Pulse Analysis: How Brighton defender Balogun fared against Salah and Liverpool

Mohamed Salah and Leon Balogun

Leon Balogun wasn't fazed against Salah when Brighton faced Liverpool in a Premier League clash on Saturday.

After a memorable Premier League debut against Manchester United, Brighton & Hove defender Leon Balogun was faced with another daunting task of facing Mohamed Salah and Liverpool’s rapid attack.

Liverpool Vs Brighton

After their brilliant finish to last season and their fantastic signings in the summer transfer window, Liverpool are poised to have a great season.

So while Balogun and his Brighton teammates might have gotten a high from beating Manchester United, it was always going to be heavy weather trying to get any point from Liverpool at Anfield.

 

Getting his first Premier League start, Balogun started in central defence alongside Shane Duffy.

As expected, Liverpool came at them from the first minute and Balogun along with the Brighton defence were kept busy from the start.

He was on hand in the box to clear out a pass in the early minutes; he and his teammates were very alert in the fourth minute, rushing out at once to try and stop a shot by Sadio Mane from the edge of their penalty box.

Minutes later, Roberto Firmino escaped he and Duffy to get his head on a cross; the striker’s header was saved by the goalkeeper.

Balogun and his teammates kept Liverpool at bay before the 22nd minute when his pass to a teammate in the middle led to Salah’s goal.

With options to pass sideways, Balogun passed to his teammates in the middle but James Milner won the ball, gave the ball to Sane who passed to Firmino who then set-up Salah.

Momentum of Liverpool Vs Brighton

Salah got the ball just inside the area and with Balogun not sharp enough to cover the space, the Egyptian slotted the ball into the corner to give Liverpool the lead.

Liverpool kept coming for more, Sane got space in between Duffy and Balogun to get his head on a cross from the left but his effort was comfortably saved Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.

Balogun was in the right place to clear a ball from the Brighton box in the 38th minute,. He attacked a cross with his head first and then recovered to clear out the cross back into the box.

At the end of the first half, Brighton were just one goal down and still in the game.

In the second half, Balogun and Duffy got tighter and the afford less space for the Liverpool forwards.

 

In the 55th minute, Balogun did well to intercept a pass from Salah into the box to prevent a Liverpool counter.

Was strong in the air to head out a cross into the box in the  56th minutes and showed good awareness two minutes later to clear out a ball in the box.

He got a yellow card for a strong tackle on Milner in the 59th minute and marked Firmino well, making Brazilian striker uncomfortable while taking a shot in the 69th minute.

He intercepted another Liverpool cross at the edge of the area in the 70th minute as Liverpool chances came sparsely.

Brighton were lucky not to concede when a cross from the left evaded everyone in the box.

He went on a rare attack in the 79th minute, going for a corner kick and causing chaos in the Liverpool box Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson wasn’t troubled.

In added time, Balogun showed good concentration in the box to head out a Firmino cross and did well to pursue a ball to prevent a corner late in the game.

 

Apart from his first-half mistake with a bad pass to led to the Liverpool goal, Balogun put in a good performance against a fast Liverpool side.

He showed a good reading of the game to contain the trio of Salah, Firmino and Mane.

And for the mistake with the pass that led to Liverpool’s goal, he can only learn from that.

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