By: Shane Brennan
Liverpool took on Brentford at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, in what was Jürgen Klopp’s 350th game in charge of The Reds.
Liverpool got off to a great start, looking much more like themselves after the stalemate against Arsenal on Thursday evening.
In the 7th minute of the game, Andy Robertson whipped in a corner, and skipper Jordan Henderson got his head on it, Diogo Jota tried to force the ball home, but unfortunately, it was cleared away from goal by a packed Brentford defence.
In the 11th minute, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put the ball into the box and Jota managed to get his head on it, but the ball went over the crossbar as Liverpool turned up the heat on their London visitors.
In the next Liverpool attack, Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was playing a more advanced role for Liverpool, went on a marauding run, he managed to get his shot away, but Rico Henry was in the way to block the ball to prevent any further danger from occurring.
In the 13th minute, Liverpool threatened to make the break through once again, when Robertson crossed the ball in , it in turn found Oxlade-Chamberlain who diverted the ball goalward, Álvaro Fernández Llorente had to make a good save, but it was to be all academic as the linesman had his flag up to signal offside.
The Reds had another really good sustained spell of possession, which ended in Alexander-Arnold having a rocket of a shot which just rose narrowly over the Brentford crossbar, as Liverpool and The Kop could sense the opener was near. In the 19t,h minute Kristoffer Ajer took out Jota as Liverpool got a free kick in a promising position, which Alexander-Arnold lofted into the box, Joel Matip tried to make good contact with the delivery, but the ball was to go agonisingly wide.
Brentford showed that they did carry. threat when Bryan Mbeumo was clean though on goal for The Bees, but Matip came to the rescue to clear the danger calmly. Liverpool went on the counter attack, from which they got a corner. Trent Alexander-Arnold took it, and the ball fell to Virgil Van Dijk, who smashed the ball goal wards, but Fernández was in the way to make a stunning save.
It was soon Liverpool’s turn to hit Brentford on the counter attack as Roberto Firmino found Jota, the ball then the ball found its way to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who tried to get his cross away, but the Brentford defence managed to stand tall once again and send the ball behind for a corner kick. Alexander-Arnold took the resulting corner, from which Van Dijk got a flick on and Fabinho nodded the ball home as Liverpool’s pressure for most of the first half payed off.
In the 57th minute Brentford had a massive chance for an equaliser, as Bryan Mbeumo worked his way through a sea of red shirts to get his shot away and it narrowly went past Alisson’s left hand post.
Alexander-Arnold later combined with Jota and the Portuguese genius got a smart shot away, but Fernández rode to the rescue once again with a fine save.
In the 69th minute Brentford’s resistance was broken for the second time, as Robertson’s cross found Oxlade-Chamberlain, who planted an excellent header past Fernández to all but secure a victory for The Reds. Liverpool were not finished yet however, as they were given a helping hand for the third goal as The Bees tried to play out from the back, Fernández played the ball to Christian Nørgaard, Liverpool pressed him and won the ball, Firmino combined with substitute Takumi Minamino, who rolled the ball into the net to make it 3-0.
Then it was time for Kaide Gordon to make his Premier League debut following on from his goal in the cup last weekend. It was nearly the perfect start for the young man as Minamino played him clean through on goal with only the keeper to beat, but sadly it was saved and it wasn’t to be.
Toney looked to grab a consolation goal for Brentford, but his shot went straight at Alisson. Liverpool managed to see the game out comfortably in the end winning it by three goals to nil.
Up next for Liverpool is the second leg of the League cup Semi-final on Thursday evening.