Salah stars as Liverpool beat Brentford to stay top

Liverpool confirmed that they would end the day top of the Premier League table after claiming a 4-1 win at Brentford, their first victory there in the Premier League.  

With their title rivals Arsenal and Manchester City also in action today, anything less than three points at the Gtech Community Stadium would have put Liverpool’s No 1 position at threat. But they ruthlessly exploited errors in Brentford’s defence as well as injuries to claim a convincing three points thanks to goals from Darwin Nunez, Alexis Mac Allister, Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo.

Liverpool are five points clear of Man City and Arsenal ahead of their matches. 

Thomas Frank made one change to the side that beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 as Kristoffer Ajerre placed Ethan Pinnock. Frank Onyeka and Yoane Wissa both returned from the Africa Cup of Nations to the bench. 

Jurgen Klopp made two changes at the back, Conor Bradley replacing the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold, while Ibrahima Konate returned from suspension to replace Jarell Quansah. Salah was also among the substitutes after recovering from injury, while Caoimhin Kelleher continued in goal for the injured Alisson Becker. 

Brentford started brightly as Christian Norgaard slipped in Vitaly Janelt, but the German dragged his shot wide.

After a number of chances for both sides in an entertaining start, Liverpool took the lead on a counter-attack after 35 minutes. 

Following a Brentford free-kick, Liverpool caught Brentford’s defence too far advanced. Virgil Van Djikhacked the ball up to Diogo Jota, who headed the ball to set Nunez clean through. The Uruguayan showed great composure to chip the ball over Mark Flekken for his ninth Premier League goal of the season. 

But having lost Curtis Jones to injury, Liverpool suffered another blow before half-time as Jota was taken off on a stretcher with an apparent knee injury, Salah replacing him. 

At half-time, Klopp made a third substitution, Gakpo replacing Nunez, but it didn’t stop Liverpool’s threat. 

In the 54th minute they doubled their lead through Mac Alister. The midfielder picked up Salah’s driven pass, and took a lovely touch through the legs of Ajer, before poking the ball home. 

Salah celebrated his return with the third goal. Again a long ball undid the Bees defence. Gakpo flicked on Kelleher’s goal-kick into the path of Salah who took advantage of a mix-up between Nathan Collins and Ben Mee to run past the former and fire into the corner for his 15th goal of the season, one behind Erling Haaland. 

Brentford pulled a goal back out of nowhere in the 75th minute. Sergio Reguilon’s shot was brilliantly stopped by Kelleher, but the rebound fell to Ivan Toney, who smashed home his fourth goal in five matches and his first against Liverpool. 

Minutes later Gakpo fired home a fourth thanks to another Brentford defensive error. Collins air-kicked a clearance, and the ball was pounced on by Luis Diaz, who played it through for Gakpo to slot home. 

Toney nearly had a second, but his header was clawed out brilliantly by Kelleher, while at the other end Van Dijk almost made it 5-1 but his header hit the bar.

Defeat for Brentford in their 100th Premier League match leaves them 14th on 25 points, six clear of the bottom three. 

Source : premierleague

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *