Teamwork makes the dream work

Liverpool embarrassed by Brentford in Premier League race

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BRENTFORD, England — Brentford sealed their first victory over Liverpool since 1938 with a 3-1 win at Gtech Group Stadium, which dealt a recent blow to the Reds hopes of a top-four end within the Premier League to qualify for Champions League.

Ibrahima Konate’s Nineteenth-minute personal aim and Yoane Wissa’s Forty second-minute header gave the house aspect a deserved lead as Liverpool made a dreadful begin.

Though Liverpool improved after the restart, halving the deficit via Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s first aim in nearly a yr on 50 minutes, they have been unable to make their dominance in possession pay and Bryan Mbeumo sealed a well-known win six minutes from time.

With the end result, Liverpool completed the day 15 factors adrift of first-place Arsenal within the Premier League and forward of Brentford in sixth place.

JUMP TO: Participant scores | Finest/worst performers | Highlights & notable moments | Publish-game quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Fast response

1. Liverpool lose floor in Premier League race

A brand new yr however an previous feeling: one other evening when ending within the high 4 simply bought a bit of more durable for Liverpool.

The Reds preserve making the duty more durable for themselves than wanted — Monday was the thirteenth time in 26 matches throughout all competitions this season that they’ve conceded the primary aim as a part of a dreadful first-half efficiency.

Liverpool would have been eyeing up an opportunity to maneuver previous Tottenham into fifth place, however might they now fall seven factors off the highest 4, relying on outcomes elsewhere over the subsequent few days.

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It can place additional strain on each new signing Cody Gakpo to hit the bottom working and the membership normally to again Klopp additional within the switch market. The Liverpool boss has made it clear the membership “can not splash the money” this month, significantly whereas new house owners are sought and so solutions could need to be discovered inside. Gakpo, 23, will be anticipated to attain targets.

The Reds did at the least enhance after half-time, however ending with 72.5% possession and only one aim was indicative of a crew functioning nicely under par at each ends of the pitch.

2. Liverpool battle with and with out Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk has lengthy been the rock upon which Liverpool have based their success however the often assured Dutchman was method under his finest right here.

With Liverpool lucky solely to be 2-0 down on the break — two additional targets have been dominated out for offside — Klopp made a triple change which noticed Joel Matip, Andy Robertson and Naby Keita substitute Van Dijk, Harvey Elliott and Konstantinos Tsimikas.

Klopp in all probability would have modified all 11 if he might however the sight of Van Dijk being withdrawn was significantly placing, even when Klopp later insisted it was a precautionary change resulting from threat of harm. It was the primary time Van Dijk had been taken off after 45 minutes since a pre-planned substitution in an EFL Cup tie in opposition to League One Lincoln Metropolis in September 2020

Liverpool’s defending did enhance some after the break, however Konate was crushed too simply by Mbeumo for Brentford’s third aim.

Thomas Frank’s Brentford have scored 9 targets from set-pieces this season — the fourth highest whole within the division — but it surely was however alarming simply how weak Liverpool seemed from each dead-ball conditions. Even in open play, their excessive line of defense will as soon as once more be the main target of a lot criticism and concern.

Van Dijk’s positioning and decision-making is so typically key in making that method work and if there’s any kind of World Cup hangover for the Reds’ skipper, Klopp wants it to vanish quick.

3.Nunez’s struggles proceed since file signing

All of the indicators are that Liverpool’s club-record £85 million signing for Darwin Nunez will ultimately come good — however the wait is proving more and more painful.

Finally, {the catalogue} of missed probabilities in opposition to Leicester Metropolis on Friday didn’t price Klopp’s aspect as they went on to win regardless, however Brentford made them pay this time.

This sport could have been very completely different had Nunez taken a golden probability within the eighth minute. Launched by Mohamed Salah, Nunez rounded Brentford goalkeeper David Raya however noticed his shot cleared off the road by Ben Mee. It was a superb piece of defending from Mee, in equity, however indicative of Nunez’s latest travails in entrance of aim.

Nunez then thought he had scored his fifth Premier League aim when ending well simply after the restart, however VAR dominated the aim out on overview for offside. After dragging one other half-chance astray, the 23-year-old ended the evening booked and on the dropping aspect.

