• By Yann Tear at Brentford Community Stadium

Brentford battle back twice to ensure parity with Liverpool after memorable, pulsating encounter


Brentford (1) 3 Pinnock 27, Janelt 64, Wissa 82

Liverpool (1) 3 Jota 31, Salah 54, Jones 67

The Bees traded goals and points with Liverpool in a magnificent, breathless contest which added further fuel to the belief there is going to be no energy crisis in this part of west London, at least.

Brentford led once but had to come from behind twice to grab a share of the spoils and it was sub Yoane Wissa who claimed the glory by plundering a late leveller that had the home fans in raptures.

It was almost mayhem x10 not long after when Ivan Toney thought he had made it 4-3. A linesman’s flag stopped the story become even more fantastical.

Ethan Pinnock opened the scoring, poking home a Sergi Canos cross to the far post, and Diogo Jota equalised soon after, heading home a Jordan Henderson cross.

Mo Salah gave Liverpool the lead for the first time after the break, rattling in a volley that was initially flagged offside but awarded after VAR intervention.

But Vitaly Janelt pegged Jurgen Klopp’s men back – nodding over the line after a Pontus Jansson shot had cannoned back off the underside of the bar.

Then, after Curtis Jones had beaten David Raya with a deflected drive, Wissa came on and was on hand to nudge home from close range.

Considering the Reds were protecting the only remaining unbeaten record in the Premier League, it spoke volumes of the effort Thomas Frank’s men put in and the sheer stress they put the Reds’ defence under was a clear sign they belong at this level, with this team.

Make no mistake, this was another massive statement on another memorable evening for the top-flight newcomers.

The drama was unrelenting, even before Pinnock got the ball rolling. Kristoffer Ajer took an early blow to the head but quickly recovered and had enough of his wits about him to scamper back and clear off the line after Salah had poked the ball past Raya.

Soon, Bryan Mbeumo was having one of his efforts cleared off the line by Joel Matip in a tit-for-tat start. And so it went on – chances galore. Two teams going hell for leather.

Toney was irrepressible, giving Virgil Van Dijk as tough a match as any he has had since his return from injury. He flicked a glancing header just wide and his aerial prowess, movement and link-up play with Mbeumo was a key feature of Brentford’s continuing threat.

The pair gave plenty for the visitors to think about.

It was not just up front where the Bees impressed either. Liverpool came close to regaining the lead before the break but Raya’s superb athleticism and reflexes denied them.

The keeper was beaten by a deflected drive from Jones which came back off a post but he sprang up to get in the way of Jota’s follow-up and the ball bounced clear off his right hand.

There was another scare after the break when Jota got on the end of a chip from Andy Robertson, but the contact was scuffed and Raya had time to palm away.

It was that kind of game. Chaotic and beautiful, full of dynamism, thrills and spills. Typical of the best the Premier League has to offer.

It is quite an achievement by the Bees to be very much a part of that narrative now. They can look back with pride on the part they played in this thrilling contest.

Bees: (3-5-2) David Raya – Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock (Zanka 42) – Canos, Onyeka (Baptiste 68), Norgaard (Wissa 78), Janelt, Henry – Toney, Mbeumo Subs not used: Fernandez, Jensen, Forss, Ghoddos, Baptiste, Bidstrup, Roerslev

Reds: (4-3-3) Alisson – Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson – Henderson, Fabinho, Jones (Firmino 69) – Salah, Jota, Mane Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Milner, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Tsimikas, Origi