The last time Liverpool played Brentford in England’s top flight, Queen Elizabeth had just turned 21.
The two sides tied 1-1 that day in 1947. With Chelsea and Manchester United dropping points today, a draw would be a massive let down for the Reds. An away win at Brentford would securely set Jurgen Klopp’s men atop the Premier League table heading into next weekend’s match against City.
Klopp has been successfully rotating the squad this season. He’ll be forced to today as well, as attacking talent Harvey Elliott, Thiago, and Roberto Firmino are all recovering from injuries. Naby Keita is out too.
How will Liverpool fare against essentially Liverpool Jr?
It’s a wildly entertaining opening 15 minutes and both sides are on the front foot. Two key goal-line clearances keep it level.
The open attacking play continues throughout the first half. A perfectly executed Brentford set piece (that was lazily defended by Liverpool) put the bees up 1-0. A Diogo Jota header off a brilliant Jordan Henderson run and ball in levels it at 1-1 in the 31st minute.
An exciting first half of play ends 1-1.
The second half heard the first half was exciting and said “hold my beer.”
Liverpool kept going up, and Brentford kept equalizing. The Reds will rue some wasted chances that could’ve put the match away. Instead, it ends with a 3-3 tie in what will likely be one of the most exciting matches of the year.
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Brentford
Jurgen Klopp (6) –
Goes with his strongest available XI. Needs to get the lads off “let’s just cross and corner to score goals” routine. Crosses are too inefficient. Need more open play opportunities. Should’ve been screaming at the squad on the set piece opener for Brentford. Lazy and casual.
Should’ve used subs in the second half. Particularly, taking out Salah for James Milner to see out the lead.
Alisson (6) –
Challenged often an early. Nothing he could do on the opener but comes up with a few key first half saves. Not much he could do on the second goal either. Or the third.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (7) –
A little off in the first half. Some sloppy defending. Poorly hits a free kick just outside the box near the end of the first half. Good effort to try and clear Brentford’s second goal. Delivery improved as the match went on.
Virgil Van Dijk (6.5) –
Almost let Toney get a quality header off in the 9th minute. And too casual on the opening goal set piece–should’ve been organizing and screaming for his mates to be more alert. Not strong enough in aerials, costing Liverpool on the Bee’s second goal.
Does save a goal in the 93rd minute with an incredible challenge.
Joel Matip (6.5) –
Heady goal-line clearance in the 10th saves a goal. Wasn’t as dominant in the air as he could’ve been.
Andy Robertson (7) –
Fell asleep on the Brentford set piece that led to the opening goal. Makes a strong run towards the end of the first half, getting fouled and earning a free kick that Trent can’t convert. Gets booked for a smart tactical foul in the 71st.
Fabinho (6.5) –
Quiet first half. Finds Mo with a beautiful ball to put the Reds up 2-1.
Jordan Henderson (7.5) –
He’s having a Fountain of Youth season. Looks fantastic. Makes a brilliant run on a Liverpool counter, receives a ball from Salah, and fires a perfect ball in to assist Jota’s goal in the 31st. Continues strong run of play in second half, including a great track back to shut down a Brentford counter.
Curtis Jones (7) –
Good chance for Jones to showcase himself and earn more minutes. Solid footwork and strike almost put Liverpool up in the 40th, but hits the post. Scores an absolute screamer to put Liverpool up 3-2 in the 67th. Burned a hole in the back of the net. Then subs right off.
Sadio Mane (6) –
Sloppy on attack early with an errant pass that a charging Mo. Threatening in the second but the worst of the front 3 today.
Diogo Jota (7) –
Jota will be looking to recapture his uber-productive form today. His header game is STRONG. Levels the match 1-1 with a powerful header in the 31st. Denied a brace in the 40th off an incredible save.
Mo Salah (7.5) –
If Elliott or Firmino were fit, Salah might’ve sat this one out. Expect him to get limited minutes midweek against Porto. In domestic competition, Klopp needs Salah’s goals this week.
Off to a good start. Denied a goal in the 8th but a sliding goal line clearance. Early a hockey assist on Liverpool’s first.
Well-earned goal in the 54th minute (after VAR corrected an erroneous offside call). That’s Salah’s 100th top flight goal for Liverpool (he had a few for Chelsea), making him the fastest in Liverpool history to claim that (and 4th fastest in EPL history).
Should’ve had a brace, but got way too cute with it in the 77th.
Roberto Firmino (6.5) –
Not totally fit yet so starts on bench (will likely start on Tuesday vs Porto). Comes on in the 67th for Jones. Some good runs. Just missed getting off a tap in goal towards the end of relegation.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Would’ve been Salah for sure had he not wasted that brace opportunity. Will give it to Jones for his screamer.