Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Sports / Soccer

Mitoma piles more misery on Reds

Updated: 2023-01-31 07:27
Share - WeChat
Kaoru Mitoma celebrates scoring Brighton's second goal during a 2-1 English FA Cup fourth-round victory against Liverpool in Brighton, England, on Sunday. [Photo/Agencies]

Japanese star's brilliant show in stoppage time earns the Seagulls a place in FA Cup fifth round

BRIGHTON, England — Liverpool's disastrous season suffered another blow on Sunday as the holder was dumped out the FA Cup by a 2-1 defeat at Brighton.

Kaoru Mitoma's brilliant control and finish in stoppage time earned the Seagulls a place in the fifth round.

Liverpool had led at the Amex through Harvey Elliott, but has now won just once in its last six games.

Lewis Dunk leveled before the break for Brighton and it was well worthy of the victory given to it by a moment of magic from Mitoma.

The Japanese winger cushioned Pervis Estupinan's cross into his path, flicked the ball over Joe Gomez and fired high past Alisson Becker in the 92nd minute.

Liverpool is languishing in ninth in the Premier League, 21 points behind pacesetter Arsenal.

Its FA Cup exit leaves the Champions League as its only remaining shot at a trophy this season.

Last season Jurgen Klopp's men were on the brink of a historic quadruple, which included their first FA Cup triumph in 16 years.

But Klopp is still searching for answers to halt its decline after a second defeat on the south coast in 15 days.

The German described Brighton's 3-0 win when the sides last met as the worst performance of his managerial career and took some heart from Liverpool at least putting up a fight this time.

"I am not over the moon about this performance but, again, the only thing that happened really is that we lost against a good side, who we lost to two weeks ago in a horrendous game," said Klopp "Today was much better.

"We are obviously in a situation where we constantly want to make the final step. That's why it feels now especially bad in this moment because it didn't happen."

Liverpool put up a fight this time and will rue two big early chances missed by Mohamed Salah.

The Egyptian did at least have a hand in Liverpool's goal as he released Elliott, whose strike had too much power for Steele to keep out.

Brighton hit back within nine minutes when Tariq Lamptey's powerful shot was deflected past the helpless Alisson by Dunk.

The host was without Moises Caicedo after the Ecuadorian took to social media on Friday to try and force through a move to Arsenal.

Brighton has already lost Leandro Trossard, who scored a hat-trick against Liverpool earlier in the season, to the Gunners this month.

But those absences did not show as Liverpool was left riding its luck for most of the second period.

Ibrahima Konate and Fabinho were extremely fortunate to escape red cards for challenges on Alexis Mac Allister and Evan Ferguson.

Alisson threw himself in front of Solly March to make a brilliant save from Mitoma's inventive cross and Konate did likewise to block from Ferguson.

But Brighton's pressure finally got its reward when Mitoma struck his fourth goal in six games.

"He is an incredible player who I think can play one step higher," said Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi. "I am pleased for his goal."

'Nowhere near good enough'

Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson said "this season has been nowhere near good enough".

Robertson said the result was "bitterly disappointing".

"At a club like Liverpool, fans expect a lot and to lose with the last kick of the ball, it's disappointing," he told ITV. "We need to start winning games. It's easy to say but harder to fix.

"This season has been nowhere near good enough. At the start of the year we wanted a fresh start but that hasn't happened. We've been worse. In the league we haven't been good enough and now we're out of both cups.

"You can't put your finger on one thing, it's more than that. You can tell we're not as confident in front of goal and in defense we are a wee bit open. We had two clean sheets coming into today but then go and concede two goals."

The Scotland international said the team needed to get its confidence back, adding that it had let down the fans again.

Liverpool lost 3-0 to Brighton earlier this month in a Premier League match Klopp described as a "horror show".

The Liverpool boss was unhappy with his team's defending on Sunday.

"We came here after a game a few weeks ago when we weren't even close to ourselves," he told the BBC.

"Today we played a better game but we concede two goals from set-pieces and that is not allowed in any way."


Most Popular


What's Hot
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349