Leon Balogun has compared playing Liverpool to playing against the attacking talent of Germany’s two powerhouses during his time with Mainz in the Bundesliga.
The Brighton centre-back earned his first start for Chris Hughton’s men at Anfield on Saturday after arriving at the club earlier in the summer.
His predictions of a ‘much more intense’ clash with the Reds than his side’s 3-2 win over Manchester United the weekend before were evidently justified on the basis of his praise for Jurgen Klopp’s side at full-time.
Despite the Reds being far from their formidable attacking selves, they ran out deserved winners thanks to Mohamed Salah’s second goal of the season.
“I would compare this game to playing against Bayern Munich, or maybe even Borussia Dortmund back in the day when Klopp was there,” he told Stadium Astro.
“It was very fast, quick attack, a bit more pacey than the Bundesliga definitely and much more quality.
“We knew we would have to be at the top of our game again like last week, but then at the same time Liverpool play different football than Manchester United. They use their quickness in attack and they have a lot of runners you always have to be aware of. Manchester didn’t come up with that kind of play last week.”
Even way off their best, Liverpool proved a much tougher and more draining test of Brighton than Jose Mourinho’s flat United side at the Falmer Stadium.
It was perhaps for Klopp’s men struggling to find their usual explosiveness that so much encouragement was taken from the result, with the ability to grind out an important win whilst not playing to their best marking a familiar sign of a serious title contender.
Next week’s opponents Leicester will arguably hand Liverpool their toughest defensive test yet, with the blend of Harry Maguire’s proven aerial threat and the intricate invention of James Maddison and Demarai Gray promising to challenge all fronts of the Reds’ unbeaten setup.
To think Salah and co. have barely hit 7/10…