Liverpool were left to settle for a 1-0 win for the second game in a row, with it an understandably tired but largely impressive display at Anfield.
Liverpool 1-0 Brentford
Premier League (35), Anfield
May 6, 2023
Goals: Salah 13′
Alisson – 7 (out of 10)
Alisson was furious after Bryan Mbeumo’s disallowed goal – despite it being chalked off for offside – as it would have denied him his first back-to-back clean sheets since the start of March.
The Brazilian was comfortable between the sticks, shaking off a nasty blow following a collision with Ivan Toney.
Booked for time-wasting…or so said Anthony Taylor.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8 (Man of the Match)
It’s like Jurgen Klopp has told him: ‘Go out there, do whatever you want and we’ll make it work’.
Alexander-Arnold drifts around the pitch, not only following the ball but demanding it at every opportunity, always scanning for the next pass and even testing the goalkeeper.
There was a beautiful ball over for Darwin Nunez which the striker wasted, and though he was also guilty of overplaying to gift Brentford a chance, the No. 66 played a vital role in dealing with second balls from set-pieces.
Ibrahima Konate – 7
Bright and physical, Konate coped well with the tussle with his countryman Mbeumo, compensating for Alexander-Arnold’s forays into midfield as both centre-back and right-back.
His partnership with Virgil van Dijk looks to be blooming again, even if there were a handful of shanked clearances and shaky moments.
Virgil van Dijk – 7
Van Dijk enjoyed his battles up against a game Brentford attack, though he is still not his all-powerful self.
Nevertheless, the Dutchman was dominant in the air defensively – making more clearances (nine) than any other player – and assisted Mohamed Salah‘s goal.
He is slowly getting there. Next season could see our No. 4 up there again.
Andy Robertson – 7
The Scot looks to be growing more comfortable in his tweaked role, offering less going forward by curbing his attacking tendencies when required as third centre-back.
However, there were still a number of fine deliveries from the left and he linked up brilliantly with Diogo Jota when possible.
Fabinho – 7
Cushioned in this new 3-4-3 system, Fabinho has looked closer to his best in recent weeks, and this continued with a largely comfortable display at the base of the midfield.
Was booked early on but coped well with the added risk. Sharp in the challenge and much sharper on the ball now, too.
Cody Gakpo – 7
Gakpo was deployed in an unnatural midfield role, which showed the extent of Klopp’s faith in him just months after joining.
He looked like he relished it, too, with the Dutchman heavily involved on and off the ball and given the space to take possession, resist the press, turn and kick off attacks.
Moved back up front midway through the second half. A workhorse who will be invaluable for years to come.
Curtis Jones – 7
Eight consecutive starts is the longest run Jones has ever enjoyed in the Liverpool side, and the No. 17 has deservedly kept his place.
The confidence is clearly coursing, allowing him to express himself on the ball and driving him on to win it back when it’s lost.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Goals in nine consecutive Anfield games – the first to do in Liverpool’s storied history. A personal milestone of 100 Anfield goals.
And, of course, now level with Steven Gerrard as the club’s fifth-highest goalscorer of all time.
Busy, dangerous and clinical when the chance presented itself. Still on the periphery at times but he makes his presence felt off the ball, too.
Diogo Jota – 7
Split duties with Nunez as left winger and centre-forward, as the bustling, harrying presence to complement the Uruguayan’s rambunctious, direct approach.
His persistence crafted a few openings, while he played an important role in counter-pressing. Brought off with 17 minutes to play as Liverpool manage his rib injury.
Darwin Nunez – 6
In the absence of Roberto Firmino and with Luis Diaz starting twice in a row after a long injury, Nunez was given another chance to impress at Anfield.
He squandered a huge chance to make it 2-0 and looked short of the confidence he began the season with – but the No. 27 ran hard, chased lost causes and linked up play well.
Luis Diaz (on for Nunez, 65′) – 6 – Another 25 minutes or so to build up the long-term fitness.
Jordan Henderson (on for Jota, 73′) – 6 – Was a fitness doubt heading into the game and certainly played like it.
James Milner (on for Jones, 81′) – 5 – Got his customary foul in.
Kostas Tsimikas (on for Robertson, 81′) – 6 – Settled in well into the left-sided role.
Subs not used: Kelleher, Matip, Gomez, Elliott, Carvalho
Jurgen Klopp – 8
Remember when there were doubts over the manager’s future?
It’s now six wins in a row and eight unbeaten. Klopp has his smile back and the side are thriving with his new-look system.
Liverpool have needed to win ugly in recent games, but that comes in a ridiculously busy schedule of games in the run-in – few will be complaining.
Klopp managed his squad well – again – with the fitness of Jota, Diaz and Jones considered, and an eight-day break between fixtures now awaits, to recuperate and plan for the final assault.