan Henderson was again impressive

Jordan Henderson started the game at the Amex on the bench, and his absence only served to highlight just a vital cog he is in the Liverpool machine.

Without him the Reds looked hesitant in midfield and toothless going forward, with Takumi Minamino in particular still not proving an adequate replacement playing further back than usual.

Henderson came on at half-time and the side immediately looked more confident, controlling the possession more effectively and constantly looking to their captain for guidance.

It was the type of game which needed leadership, and Henderson stepped up to the plate yet again.

If he had started the game, the result could have been very different indeed…

Reds back-line suffers

Neco Williams was clumsy in giving away a penalty

Liverpool had already had 11 different centre-back pairings in their 16 games so far this season ahead of kick-off.

And not many would have predicted that we would ever see Fabinho and Nathaniel Phillips lining up together in defence as they did today.

While they couldn’t be faulted for effort, the pair suffered all sorts of problems against pacey Brighton forward Connolly.

The high line is simply not as effective without the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, and Jurgen Klopp has some serious thinking to do about whether he can use it with the players he currently has available.

Injury woes go on and on

James Milner could be the latest player to spend a spell on the sidelines

There were yet more injury issues for both sides to break up today’s game, with Premier League clubs reaching crisis point.

For Brighton both Maupay and Adam Lallana were forced off, while James Milner was taken off in the second-half for Liverpool.

The hectic fixture list was been criticised on a number of occasions by Klopp, and today will have done little to improve his mood.

It really does look like being a season with an emphasis on the survival of the fittest, and the three players who suffered today will not be the only ones to have issues this weekend.

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