Lewis Dunk’s volley rescued Brighton a 2-2 draw at home to Liverpool in Roberto De Zerbi’s 50th match as the Seagulls’ manager.
Dunk volleyed in a 78th minute equaliser from Solly March’s free-kick as Brighton fought back to snatch a 2-2 draw, which saw them go four matches unbeaten against Liverpool in all competitions for the first time ever.
Simon Adingra had put Brighton ahead in the 21st minute from Virgil van Dijk’s error, before Mohamed Salah struck twice in six minutes to put the Reds in front eight years to the day since Jurgen Klopp became their manager.
Brighton remain sixth in the table heading into the summer break, whilst Liverpool moved up to third in the table ahead of Arsenal’s clash against Manchester City.
Despite making six changes from their 2-2 draw at Marseille in the Europa League, Brighton started on the front foot with a series of early corners which came to nothing, despite March seeing two shots blocked inside the box.
Aside from those early opprtunities for De Zerbi’s Brighton, there were little chances of note in a cagey opening 20 minutes, which seemed to lack much spark at either end of the pitch.
That stutter however erupted into life on the stroke of the 21st minute as Virgil van Dijk played a pass towards ex Brighton player, Alexis Mac Allister who was intercepted by Adingra and the Ivory Coast international smashed in the opening goal past an out-of-position Alisson.
Salah tried to mount a quick response for Liverpool as he first found the final touch on an intriciate piece of passing play up the Reds’ right flank in the 24th minute, but he curled wide across goal before he then saw two shots blocked a minute later.
Brighton continued to resiliently defend with a high-energy intensity on the counter-attack, which saw Pedro draw a 38th minute foul from Mac Allister just outside the box.
Brighton’s free-kick was blocked out to Adingra who narrowly curled over the bar in a huge chance to double the hosts’ lead.
Adingra soon was left to rue that chance as Liverpool broke forward in the 40th minute, courtesy of Dominik Szoboslai who found Luis Diaz to flick forward, which Darwin Nunez picked up with a pass to Salah who fired in to restore parity.
Salah’s goal sparked Liverpool into life and Szoboslai drew a 43rd minute foul from Pascal Gross who tugged the Hungarian to the ground with a pull on his shirt.
Referee – Anthony Taylor immediately pointed to the penalty spot and Salah duly stepped up to smash the spot kick into the bottom left corner, which saw Liverpool come from behind to lead a league game for the fourth time this season.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds clung onto their lead at half-time with a controlled finish to the first half.
Unlike the opening half, both teams enjoyed a more lively start to the second half as Brighton almost pushed for an equaliser in the 49th minute, but Adingra could only hit his shot straight into Alisson’s arms.
Ferguson then fired over the bar from Pedro’s 51st minute pass as Brighton continued to try and equalise.
Liverpool substitute, Ryan Gravenberch almost wrapped up the win for the visitors in the 54th minute as Szoboszlai played in a low cross, yet the 21 year-old Dutchman could only rattle the crossbar with his shot.
Gravenberch again wasted another chance to deny Brighton any hopes of a comeback draw at minimum, as he picked up a 65th minute pass but lacked power and Bart Verbruggen made a comfortable save.
Liverpool’s failure to extend their lead eventually got punished in the 78th minute as March whipped in a free-kick from the left, which Dunk volleyed in off his right leg unmarked just yards from goal to pull the Seagulls back level.
That equaliser swung momentum towards Brighton in the closing minutes but Pedro smashed an easy sitter over the bar from Adingra’s 84th minute low cross.
Neither team were able to find a late winner as the spoils were shared heading into the second international break of the season.
Brighton face another difficult contest after the international break with a trip to Manchester City on Saturday 21 October at 3pm BST.
Liverpool will host Everton at Anfield in the first Merseyside derby of the season earlier that day at 12:30pm BST, live on TNT Sport 1 in the UK.
Brighton: Bart Verbruggen, Joel Veltman, Igor Julio (van Hecke 63′), Lewis Dunk, Pascal Gross, Solly March, Carlos Baleba, Simon Adingra, Joao Pedro (Fati 89′), Kaoru Mitoma, Evan Ferguson (Welbeck 60′)
Substitutes: Jason Steele, Adam Webster, Mahmoud Dahoud, Billy Gilmour, Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck, Jan Paul van Hecke, Ansu Fati, Jack Hinshelwood
Liverpool: Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold (Gomez 80′), Joel Matip (Konate 73′), Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister, Harvey Elliott (Gravenberch 45′), Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz
Substitutes: Joe Gomez, Wataru Endo, Ibrhaima Konate, Adrian, Konstantinos Tsimikas, Ryan Gravenberch, Luke Chambers, Ben Doak, Jarrell Quansah
Referee – Anthony Taylor