Nunez has all of the attributes to thrive however gamers possessing such a price ticket are afforded much less time to begin making an impression. Liverpool want him to ship on his apparent potential sooner quite than later.

Participant scores

Brentford: David Raya 7, Mathias Jorgensen 7, Ethan Pinnock 7, Ben Mee 7, Mads Roerslev 7, Mathias Jensen 7, Christian Norgaard 8, Vitaly Janelt 7, Rico Henry 8, Bryan Mbeumo 9, Yoane Wissa 8.

Subs: Josh Dasilva 6, Keane Lewis-Potter 6, Saman Ghoddos 6, Sergi Canos 6.

Liverpool: Alisson 5, Trent Alexander-Arnold 5, Virgil van Dijk 4, Ibrahima Konate 5, Konstantinos Tsimikas 4, Thiago Alcantara 6, Fabinho 6, Harvey Elliott 4, Mohamed Salah 6, Darwin Nunez 6, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 6.

Subs: Joel Matip 6, Andy Robertson 6, Naby Keita 6, Curtis Jones 6.

Finest and worst performers

BEST: Bryan Mbeumo, Brentford

A relentless menace together with his runs in behind and sealed the win with a late third.

WORST: Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool

Seemed fully shorn of his regular composure and hauled off by Klopp at half-time. Klopp later stated the transfer was an harm precaution, but it surely may as nicely been primarily based on his efficiency to that time.

Highlights and notable moments

Brentford‘s first aim wasn’t fairly — it was an personal aim off the leg of Liverpool‘s Ibrahima Konate — but it surely counts all the identical.

Brentford saved pushing for aim, ultimately having two would-be targets pulled again for offside within the first half.

However Yoane Wissa discovered a option to double Brentford’s lead, though it took goal-line know-how to acknowledge it as a aim.

The primary half ended with Brentford having clearly been the higher aspect. Anticipated targets (a measure of the standard of scoring alternatives) completed the primary half with Brentford at 1.60 xG and Liverpool at 1.25 xG.

Liverpool got here out of the break swinging, nonetheless. Darwin Nunez had a aim known as offside within the opening three minutes of the second half, after which Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored within the fiftieth minute.

Liverpool would cool off significantly after the aim, nonetheless, ultimately conceding as soon as extra to Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo and failing to attain one in every of their very own for a 3-1 end.

After the match: What the gamers and managers stated

Brentford ahead Yoane Wissa: “I hope the followers loved it. We labored so laborious, and it is as a result of collectively — we keep collectively and that is why we have now this end result.”

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson on the primary half: “First half, we have been nowhere close to ok — every little thing we labored on, every little thing we have accomplished. They have been first to second balls, we gave away low-cost set items. We knew they have been a set-piece crew, actually good at corners, makes it actually troublesome. We’ve to be a lot extra aggressive within the air — a lot extra aggressive when the ball comes into the field and unlucky we did not do this.”

Robertson on the end result: “I do not suppose any complaints will be concerning the end result. They deserved to win. They performed the higher soccer, particularly within the first half, and that is why you get a end result like this.”

Key stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Data)

  • Liverpool have conceded the primary aim in a Premier League match for the tenth time this season. By 19 matchdays, their 10 instances conceding the primary aim are tied for the fifth most by the membership in Premier League historical past, and essentially the most for the reason that 1999-00 season.

  • Brentford be part of Manchester United and Brighton as the one groups to take a two-goal lead over Liverpool within the Premier League this season.

  • Brentford have gained three video games within the Premier League this season vs. so-called Huge Six opponents — that’s the most by any crew exterior of these six groups (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester Metropolis, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur).

Up subsequent

Brentford: The Bees swap gears to the FA Cup after they host West Ham within the third spherical of the competitors on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then Brentford return to Premier League motion on Saturday, Jan. 14 after they host AFC Bournemouth at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Liverpool: The Reds swap gears to the FA Cup after they host Wolverhampton within the third spherical of the competitors on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. ET. Then Liverpool return to Premier League motion after they journey to face Shiny & Hove Albion on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. ET.

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