Liverpool’s first trip to the Brentford Community Stadium saw reason and logic thrown out of the window as an absurd game ended with a point apiece.
Brentford 3-3 Liverpool
Goals: Pinnock 27′, Janelt 63′, Wissa 81′; Jota 31′, Salah 54′, Jones 66′
Curtis Jones, remember him?
Milner or Jones? That was the big call for Jurgen Klopp pre-game, with the rest of the line-up pretty much as expected.
The young Scouser got the nod, his first league start of the season. To be blunt, he needed to have an impact: his tremendous efforts in the first half of last term seem to have been overlooked or forgotten as he hardly played from March onwards. This year, Harvey Elliott‘s emergence has left him further out of the spotlight.
First half he certainly put himself about and got involved in the game, though a few stray passes didn’t help his cause.
But he got through a huge volume of work, helped massively in transitions and scored a (deflected) belter, just after blazing another one almost into the gardens of the tower of flats behind the goal.
Subbed just after and all hell broke loose once he was departed.
Jota’s aerial prowess
With three larger than life centre-backs in place, the swung crosses didn’t really have the desired effect for much of the first half for the Reds.
But Diogo Jota apparently cares not for the laws of physics and continues to plunder headed goals past beefy defenders and massive keepers, despite being largely seen as an on-the-ground forward at his best.
His run – and Hendo’s cross – were perfectly timed and the header into the corner was unerring, a good response after falling behind.
Jota continues to be a moments player, very different to Salah’s continual involvement in terms of Reds attackers. He keeps having those moments, which is important, but he can also be peripheral for long stretches.
100 for Mo
The relentless Egyptian will probably be more concerned with not having buried his one-on-one that would (and should) have made it 4-2, such is his commitment to finding the back of the net (and the fact it proved costly), but his finish for 2-1 was superlative.
Neither the defender trying in vain to track his run, the despairing dive of David Raya or the erroneous offside flag could deny Mo that time.
Only three players – Aguero, Kane and Shearer – have reached the century for a club quicker than Salah’s 151 games in the Premier Lague era, while he’s in the top 10 of all time for the club now too.
Not for the first time, Liverpool went into their game after being handed an opportunity of sorts, with two rivals failing to take points with their earlier fixtures. We took one and stayed unbeaten, which leaves us clear at the top, but it should have been all three of course.
Sadly, the defensive work was not up to scratch: first half it was Trent’s side targeted repeatedly, second half Robertson could barely keep up with anyone.
If not for Virg and Hendo’s brilliant covering runs, Matip’s off-the-line clearance, and some well-held lines by the entire defence, Brentford could have had even more.
The fact all those last-ditch interventions were required is the concerning thing.
Next up: Crucial clashes
Porto on Tuesday. Man City next Sunday.
Clearly, the organisation needs to be better for both of those opponents, and probably the clinical edge on show too, despite another game in which the Reds netted three. This match might have been 6-6 with ease.
Two wins from two and we’ll go into the international break flying; considerably less and we might end up looking at a very long and somewhat bleak October.