Premier League
LiverpoolLiverpool3BrentfordBrentford0

Liverpool 3-0 Brentford: Reds go second after breaking down stubborn visitors

By Mike HensonBBC Sport
Fabinho scores opening goal for Liverpool
Fabinho's header was his second Premier League goal of the season

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp promised that his side will "go for everything" in their pursuit of runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City after they moved up to second.

The Reds overcame a stubborn Brentford side at Anfield, but are still 11 points off City, albeit with a game in hand.

"We don't have to convince anyone outside to believe. If they want to believe they can believe," said Klopp after his side's 3-0 win.

"If you are with us, you will enjoy the ride and we will go for everything. We are ready to go as much as we can."

Fabinho's far-post header eased some of the tension that had built up at Anfield over 43 goalless minutes, but the home fans were relieved when Brentford's Bryan Mbeumo sliced wide from a fine position after the break.

Shortly afterwards, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain connected with an Andy Robertson cross to double the lead and Takumi Minamino came off the bench to side-foot home a third.

It will take a spectacular and sudden disintegration in Manchester City's form, and a near flawless run-in from Liverpool to reverse the teams' standings by May. City have dropped just 10 points so far this season.

Liverpool find a way without star duo

It was the first time since May 2017 that Liverpool had lined up without either Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane for a Premier League match. And, for a while, it showed.

Liverpool had huffed and puffed to little effect against 10-man Arsenal in the Carabao Cup in midweek and once again they initially dominated possession without making an impression on the scoreline.

With Salah and Mane away on international duty, the hosts lacked the necessary guile and dexterity to prise apart the packed ranks of defenders.

Takumi Minamino scores
Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino were able to almost walk in Liverpool's third after the former had robbed Ethan Pinnock of possession

Virgil van Dijk had a close-range effort well saved by the spread-eagled Alvaro Fernandez, but otherwise Liverpool were restricted to long-range sighters, half-chance snap-shots and hopeful crosses which defenders Ethan Pinnock, Pontus Janssen and Kristoffer Ajer, all six foot four inches or more, cleared with ease.

The breakthrough came less than two minutes before the interval as Trent Alexander-Arnold's corner skidded through a crowded six-yard box for Fabinho to divert in at the far post.

Brentford, with a skinny 25% of possession, had offered some threat before the opener. Ivan Toney and Vitaly Janelt were not far away with shots from a good distance out, while Liverpool's high defensive line left them looking with relief for the assistant referee's flag on a couple of other occasions.

And after the break Mbeumo wasted a glaring opening. Having twisted inside Joel Matip, he had a clear sight of goal, but cracked his shot wide of the post from just inside the box.

It was the key moment in the game. Liverpool, stung into action, found another gear. Diogo Jota was denied by Fernandez and rattled the post before Oxlade-Chamberlain's diving header all but ended the visitors' hopes.

Oxlade-Chamberlain departed with an ankle injury and his replacement Minamino took advantage after Brentford attempted to play out from the back with calamitous consequences.

The final 10 minutes were played out in open style. The home fans greeted impending victory by singing the name of their former manager Rafael Benitez, who had been relieved of his duties at neighbours Everton, as 17-year-old Premier League debutant Kaide Gordon wasted a chance at one end for Liverpool and the impressive Toney did the same for the Bees at the other.

While unable to match the draw they produced in the reverse fixture in September, Brentford are 10 points above the relegation zone and well on target to survive their first season in the top flight in 74 years.

