Brighton manager Chris Hughton tips Liverpool to win Premier League crown
(Getty Images - Bryn Lennon)

Brighton manager Chris Hughton tips Liverpool to win Premier League crown

The Seagull's boss believes Liverpool can end 29 years of pain and claim their first ever Premier League title after the Reds rallied to a 1-0 victory at the Amex Stadium.

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Joshua Kerr

It was by no means a performance of guile and silk as Liverpool were made to work to claim their first victory of 2019 at the Amex Stadium.

The Reds opposition manager Chris Hughton has become a recent mastermind in the art of grinding out crucial results and the Seagull's head coach couldn't help but admire the quality on display from the visitors.

Jürgen Klopp was forced to fix up a remedy for Liverpool's January hangover that saw them suffer back-to-back defeats for the first time this campaign against Manchester City and Wolves in the FA Cup.

However, the Reds responded in full to mastermind a steel performance that got them over the line in the South Coast courtesy of their talisman Mohamed Salah.

It was the Premier League's joint top-scorer who inspired Liverpool to their first three points of the calendar year as Salah was awarded a spot-kick from referee Kevin Friend after he deemed the Egyptian was fouled by Pascal Gross that Salah gratefully accepted to comfortably tuck the penalty home past David Button.

It proved enough for Liverpool who made it 13 clean sheets in 22 league games as the Reds temporarily moved seven points clear at the top of the domestic table with Manchester City attempting to close the gap on Monday against Wolves.

The Reds defensive steel consisting of the outstanding Fabinho and the imperious Virgil van Dijk kept the hosts at bay all game and frustrated Brighton to zero shots on target as Hughton's side were kept goalless at their home ground for the first time all season.

Hughton admirably spoke of the undeniable quality on display from the Reds after the match in his post-match press-conference and deemed Liverpool as "favourites for the title" following his player's almost impossible task to break down this impenetrable Reds defence.

“They’re such a good side and sometimes you have to be at grass level to really appreciate their qualities, the pace and intensity that they’ve got,” Hughton explained.

“We had to defend well today but when the game became more open they became even bigger opponents.

“Liverpool are the best team in the country at the moment and they have got to be favourites for the title.

Hughton deemed Salah's penalty fair

Match official Friend's decision to award Salah a penalty sparked huge controversy amongst the home supporters who set a record attendance of 30,682 at the Amex.

The Egyptian winger was booed continuously by the Brighton supporters following his converted spot-kick.

Despite the so-called 'theatrics' from Salah, Hughton surprisingly had no complaints about the penalty and the veteran boss was in awe of one of the world's greats stealing the show yet again.

“I have no complaints about the penalty," Hughton added.

"Mohamed Salah is one of the best players in the world in those positions.”

Klopp deemed Liverpool's performance as "the most mature of the season" as the Reds quickly ended their New Year stumble to gather pace ahead of their title rivals.

The German manager described in his post-match comments on how important it was for "a rider to immediately get back on the horse after they fell off" following Liverpool's efforts to return to winning ways.

Liverpool now can put their feet up knowing the job is done ahead of the champions latest bout with Wolves at the Etihad on Monday. 

The Reds can now look ahead to Crystal Palace in a weeks time as Liverpool attempt to continue on their already illustriously beaming title credentials.

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