Liverpool were brought back to earth with a bang as Enock Mwepu and Leandro Trossard pulled Brighton back from two goals behind to claim a deserved 2-2 draw at Anfield.
Less than a week after scoring five without reply at Old Trafford, Jurgen Klopp's side were out of sorts as they dropped three points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, despite racing into a two-goal lead inside the opening 25 minutes against Brighton through Jordan Henderson's early curler and Sadio Mane's diving header.
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The hosts never appeared in full control of the match but their route to victory would have seemed assured had VAR not denied Mane his second and Liverpool's third before half-time for handball, a decision Brighton boss Graham Potter admitted was a "key moment" in his side's revival. Without that additional cushion, Mwepu's 25-yard stunner caught out Alisson and gave Brighton hope moments before the interval.
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The visitors then scored the leveller they had warranted shortly after the hour when Trossard, set up by former Red Adam Lallana, danced inside Andrew Robertson before beating Alisson at his near post.
Minutes later a narrow offside call denied him the chance to complete a stunning turnaround but a point still represented a fine result for Brighton after last week's humiliation by Manchester City, and sealed a third league game undefeated in a row against Klopp's Liverpool.
Liverpool: Alisson (6), Alexander-Arnold (5), Konate (5), Van Dijk (6), Robertson (5), Henderson (7), Jones (5), Keita (6), Salah (7), Firmino (6), Mane (7).
Subs: Oxlade-Chamberlain (7), Jota (5), Minamino (n/a).
Brighton: Sanchez (7), Veltman (6), Duffy (7), Dunk (7), March (7), Lallana (7), Mwepu (8), Bissouma (7), Cucurella (7), Moder (6), Trossard (8).
Subs: Mac Allister (6), Lamptey (7), Gross (6).
Man of the match: Leandro Trossard
Bogey-team Brighton frustrate Liverpool again
The meeting of two sides boasting among the highest expected goal tallies in the Premier League promised either a feast of chances or a cautious stalemate, and within the opening minutes at Anfield it was already clear which would be taking precedent.
The game was less than four minutes old when Henderson curled in Salah's tee-up, and by then Solly March had already been denied by a full-stretch Alisson as Brighton fired an early warning shot.
They kept the Brazilian busy as Yves Bissouma caught Ibrahima Konate in possession and aimed a powerful 25-yard drive goalwards, which he touched onto the post and behind for a corner, moments before a Roberto Firmino lob landed on the roof of the net with Robert Sanchez beaten.
Brighton's static midfield looked vulnerable and so it proved as substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, on after Naby Keita's early injury, crossed from deep for Mane to add a second with a diving header.
Minutes later it appeared he had a third when his slide tackle on a hesitant Sanchez clearance found the far corner, only for a VAR review to spot the final touch had come off his hand.
That would have ended Brighton's hopes of a comeback, but without it they gave themselves a fighting chance when Mwepu's 25-yard dipping stunner caught out Alisson in the sunshine and looped in over the Brazilian moments before half-time.
You expected a Klopp team talk to breathe extra life into Liverpool, but their second-half performance was even flatter and nearly fell foul to former player Lallana, who fired at Alisson from a good position four minutes after the restart.
Even in a rare spell without a clear-cut chance the game's breathless intensity continued with Brighton in the ascendency, and it was neither a surprise nor undeserved that Trossard should take Lallana's pass round Robertson and fire in powerfully at the near post.
Given the task of leading the line for Brighton he might have sealed his own perfect afternoon soon after when rounding Alisson and firing in a third, only for a tight offside flag to deny Brighton the lead.
As Liverpool began to look increasingly fatigued there appeared a chance for Brighton to earn a shock victory at Anfield for the second season in succession and although they failed to capitalise and create any late chances of note, Graham Potter's side could leave Merseyside more than satisfied with their afternoon's work and with an impressive point to take back to the south coast.
What the managers said...
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports: "Brighton are incredibly good. It's a day when we could have smashed them, but we didn't. The disallowed goal decisions were incredible - Sadio's goal was pretty much my favourite one since I've been here. It was insane.
"Then they score their goal, which was probably a cross, but we should have defended the half-spaces better, and then it's game on. The best way to defend against them is to have the ball, and then we didn't have enough of it.
"We didn't play football anymore, we should've played more between the lines, and attacked the centre, which we didn't do. They deserved a point, we didn't lose, but it feels like even with the quality of our opponent."
Brighton head coach Graham Potter told Sky Sports: "The players deserve all the credit, they played with such courage and intensity. Both teams were at it, we were toe to toe, and the boys gave everything.
"It's a point for us, and a performance we can build from. We had trouble putting pressure on them early on, and once we could do that we got more of a foothold in the game. We survived the 3-0, if that's allowed it makes it very difficult.
"That was a key moment, and after that I thought we were amazing."
Man of the match - Leandro Trossard
Given the responsibility, and backing, of Potter to lead the Brighton line on his own, Trossard was busy from the first minute to the last, completing the most sprints (19) of the visiting side as he chased down every lost cause.
His forward and link-up play as a false nine worked wonders, not only scoring Brighton's equaliser - and going close to a winner - but providing two key passes, another team high, while also completing 82.4 per cent of his opposition-half passes, the most of any Brighton starter.
Opta facts: Rarity as Reds blow home lead
- This was the 250th time Liverpool have led a Premier League home game by at least two goals, but only the sixth time they've failed to go on and win.
- Brighton have avoided defeat in three consecutive meetings with Liverpool in all competitions (W1 D2), more than they had in their previous 12 (W1 D1 L10).
- Only in 1978-79 (33) have Liverpool scored more goals after 10 games of a top-flight campaign than the 29 they've netted so far this season.
- Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has provided an assist in each of his last four Premier League games, becoming just the fourth African player to do so in the competition's history after Gervinho, Yaya Touré and Wilfried Zaha.
- Both of Leandro Trossard's Premier League goals for Brighton this season have come away from home. Just two of his first 10 in the competition had come on the road.
Live Renault Super Sunday
Liverpool now host Atletico Madrid at 8pm on Wednesday night in the Champions League, before a trip to West Ham on Super Sunday live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm; kick-off at 4.30pm.
Brighton host Newcastle at 5.30pm on Saturday, November 6 in the Premier League.