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Salah penalty keeps Liverpool in driving seat

The result put Liverpool on 57 points from 22 games, seven ahead of closest rivals Manchester City who are at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday.

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Liverpool at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on 12 January 2019. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Liverpool went seven points clear at the top of the Premier League and bounced back from two successive defeats in all competitions after a Mohamed Salah penalty gave them a 1-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

The result put Liverpool on 57 points from 22 games, seven ahead of closest rivals Manchester City who are at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday. Third-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who have 48 points, host Manchester United on Sunday.

Liverpool produced a clinical if unimpressive performance on the south coast, having lost 2-1 at City in their previous league outing before being beaten by Wolves in the FA Cup third round by the same scoreline.

After a dour first half, Salah produced a moment of trademark individual skill to win the spot kick he converted five minutes into the second half after Pascal Gross fouled him following the Egyptian’s neat footwork in the penalty area.

Xherdan Shaqiri, who got a rare start on the right flank in a reshuffled 4-2-3-1 formation, missed Liverpool’s best chance in the opening half when he headed inches wide after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross.

As Brighton threw men forward in the closing stages, Liverpool twice came close to scoring again late on with the home team’s goalkeeper David Button parrying Roberto Firmino’s effort before Salah misfired wide from five metres.

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