What happened in the Premier League? Liverpool open up seven-point lead

Liverpool suffer huge pre-Brighton injury blow

Joel Matip is back in training as of Thursday afternoon and while Jurgen Klopp refused to admit he is in contention to face Brighton, he didn't rule it out either.

The Dutchman has been an ever-present for Liverpool in the Premier League this season and has only failed to complete 90 minutes on one occasion - when he was substituted in a 3-0 win over former club Southampton in September.

But Klopp said: "There's no advantage, we will see it". He feels good, and that's good for us.

Key to that defensive stability was towering centre-back Virgil van Dijk, who has been named as December's Premier League Player of the Month.

Liverpool opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Brighton.

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"If Fabinho has to play as a centre-half what we want is the natural understanding of the game", Klopp told the pre-match press conference.

'I think it was the most mature performance we have made so far.

Brighton is unbeaten in its last three games in all competitions and is trying to mount a four-game unbeaten run for the first time since January to March 2018.

Liverpool's elimination from the FA Cup means they have an 11-day gap between their games against Crystal Palace and Leicester, while title rivals Manchester City and Tottenham play fourth-round ties.

Amid speculation Lallana could be set for an Anfield exit, Klopp said the 34-time England worldwide was still needed at Liverpool.

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