Player of the match

RobertsonAndrew Robertson

with an average of 8.37

Liverpool

  1. Squad number26Player nameRobertson
    Average rating

    8.37

  2. Squad number3Player nameFabinho
    Average rating

    8.17

  3. Squad number9Player nameRoberto Firmino
    Average rating

    8.06

  4. Squad number14Player nameHenderson
    Average rating

    8.05

  5. Squad number4Player namevan Dijk
    Average rating

    8.04

  6. Squad number17Player nameJones
    Average rating

    7.99

  7. Squad number15Player nameOxlade-Chamberlain
    Average rating

    7.98

  8. Squad number32Player nameMatip
    Average rating

    7.98

  9. Squad number18Player nameMinamino
    Average rating

    7.94

  10. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Jota
    Average rating

    7.93

  11. Squad number66Player nameAlexander-Arnold
    Average rating

    7.84

  12. Squad number49Player nameGordon
    Average rating

    7.70

  13. Squad number1Player nameAlisson
    Average rating

    7.66

  14. Squad number7Player nameMilner
    Average rating

    7.16

Brentford

  1. Squad number17Player nameToney
    Average rating

    5.15

  2. Squad number19Player nameMbeumo
    Average rating

    4.99

  3. Squad number40Player nameFernández
    Average rating

    4.95

  4. Squad number20Player nameAjer
    Average rating

    4.85

  5. Squad number5Player namePinnock
    Average rating

    4.75

  6. Squad number6Player nameNørgaard
    Average rating

    4.75

  7. Squad number27Player nameJanelt
    Average rating

    4.71

  8. Squad number3Player nameHenry
    Average rating

    4.70

  9. Squad number18Player nameJansson
    Average rating

    4.70

  10. Squad number26Player nameBaptiste
    Average rating

    4.69

  11. Squad number30Player nameRoerslev
    Average rating

    4.67

  12. Squad number7Player nameCanós
    Average rating

    4.52

  13. Squad number8Player nameJensen
    Average rating

    4.47

  14. Squad number11Player nameWissa
    Average rating

    4.07

Line-ups

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 32Matip
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26Robertson
  • 14Henderson
  • 3Fabinho
  • 17Jones
  • 15Oxlade-ChamberlainSubstituted forMinaminoat 74'minutes
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forMilnerat 78'minutes
  • 20JotaSubstituted forGordonat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Konaté
  • 7Milner
  • 12Gomez
  • 18Minamino
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 49Gordon
  • 62Kelleher
  • 76N Williams
  • 80Morton

Brentford

Formation 3-5-2

  • 40Fernández
  • 20AjerBooked at 19mins
  • 18Jansson
  • 5Pinnock
  • 30Roerslev
  • 26BaptisteSubstituted forWissaat 68'minutes
  • 6Nørgaard
  • 27Janelt
  • 3HenrySubstituted forCanósat 49'minutes
  • 19MbeumoSubstituted forJensenat 75'minutes
  • 17Toney

Substitutes

  • 7Canós
  • 8Jensen
  • 9Forss
  • 11Wissa
  • 14Ghoddos
  • 28Bidstrup
  • 29Bech Sørensen
  • 36Stevens
  • 49Lössl
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
52,824

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamBrentford
Possession
Home68%
Away32%
Shots
Home27
Away6
Shots on Target
Home13
Away1
Corners
Home9
Away0
Fouls
Home6
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 3, Brentford 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 3, Brentford 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Kaide Gordon (Liverpool).

  4. Post update

    Ethan Pinnock (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ivan Toney (Brentford) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mathias Jensen.

  6. Post update

    Foul by James Milner (Liverpool).

  7. Post update

    Mads Roerslev (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sergi Canós (Brentford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Yoane Wissa.

  9. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Takumi Minamino (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James Milner.

  10. Post update

    Offside, Liverpool. Takumi Minamino tries a through ball, but Trent Alexander-Arnold is caught offside.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kaide Gordon (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Takumi Minamino with a through ball.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Curtis Jones (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Fabinho with a headed pass.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool).

  14. Post update

    Vitaly Janelt (Brentford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Ethan Pinnock.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Kaide Gordon replaces Diogo Jota.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. James Milner replaces Roberto Firmino.

  18. Goal!

    Goal! Liverpool 3, Brentford 0. Takumi Minamino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Fabinho.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Brentford. Mathias Jensen replaces Bryan Mbeumo.

Everything you need to know about your Premier League team banner
  • Our coverage of your Premier League club is bigger and better than ever before - here's everything you need to know to make sure you never miss a moment
BBC Sport banner footer

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

1909 comments