Brighton & Hove Albion forward Aaron Connolly has said he picked up valuable experience after going toe-to-toe with Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk in the Reds' 2-1 victory over the Seagulls.
A third straight defeat for Brighton sent the Seagulls crashing to 16th in the latest Premier League table as they ready themselves for a Thursday clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Brighton youngster reflects on Liverpool experience
Connolly began by saying "it was tough. There was one point where Davy [Propper] played me in, and then he came out of nowhere with his toe and toe-poked it back to his goalkeeper. Sometimes you just have to appreciate that you're playing against one of the, if not the, best defender in the world. To play against someone like that at my age (Connolly is just 19) can only help me. He's a brilliant player, but I thought I did okay against him."
The Irishman felt the Seagulls could have gotten something from the game, stating "it's a tough one to take because we could have got a point, or even won the game. but you can't give two set pieces away at Liverpool and expect to get back into the game. The first 15 minutes killed us a bit, but to come away from Anfield disappointed not to get a point shows how well we played after the first 15 minutes."
With Unai Emery's departure at Arsenal, the teenager is wary of the Gunners' possible response: "we just need to focus on Arsenal now, and the games are coming round so quickly. They will want to give a reaction after just losing their manager, and the fans will be highly charged and want to get behind them. It's a tough place to go, but we'll focus on that match and take the positives from this heading into Thursday."