Brentford 1-4 Liverpool: Match Report & Ratings

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Liverpool went 5 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a resounding 4-1 victory on the road away to Brentford with Mohamed Salah making an impact in his first game back after his injury during the Africa Cup of Nations alongside Darwin Nunez, Alexis Mac Allister and Cody Gakpo.

Brentford started off as the dominant team in the opening minutes of a game where the visitors knew to expect a difficult time in the capital, particularly following a humbling defeat in this fixture last term. The Bees had the first effort on goal as Vitaly Janelt dragged his shot just wide of Liverpool’s right-hand post after Christian Noergaard played him in from the edge of the penalty area.

The hosts had continued to threaten but not pose any real shots on target in their opening 10 minutes and Liverpool had the first two attempts on target for either side. Conor Bradley forced a smart save from Mark Flekken down to his left and then another smothering saves from Jota with the follow-up right on 10 minutes.

Brentford continued to play their intended way of setting up for a quick counterattack while playing in a back five when Liverpool had the ball but chances from Ivan Toney and Christian Norgaard went begging as the game progressed through towards the half-hour mark.

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Jurgen Klopp suffered more injury woes as Curtis Jones was forced off in the 33rd minute and the German gave Ryan Gravenberch the opportunity to make a difference to break the deadlock as the young Dutchman joined the fray at the expense of the unfortunate scouse midfielder.

Despite all of Brentford’s attempts on goal and attacks, it was the Reds in purple that took the lead as Virgil Van Dijk’s long clearance was flicked on for Nunez to run onto and then the ball over Flekken for 1-0 in the 35th minute.

It went from bad to worse for Klopp as he was forced into another change as Jota had to be carried off after being landed on which meant there would be an early appearance for the returning Salah.

Both sides went into half-time with a stressed but mostly satisfied Klopp as the score remained 1-0 to the visitors. Nunez had to be withdrawn at the break and Cody Gakpo would be his replacement meaning that Liverpool within the first half have had to make three of their substitutes in the first half.

Liverpool burst out of the blocks in the second half with Diaz and Salah going close in the first five minutes after the restart. It only got worse for Thomas Frank and his team as Mac Allister poked home from close range after a pass from Liverpool’s Egyptian king and some neat footwork from the Argentine in the 55th minute to make it 2-0.

Salah again showed his attacking potential when he made it 3-0 as he latched onto Gakpo’s flick-on with two Brentford centre-backs falling asleep and allowing him to run through and slot the ball home to seemingly end the contest in the 68th minute.

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The game was not done yet though as Toney clawed one back for Brentford after Caiomhin Kelleher made a fantastic save from Sergio Reguillon but could only parry as far as the England forward to drive home the rebound for 3-1 with 15 minutes of the 90 remaining.

The Reds made their final two changes in the 84th minute as Joe Gomez and Harvey Elliott replaced Bradley and Mac Allister before Cody Gakpo finally put the game to bed in the 86th minute after another Brentford error at the back. Joe Gomez launched the ball forward only for Nathan Collins to completely miss the ball in his attempt to clear. That allowed Luis Diaz to take the ball and play the Dutchman through on goal to calmly slot the ball home for 4-1. Game over.

Salah was named the Man of the Match on the television coverage despite having come off the bench earlier than Liverpool’s boss had probably planned but it all worked out in the end for Klopp’s side.

Klopp on Nunez, Jota & Jones injuries | Brentford 1-4 Liverpool | LFC Press Conference

Player Ratings – Kelleher 7, Bradley 8, Konate 7, Van Dijk 8, Robertson 7; Wataru 8, Jones 6, Mac Allister 7; Jota 7, Diaz 7, Nunez 8.

Subs – Gravenberch 8, Salah 8, Gakpo 8. 

Redmen Reacts

While the performance and result were those of serious challengers, the collateral damage from this game could be felt for weeks to come with Jota, Jones, Salah and Nunez all seemingly walking away with varying degrees of injury issues. 

Three points hard-earned, now Klopp’s charges – those remaining – must dust themselves down and go again in a big week!



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