Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp, has said his side were “not fresh enough, mentally and physically” as Brighton and Hove Albion won 1-0 at Anfield on Wednesday, consigning the defending Premier League champions to a second straight home defeat.
Steven Alzate scored the only goal of the game in the 56th minute to inflict further damage on the Reds’ faltering title defence.
Dan Burn’s header across goal got a slight toe touch by Nathaniel Phillips, and the ball deflected off Alzate and beyond stand-in Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.
Liverpool added more urgency to their game in a bid to find a leveller, but in a game of few chances, it was still the visitors who created the better of them.
Kelleher, in for Alisson who was suffering from illness, had to make smart saves from Leandro Trossard and Pascal Gross to stop Brighton doubling their lead.
At the other end, Potter’s side reduced the champions to just one shot on target as the Seagulls recorded their first league win at Anfield since 1982.
After going 68 games without a league defeat at Anfield, Klopp’s side have now also lost back-to-back games there, with Wednesday’s result coming two weeks after the 1-0 home loss to Burnley.
The win lifts Brighton to 15th in the table, while Liverpool slip to fourth.
Speaking after the game, Klopp said the loss was a “tough one to take”, adding that it has been a tough week for the team after two very intense games.
He admitted that Brighton deserved to win the game.
“We looked really like we weren’t fresh enough, mentally and physically.
“There were a lot of moments where we gave the ball away too easily; in moments, the boys looked tired mentally. I know they can pass the ball from A to B but it didn’t happen. We made it easy for Brighton, but they also did really well.
“Brighton deserved to win, no doubt about it. For me, it’s more important to find an explanation for why we lost this game and understand what happened here tonight. We didn’t look convincing.”
He added: “The only explanation now is that we are a fatigued team, mentally more or less. That leads to not the maximum freshness in your legs.
“The only thing we can do is use the things that happen and learn from them. The solution is always the players. It has been a tough week and tonight it was not enough. City are flying and we have to find solutions.”
On his part, Brighton’s coach, Graham Potter, said his side “earned the luck” to secure what he described as “an amazing result”.
He said: “We needed a little bit of luck, but at the same time I thought we earned that luck and it’s an amazing performance and a fantastic result,” he added. “We contributed to the game, tried to attack, tried to play.
“The three points are really important. We need to carry on. We don’t get too down when things don’t go our way and shouldn’t get too excited when they do go our way. It’s the nature of the league – things turn around quickly.”
He added: “We fought when we had to – we had to block and defend as a team – but I thought we showed quality when we attacked and courage and bravery with the ball,” said Potter.
“To come here and get the result we have, I think you have got to be close to perfect. I thought we were.
“Fantastic performance. I thought the players were amazing. Such courage, quality, togetherness.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Manchester City won 2-0 at Burnley to make it nine wins on the bounce in the Premier League and 13 in all competitions.
Burnley goalkeeper, Nick Pope, parried Bernardo Silva’s stinging shot straight at Gabriel Jesus, who nodded in from a couple of yards out after three minutes.
The visitors dominated possession and doubled their lead before half-time, Ilkay Gundogan fizzing a pass across the six-yard box for Raheem Sterling to tuck home.
The result sees Pep Guardiola’s City extended their lead atop the log by three points, while Sean Dyche’s Burnley drop to 16th on the table.