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FA Cup: Late winner from Mitoma helps Brighton knock defending champions Liverpool out of the tournament

First Published: 30th January, 2023 16:50 IST

Brighton caused an upset by knocking defending champions Liverpool out of the ongoing FA Cup after a 2-1 win at home to progress to the fifth round of the tournament

Brighton caused an upset by knocking defending champions Liverpool out of the ongoing FA Cup after a 2-1 win at home to progress to the fifth round of the tournament.

A 92nd-minute winner from Kaoru Mitoma helped Brighton clinch a memorable win to knock one of the top clubs in English football out of the tournament.

The hosts were without midfielder Moises Caicedo, who made his intentions to leave the club public after Arsenal had a £60m bid rejected on Friday.

The Reds gained the lead 30 minutes into the game after Mo Salah went through his opponent’s defences, and found Harvey Eliott, who smashed the ball past an onrushing Jason Steele.

Brighton’s response was valiant and they were even with their opponents in the 39th minute after Lewis Dunk was able to net a deflection made by a long-effort from Tariq Lamptey.
At the half-time, both sides were even at 1-1.

Jurgen Klopp tried to up the ante in the second half and introduced James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Darwin Nunez but Brighton was extremely firm and fired a killer blow in the stoppage time.
Kaoru Mitoma had threatened his opponent’s goal on multiple occasions and his persistence paid off two minutes into the stoppage time. He stormed through a crowd of players at the back post before rifling the winning goal into the roof of the net.

Mitoma, outstanding all afternoon, had threatened Allison’s goal on multiple occasions and was rewarded for his persistence in the dying embers of the game, shimmying through a crowd of players at the back post before rifling the winner into the roof of the net (90+2).

The warning signs were there but they went unheeded by Liverpool’s often lifeless backline.
Back at the scene of a 3-0 thumping a fortnight ago which Klopp described as the worst of his managerial career, the Reds were improved in patches, but powerless to prevent Mitoma’s wonderful improvisation late on.

The Japanese international, who terrorised Trent Alexander-Arnold enough to warrant the full-back’s withdrawal after just 59 minutes, had presented Solly March with the chance to tie up proceedings not long before his decisive strike.

Following the win, Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi was quoted as saying by Sky Sports, “This was a different team to the last game. It was very difficult to win this game and we are very happy. If you ask about the quality I did not like the game, we can improve a lot. We made too many simple mistakes.”

“We have to work. The most important in football is to have heart, you understand? To become a great team you have to win this game. We did not play so well like the last game [against Liverpool].”
“You think it is very nice today because we won the game, but to become bigger we have to understand the game. The result is important but the performance also.”

“We are not like Manchester City, Man United, Arsenal, Tottenham or Liverpool and Chelsea. We are not the same level. But we want to fight to improve. In the moment we are playing well. In the table, we stay in sixth,” concluded the manager.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also said that his side will not fall apart.

“We had our moments again. We make steps but we have to improve. You have to respect what they do, it is really good. There were steps in the right direction, we have to go from there.”
“We have to build. Body language I was not happy with. Last game here we couldn’t have won, but this today nobody would be surprised if we had won.”

“We will not fall apart, I can tell you. If it looks like that I am sorry. It is not that we were falling apart late on it was frustration – players get yellow cards, that happens.”

“After we came back from the World Cup break we wanted to go for it. So far it did not happen properly. But it just means we have to keep working. Some very good performances today.”

“I am not over the moon about this performance overall. But this was much better, two weeks ago was horrendous. I understand 100 per cent when people say we are not happy with the game. I am sorry for Liverpool fans – today we paid a little bit back. But we are still out and that’s the worst outcome from the game,” concluded Klopp. (ANI)

(This copy was first published by ANI)

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