LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Brentford's Ivan Toney (L) challenges for a header with Liverpool's Joel Matip during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp pinpoints key problem that led to Brentford draw

There was a lot of respect for Brentford after they matched blow after blow with Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp acknowledging his side missed too many chances and were unable to cope defensively.

The Reds had an opportunity to move three points clear at the top of the table with a win at Brentford but they were in for a frenetic six-goal thriller that saw Liverpool twice pegged back.

Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Curtis Jones would all etch their name on the scoresheet with plenty of chances left on the pitch to make sure of a winning result, only for three to be conceded at the other end.

Uncharacteristically poor performances from Liverpool’s backline were punished by a bright Brentford who deserved credit for dominating the air and the second balls.

And it was the former that was a clear disruption to the Reds’ game as they were on the losing end of the aerial duels on the night.

“We have to be ready for a proper fight because they make a fight of it. We were, but we lost too many challenges in the air and that lost us momentum,” Klopp told the BBC.

“How the boys played together tonight – I like that a lot. We played a good game. The boys didn’t think that we must be superior in all situations.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané and team-mates look dejected as Brentford score a second goal during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We fought hard and we had to. With the ball, I was really happy with the performance. When the ball was in the air, not so much.”

And for Klopp, it was equal parts praise for the hosts after the 90 minutes as he lamented missed chances.

“[I’m] not sure enjoy is the right word. It was a wild ride,” Klopp told Sky Sports post-match.

“They deserved it. I don’t think you can control them much better, we created a lot of clear-cut chances but couldn’t deal with them defensively. These things happen.

“We should have scored more. If we win 3-2 or 4-3 we still have these struggles defensively. Toney and Mbuemo did really well. Brentford deserved a point.

“I have no problem with accepting when you play this kind of football. That’s football. You have to create things to deserve to win.

“They deserved a point as well because they put up a proper fight. I respect that a lot.

“In the end, there were situations we should do better – and then it could be a completely different game. Their goalie should have No. 10 on his back with the balls that he played!”

The 3-3 draw leaves plenty to improve on ahead of a huge week with Porto to come in the Champions League before a return to Anfield against Man City.

Both are games that Liverpool cannot afford to be anything but defensively sound and for chances to be ruthlessly taken when they arise.