Van Dijk double sends Liverpool 11 points clear

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A Virgil Van Dijk double sent Liverpool 11 points clear in the Premier League despite a nervy finish against Brighton after Alisson Becker was sent off.

Two first-half headers from Van Dijk put the leaders on course for a comfortable victory at Anfield but a rash decision from Alisson and a Lewis Dunk reply left them hanging on for a 2-1 success.

Alisson was dismissed for handling outside his area and his replacement Adrian was caught out by the quick-thinking Dunk.

Yet despite a nail-biting conclusion – with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino having already been substituted – the hosts held on to ensure they took full advantage of champions Manchester City’s draw at Newcastle earlier in the day.

The tension of the closing moments was in contrast to most of the game, which Liverpool controlled with little alarm.

They did start slowly with an Andy Robertson shot well over the bar and a Salah effort into the side-netting all they produced in the opening 15 minutes.

They broke through after 18 minutes as Trent Alexander-Arnold clipped in a superb free-kick for Van Dijk to head home. Brighton keeper Mat Ryan paid for a moment’s hesitancy as the Dutchman’s header looped over him and into the net.

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