Harvey Elliott broke the deadlock at the Amex Stadium with a good finish with his right foot, but his goal was canceled out by a rather lucky effort from Lewis Dunk before the interval. Just when it looked like the game would end all square, Mitoma stole the show with a sensational strike to win the game for Roberto de Zerbi's side.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live in his post-match interview, as cited by tbrfootball.com, Klopp singled out the 25-year-old Japanese international for special praise for his stunning match-winning effort late in the game.
“We came here after a game a few weeks ago when we weren’t even close to ourselves. Today we played a better game but we conceded two goals from set-pieces and that is not allowed in any way.
“On the left side, Robbo was ok because we helped him but on the other side Trent didn’t get the support. Mitoma is really good so, of course, it was tough. We could have defended both goals better.
“The first is deflected but we can probably block the shot. It doesn’t feel great. In time we might see the positives but we wanted to get to the next round. Congratulations to Brighton.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
Mitoma has been one of the breakthrough stars of the 2022-23 campaign and has taken to English football like a duck to water. The Japanese winger once again terrorized Trent Alexander-Arnold with his pace and trickery, forcing Klopp to introduce James Milner in the second half.
As for Klopp's verdict on the game, he's right in saying Liverpool played much better against Brighton than they did in the 3-0 Premier League defeat earlier this month. However, the Reds have failed to beat the Seagulls in three attempts this season, which pretty much sums up their current fortunes.