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sport news Liverpool threadbare defence at Brighton saved by attack

Jurgen Klopp was unlikely to admit it after his side’s 5-1 win at Brighton, but when it came to the threadbare Liverpool defence at the Amex Stadium he got away with it.

For all that the club’s moneymen will be grateful the manager and his free-scoring team kept the volume of calls for defensive reinforcements in the January transfer window low, the set up on Saturday was no solution to the team’s undoubted weakness.

Klopp lost Joel Matip for up to a month with a thigh injury in the build-up to the game, and with Joe Gomez ill and Ragnar Klavan only well enough for the bench, fans must have feared the worst.

Jurgen Klopp was forced to put out a very makeshift defence as Liverpool faced Brighton

Jurgen Klopp was forced to put out a very makeshift defence as Liverpool faced Brighton

The answer of the ever-attacking Liverpool manager was to turn midfield into defence and look for security in numbers.

He used Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can as makeshift centre backs in a three alongside Dejan Lovren, and drafted in the almost-forgotten Andrew Robertson as a wing-back on the left, and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right.

Jordan Henderson also dropped deep to help out, and sometimes it looked more like a back-four diamond than a back five.

But they were only sporadically tested. Glenn Murray was Brighton’s only out-and-out frontman, and Liverpool enjoyed enough possession in the match to ensure he would largely be starved of service.

Emre Can had to put the team before himself and take up a position at centre half

Emre Can had to put the team before himself and take up a position at centre half

The German managed to get among the goals as Liverpool adopted their attacking mentality

The German managed to get among the goals as Liverpool adopted their attacking mentality

The striker still caused a few nervous moments for Klopp, though. He got between the Liverpool defenders several times and exposed the poor understanding between them.

In the first half, a simple chip forward wasn’t far from reaching him

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