Report and highlights as Mo Salah and Diogo Jota take Liverpool to sixth-straight Anfield win in the Premier League this season; Reds move on point behind Premier League leaders Man City as they end Brentford's three-game winning streak
Monday 13 November 2023 06:15, UK
Mohamed Salah's double took him to 200 goals in English football and helped Liverpool to a 3-0 win over Brentford, which moves them to second in the Premier League, a point behind leaders Manchester City going into the international break.
The Liverpool forward slotted home in the first half to make it 15 straight Anfield Premier League appearances where he has either scored or set a goal up, matching record streaks by legends Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry.
Salah then nodded in for the landmark after the break, when Kostas Tsimikas just kept the ball in play. Diogo Jota thumped in the Reds' third from the edge of the box to cap a morale-boosting win.
It was an authoritative performance from Liverpool, who also saw two Darwin Nunez efforts in the first half ruled out for offside, as they put their frustrating recent results against Luton and Toulouse behind them.
This was their sixth-straight Premier League win at home this season, with the Anfield factor giving them the platform to battle with the likes of City and Arsenal at the top end of the table and dream of another title tussle.
Brentford, who saw their own winning streak come to a halt, created dangerous moments of their own and actually recorded a better Expected Goals total than Liverpool but Alisson produced a big save from a Bryan Mbeumo one-on-one at 0-0 and the much-improved hosts had too much quality in the final third. They sit 11th in the table.
Liverpool: Alisson (8), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (7), Van Dijk (8), Tsimikas (7), Endo (6), Szoboszlai (6), Gakpo (6), Salah (8), Jota (7), Nunez (6)
Subs: Diaz (6), Elliott (6), Quansah (N/A), McConnell (N/A)
Brentford: Flekken (7); Collins (6), Pinnock (7), Mee (6), Ajer (6); Norgaard (7), Jensen (7), Janelt (6), Roerslev (6), Mbeumo (7), Wissa (6).
Subs: Onyeka (6), Maupay (6), Ghoddos (6), Yarmoliuk (6)
Player of the match: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Brentford hadn't won at Liverpool since 1937 but they arrived on Sunday in optimistic mood after victories in their last three Premier League games and Ethan Pinnock almost stunned Anfield when he prodded wide after an early scramble. Later in the half Mbeumo would draw a stunning stop from Alisson.
But apart from those two scares Liverpool were on the front foot in the first half, with Nunez twice seeing his celebrations cut short with the sight of an offside flag. The first decision was especially tight while the second call denied him a super bicycle-kick goal.
Liverpool's control was finally rewarded on 39 minutes when Trent Alexander-Arnold - who had overcome a shaky start - fired a super pass into Nunez on the edge of the box, which allowed the striker to flick the ball into the path of Salah. It was then a trademark finish from the Egyptian.
Such are his standards, Salah left the pitch at half-time shaking his head, having missed a good chance from close range just before the interval, but he would have his second just after the hour mark. Salah headed in at the back post after Tsimikas rescued the ball from going out, in a scene similar to Newcastle's winner over Arsenal a couple of weeks ago.
Liverpool have won all nine of their home games in all competitions this season, all by a margin of two or more goals.
This is the joint-longest home winning run by 2+ goals in the club’s history (also nine from May-October 1980).
That calmed any nerves which may have been growing in the Kop. Before then, Tsimikas and Cody Gakpo had hinted at a lack of patience from the home side, as they blasted over, and Alisson had to save a Mathias Jensen free-kick. Wataru Endo also survived a long VAR check for a strong tackle on Christina Norgaard which incensed Bees boss Thomas Frank.
But once Liverpool had their cushion they kicked on, with Jota piledriving in from 20 yards to put them in an unassailable position.
With the shackles off for both sides, Virgil van Dijk had to clear from his goalmouth after Norgaard's flick-on, Alisson saved from Pinnock and Mark Flekken had to be sharp at the other end to prevent Harvey Elliott or Dominik Szoboszlai adding a fourth. An entertaining game - and one which will bring optimism to the red half of Merseyside as they go into the international break.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "Top performance, top result, super difficult opponent. Whatever happens on the pitch, they will have a set-piece and if they have one, how horrible is that? And then outside of set-pieces, they have really good ideas. The chances they had in the first half, I can't remember who played the pass for Mbeumo, but the whole situation, oh my god, these things could have happened much more often.
"These moments, horrible. Couldn't respect it any more, but they're horrible. But to put a performance like that on the pitch is really special.
"It was not an easy week, we are super self-critical and the results are one thing, the performances are another thing. I've never experienced season with faultless performance every week or three days. Then you have to react, super difficult opponent. Injury-wise, line-up-wise - the line-up was good, but then we were really young on the bench.
"Today could have been filled of possible excuses - Cody playing in midfield, the wind, the opponent, the set-pieces, and I saw just a team who wanted to win this football game and we deserved it."
Brentford boss Thomas Frank: "My look is that first and foremost, on the pitch it was a clear foul and a yellow card. But in the old days, and I'm not that old but let's say five years ago, it was never a red. A yellow probably on the pitch, but these days with the VAR and the way they are being reffed, then I think it's a red.
"If you look at the slow motion footage that you use, then it's clear studs on leg and he's definitely going over the ball with too much force, Endo on Christian. And then you can look at the four bloody marks on his leg! With that in mind, I just want consistency.
"These examples I'm giving now, I don't think they're red cards, but the way it is now, then they're definitely reds.
"The Curtis Jones against Tottenham, the Rashford against FC Copenhagen, the Josh Dasilva one for us against Newcastle and then this, the level they want to put it into, then it's a red."
After the international break, Liverpool are back in action on Saturday November 25 when they travel to Man City, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 12.30pm.
Meanwhile, Brentford also play on Saturday November 25 when they host Arsenal; kick-off 5.30pm.