Liverpool made it three consecutive wins to start the Premier League season with a narrow 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield.
Jürgen Klopp’s side edged in front through Mohamed Salah’s curler midway through the first half and the Egyptian’s strike proved just about enough for the points on a testing evening for the Reds.
They moved top of the early Premier League standings as a result before their next test away at Leicester City in a week’s time.
Klopp named the same starting line-up for the third game in a row and retained the seven substitutes from Monday’s victory at Crystal Palace, too.
The Reds could have got in front within five minutes at Anfield.
Sadio Mane sent Salah away along the right wing and caught up with his fellow attacker to receive a square return pass to the edge of the box – but his side-footer through the Brighton bodies rolled the wrong side of the post.
The Seagulls were saved by Mathew Ryan four minutes later, the goalkeeper reacting superbly to claw a Roberto Firmino header away off the goalline from Andy Robertson’s precise cross.
On the quarter-hour, Trent Alexander-Arnold fired a 20-yard free-kick against the top of the bar when Naby Keita’s surging run from deep was ended by a foul.
But any prospect of frustration setting in was eradicated in the 23rd minute.
James Milner’s high press caught out Yves Bissouma and then the front three took over: Mane to Firmino to Salah and a first-time threaded finish from right to left around Ryan’s reach.
Liverpool were unable to immediately build on their advantage, though, as Brighton’s ability to quickly change their system when in and out of possession kept the hosts at arm’s length.
Not for the want of trying, of course, and Firmino walloped a decent effort from outside the box just over in the final attacking incident of the opening 45 minutes.
The visitors served a reminder of the precarious nature of the scoreline just two minutes into the second half.
Glenn Murray set off on a dribble to the byline from the right that the Reds struggled to stop and his centre was only half-cleared into the path of Anthony Knockaert – who sliced wide of the left post from a prime position in the area.
A nicely-worked set-piece routine involving Milner and Salah teed up Joe Gomez for a header towards goal just past the hour mark but it was a simple catch for Ryan at the Kop end.
There was brief collective anxiety inside Anfield when Bissouma stood over a free-kick 20 yards out but his blast was deflected harmlessly off the wall.
The sense of a need for a second was palpable and Alexander-Arnold was inches away with a deflected effort, yet the Seagulls threatened with a series of forays into Liverpool territory, too.
Alisson Becker made a crucial save to keep out Pascal Gross’ 88th-minute header but Chris Hughton’s side could not produce an equaliser, so it’s three consecutive wins and clean sheets for the Reds so far in 2018-19.
Did you know?
Salah has now scored 29 goals in his 29 appearances at Anfield in all competitions since signing for the club from AS Roma in the summer of 2017.