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Liverpool 3-0 Brentford: Attacking stand-ins fire in comfortable win

Liverpool put their disappointment behind them as they surged to a 3-0 victory over Brentford in the Premier League, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain among the scorers.

Liverpool 3-0 Brentford

Premier League (21), Anfield
January 16, 2022

Goals

Fabinho 44′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)
Oxlade-Chamberlain 69′ (assist – Robertson)
Minamino 77′ (assist – Firmino)


Following the frustration of midweek, the Reds emerged from the tunnel at Anfield with two changes in personnel, as Curtis Jones started in midfield and Oxlade-Chamberlain joined the attack.

As expected against a side mired in the bottom half of the table, Liverpool controlled the game from kickoff, with the first chance coming as Andy Robertson‘s cross sailed just over the head of Roberto Firmino.

Cutting in from the left, as opposed to the right last time out, Diogo Jota was a constant threat, with three efforts in quick succession.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 16, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (L) challenges for a header with Brentford's Kristoffer Ajer during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A dangerous corner from Trent Alexander-Arnold saw the ball land at Virgil van Dijk‘s feet in the 22nd minute, and the Dutchman could have opened the scoring in ideal fashion only to see his strike cleared off the line.

At the tempo dropped, Liverpool grew ponderous in their use of the ball, and a sloppy pass from Joel Matip handed Ivan Toney a chance from range which he sent just wide of the post.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 16, 2022: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' scores the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In the end, the opener came through another corner from the Reds – their sixth of the half – with Alexander-Arnold’s inswinger drifting all the way across goal and on for Fabinho to simply nod home.

HT: Liverpool 1-0 Brentford

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 16, 2022: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The second half began to chants of ‘Rafa, Rafael’ following the news of Rafa Benitez’s departure from Everton, who sit 16th in the Premier League, with Liverpool kicking off in free-flowing form.

With confidence high having taken the lead, both Fabinho and Jones tested goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez from range, while at the other end Bryan Mbeumo twisted into space and fired just wide.

The persistence of Alexander-Arnold crafted an opening for Jota, and a right-footed strike cannoned off the outside of the post, while Fernandez made a fine stop when one-on-one with the Portuguese soon after.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 16, 2022: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A second eventually came from the opposite flank, with Robertson crossing and Oxlade-Chamberlain converting with a brilliant diving header for 2-0.

Minutes later, an ankle injury forced Oxlade-Chamberlain off, with a shake of the head indicating it could be a bad one for the No. 15 as Takumi Minamino took his place.

Just like the 4-0 win over Arsenal, Minamino scored with his first touch of the game, marking his 27th birthday with a tap-in after brilliant pressing work from Firmino to embarrass Brentford‘s defence.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 16, 2022: Liverpool's Takumi Minamino scores the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And with the game beyond reach for Brentford, on came 17-year-old Kaide Gordon for his Premier League debut, becoming the fourth-youngest player to feature in the league in Liverpool’s history.

He almost marked it with a goal, too, having been sent through by Minamino, only to send his shot too close to Fernandez.

Coming after a difficult result for the Reds, it was a real lift as they ran out 3-0 winners, as attentions turn back to the League Cup with sights set on a place in the final.


TIA Man of the Match: Fabinho

Referee: Jon Moss

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Jones; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Minamino 74′), Jota (Gordon 82′), Firmino (Milner 78′)

Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Gomez, Tsimikas, Williams, Morton

Brentford: Fernandez; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Roerslev, Janelt, Baptiste (Wissa 67′), Norgaard, Henry (Canos 49′); Mbuemo (Jensen 75′), Toney

Subs not used: Lossl, Bech, Stevens, Bidstrup, Ghoddos, Forss

Next match: Arsenal (A) – League Cup – Thursday, January 20, 7.45pm (GMT)

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