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Brighton smashes three past lackluster Liverpool and sit just outside of top five

BRIGHTON — Brighton & Hove Albion winger Solly March netted twice early in the second half and set up another goal in a 3-0 home win over a sluggish Liverpool on Saturday that lifts them above the Reds to seventh in the Premier League standings.

The victory was Brighton's first over Liverpool in the top flight and they deserved to take all three points once March helped them convert their dominance in possession into goals.

With halftime approaching March thought he had won a penalty as he rounded Alisson Becker and appeared to be brought down by the goalkeeper's hand, but a VAR review found that he had been in an offside position and the decision was overturned.

Undeterred, March gave his side the lead in the 47th minute as teenaged striker Evan Ferguson pressured the Liverpool defence into a mistake and Brighton won the ball high up the pitch.

Brighton's Japanese winger Kaoru Mitoma broke into the box and slid an angled ball into the path of the on rushing March, leaving him the simple task of steering it into the net.

The 28-year-old added a brilliant second six minutes later, latching on to Ferguson's pass and digging the ball out from under his feet to fire it home inside the far post.

Dutch forward Cody Gakpo, making his first start since joining Liverpool from PSV Eindhoven in December, was anonymous for much of the game as the visitors struggled to keep possession and create any decent chances.

Overrun in midfield and shaky in defence, Liverpool managed two shots on target over the 90 minutes and had to wait until second-half stoppage time before winning their first corner in another underwhelming showing from Jürgen Klopp's side.

Marsh rounded off an excellent performance by teeing up substitute Danny Welbeck with a glancing header from a throw-in, and Welbeck lifted the ball over a defender before slotting it into the net for his first league goal of the season.

The win means Brighton have 30 points from 18 games, two ahead of Liverpool who have struggled with form and injuries.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ken Ferris)

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