Jurgen Klopp’s side were slow to start but blew the Seagulls away once they had found their best. It was an impressive performance on a perfect sunny afternoon at Anfield with the Champions League final against Real Madrid to come on 26 May.
Mohamed Salah set a Premier League scoring record as Liverpool sealed a place in next season’s Champions League with victory over Brighton.
By providing the game’s opener, Salah scored his 32nd goal of the campaign – the most by a player in a 38-game Premier League season.
After Salah’s low finish from Dominic Solanke’s pass, Dejan Lovren doubled the lead by powerfully heading in Andrew Robertson’s cross.
After the break, Liverpool continued to dominate and Solanke smashed in his first goal for the club off the underside of the bar, having met Salah’s lay-off at the end of a strong run.
Full-back Andrew Robertson also got his first Liverpool goal, sweeping in from close range with four minutes to play.
Liverpool would have slipped out of the top four had they lost and Chelsea beaten Newcastle, but the Blues’ 3-0 defeat at St James’ Park was irrelevant.
Victory means the Reds matched their fourth-place finish of last season – they would have moved up to third had Tottenham not edged their thrilling 5-4 win at home to Leicester – while Brighton ends their first top-flight campaign since 1983 in the safety of 15th.
Salah the record breaker
What a remarkable season it has been for Egypt forward Salah, who signed from Roma for £34m last summer.
Some doubted his ability to perform in England following his disappointing spell at Chelsea, but the goal that broke the record was his 44th in 51 games for Liverpool in all competitions this season.
Alan Shearer scored 31 for Blackburn in 1995-96, Cristiano Ronaldo did the same for Manchester United in 2007-08, and Luis Suarez netted 31 for Liverpool in 2013-14.
Shearer, for Blackburn in 1994-95, and Andy Cole, for Newcastle United in 1993-94, jointly hold the Premier League scoring record for a 42-match season – with 34 goals.
Perhaps that total is what Salah was thinking of when he was taken off with five minutes remaining, visibly disappointed. Brighton were vulnerable, weary, exhausted from an afternoon of living on their nerves against Liverpool’s attack.
Earlier on Sunday, Salah added the Premier League’s Player of the Season award to the two other major individual prizes he was won this year – the PFA Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year awards.
But with the Champions League final against Real – winners of the past two tournaments – to come, the biggest piece of silverware in Europe is yet to be settled.
Source: BBC News