Liverpool took advantage of an early-season slip-up by Manchester City in a 1-1 draw at Wolves to move top of the Premier League as Mohamed Salah’s winner saw off Brighton at Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool go top with nine points, while City are second with seven points. Brighton are 12th with three.
Liverpool were also far from their flowing best, but had enough to see off a resolute Brighton 1-0 thanks to one moment of magic from Salah.
Last season’s Premier League Player of the Year cushioned Roberto Firmino’s pass in off the far post for his second goal of the campaign.
The home side started brightly, with Roberto Firmino forcing a save from Mat Ryan and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick hitting the bar.
Salah got the only goal on 23 minutes. James Milner won possession and Salah took Firmino’s pass to curl his shot around Ryan.
Liverpool were unable to add to the goal despite 22 shots, eight of which were on target.
But Liverpool had to withstand a few nervy moments with £65-million goalkeeper Alisson Becker producing a vital save to deny Pascal Gross two minutes from time to seal a third consecutive clean sheet.
“He’s a massive signing for us of course… that’s why we brought him in,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who isn’t getting carried away by his side’s early position in the table.
“I’m pretty demanding but I know we can improve,” added Klopp.
“For tonight it’s all good, but a lot of work to do.”