A haphazard Brentford side pulverised by Liverpool as Reds storm to 3-0 win
By Alessandro Schiavone at Anfield
Liverpool 3-0 Brentford (Salah 2x, Diogo Jota)
A rampant Liverpool side eased to a 3-0 win over Brentford thanks to a Mohamed Salah brace and Diogo Jota stunner.
Despite having two Darwin Nuñez goals frustratingly disallowed at 0-0, the Reds made light work of the Bees who had taken to the Anfield pitch high on confidence after three consecutive wins.
Yet even though the west Londoners had earned themselves the tag of giant-killing after upsetting several big guns over the years, most notably Man City home and away last season and stunning Chelsea 1-0 two weeks ago, getting something from this game always proved to be a stinker. Jürgen Klopp's Reds had won all of their five games on their turf this campaign and were raging after their shock Europa League defeat in Toulouse on Thursday night.
And so this contest (unsurprisingly) turned out go mostly in one direction. In the opening minutes Cody Gakpo and Dominik Szoboszlai combined but Mark Flekken easily saved the Dutchman's attempt.
After being slipped in to his right by Salah, Uruguay international Nuñez poorly passed the ball to Flekken. In between Ajer failed to get on the end of a well-studied Pinnock flick-on from a corner.
And the ex-Freiburg stopper was just exceptional when he kept out Virgil Van Dijk's bouncing header.
Liverpool were running out of patience but were lucky when Bryan Mbeumo failed to pounce on the counter, with Alisson doing just enough to prevent the ball going in, sticking out his left arm at the right time.
But Yoane Wissa's costly mistake eventually led to Liverpool's opening goal. The Frenchman was dispossed by Joel Matip in his own half. Szoboszlai was at the right place to collect the ball and give it to Trent Alexander Arnold who played a defence-splitting pass to Nuñez. The latter then teed up Salah who drilled a low effort past Flekken. And Salah could already have doubled his lead on the stroke of half-time but made a hash of it all after an excellent cross by Alexander-Arnold by blasting over.
Yet this was the ex-Roma man's day as he sealed the win with a rare headed goal after the hour-mark. After a check lasting several minutes, to the annoyance of anyone inside the ground, VAR concluded that the ball was in play when Tsimikas whipped in a cross near the byline.
The three points were already wrapped up but Jota decided to stamp his name on the afternoon. A shoulder drop followed by a finish of the highest quality earned him the applause of the Anfield faithful.
Brentford had two chances to reduce the arrears but Van Dijk first cleared Norgaard's net-bound header off the line before Alisson excellently palmed away Pinnock's header.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Endo, Gakpo, Szoboszlai; Salah, Nunez, Jota
Substitutes: Kelleher, Quansah, Chambers, Scanlon, McConnell, Elliott, Nyoni, Doak, Diaz
Brentford: Flekken; Ajer, Collins, Pinnock; Mee, Roerslev, Norgaard, Jensen, Janelt; Mbeumo, Wissa
Substitutes: Strakosha, Maupay, Zanka, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Peart-Harris, Baptise, Yarmoliuk, Olakigbe