Liverpool certainly were not at their best in their 1-0 victory at home to Brentford, but they are showing strong mental fortitude in their unlikely top-four push.
Jurgen Klopp‘s men edged out the Bees on Saturday evening, with Mohamed Salah‘s close-range effort earning the hosts all three points.
Only a win would do at Anfield, in terms of keeping pressure on Newcastle and Man United, and they are giving themselves an outside chance of Champions League football next season.
Here’s how the media assessed Liverpool’s win, as they made it six Premier League victories in a row.
It wasn’t pretty from the Reds, but they got the job done…
Aaron Bower of the Guardian focused on a positive night at Anfield:
“The stars of the music world descend on Liverpool next weekend for Eurovision but right now, it is Jürgen Klopp and his players who are hitting the right tune.
“This is now six Premier League victories in a row for the Reds and while they remain outsiders for Champions League football next season, they are asking all of the right questions of those above them.
“From a position of near-impossibility just a few weeks ago, the Reds are now firmly in the top four picture. The gap to Manchester United is just a solitary point and while Erik ten Hag’s side have two games in hand, victories like these continue to assert the pressure on both them and third-placed Newcastle, who are three adrift.
“That, after being so far behind for so long, is really all they can do, and they did enough here in an entertaining contest to maintain their momentum.”
On Twitter, David Lynch praised the dogged nature of Liverpool’s victory:
I'm not sure we'll see Liverpool calmly seeing games out with possession until they address their midfield issues, but thought they stood up to Brentford's direct approach pretty well and played some decent stuff. It's a work in progress but six wins on the bounce says a lot.
— David Lynch (@dmlynch) May 6, 2023
Mike McGrath of the Telegraph is impressed by the manner in which Liverpool are putting pressure on their rivals:
“The bigger picture for Jurgen Klopp’s team is that they are putting huge pressure on Manchester United in the race for the Champions League places. Klopp has played down chances, saying his team had longer to put together a run when they came up on the rails in the 2020/21 campaign.
“But they are stringing together wins that will see them run United close. With Erik ten Hag’s team losing on Thursday evening, this victory took Liverpool a point behind their great rivals.
“They have played more games, but have applied scoreboard pressure with wins on the board. Over to their arch-rivals at West Ham on Sunday.
“It is seen as unbecoming to celebrate a fourth-placed finish in the way Arsenal used to under Arsene Wenger, yet who would begrudge Liverpool their moment if they overhaul United.
“They were in 10th position at the start of February, with barely a hope given of European qualification let alone the Champions League.”
It was yet another record-breaking day for the incomparable Salah…
Tom Blow of the Mirror questioned where Liverpool would be without their legendaru No.11′
“Erling Haaland has broken plenty of records this season, but he is not the only Premier League forward making history at the moment. Salah added another glorious chapter to his Liverpool story on Saturday evening by scoring his 100th goal at Anfield.
“His strike also took him level with Steven Gerrard on 186 for the Merseyside club – placing them joint fifth in the all-time record books.
“It was a crucial goal too, as it gave Liverpool the advantage against Brentford. Fabinho, in acres of space on the edge of the box, chipped the ball into Virgil van Dijk to attack. The Dutchman then headed the ball across to Salah, who (eventually) bundled it into the net.
“Salah now has 30 goals in all competitions this season, with 19 of those coming in the Premier League. Where would Liverpool be without him?”
This Is Anfield‘s Henry Jackson was another who was in awe of Salah:
“Level with Steven Gerrard – in 408 fewer appearances!
“In the eyes of some lazy outsiders, Salah has been having a ‘poor’ season, yet he poked home his 30th goal of the campaign to open the scoring at Anfield.
“It meant he became the first Liverpool player in history to score in nine consecutive appearances at Anfield. Another record for Mo!
“Salah is now just the fourth Liverpool player in history to score 30 or more goals in three consecutive seasons, and he is level with Steven Gerrard (186) at fifth in the all-time scoring charts.
“Has he been at his absolute best all season? No. But we judge him on another level than almost any player in the world.”
Neil Johnston of BBC Sport also couldn’t hide his admiration for the Egyptian King:
“Where would Liverpool be without Salah?
“In front of Liverpool’s all-time record scorer Ian Rush, Liverpool’s number 11 reached a century of goals at the iconic home of the Reds, while Salah has now scored 30 goals or more in four of his six seasons at Liverpool.
“Fabinho was heavily involved in the move for the goal, the Brazil midfielder playing a lovely pass into the box for Van Dijk to tee up Salah to equal Steven Gerrard’s tally of 186 for Liverpool in all competitions.
“On a day of milestones, Alisson was relatively untroubled as the Brazil keeper made it 100 clean sheets for Liverpool in all competitions, while Trent Alexander-Arnold produced the pass of the match to set up Darwin Nunez who should have made it 2-0.”
So, is a top-four finish really on?
Jackson certainly isn’t giving up hope just yet:
“The odds remain stacked against Jurgen Klopp‘s men, considering their rivals both have two games in hand, but funnier things have happened than a collapse for either.
“Liverpool fans will be donning West Ham and Arsenal shirts on Sunday, as United head to east London and Newcastle host the Gunners.
“If both win, it will feel like a big nail in the Reds’ coffin, but they are refusing to give up hope, which is encouraging after such an appalling run of form earlier in the campaign.
“It’s a case of Klopp’s team winning their last three games and seeing what happens – even if they miss out on top four, things will certainly feel far more positive than they did a month or so ago.”
Finally, Blow believes people should write Liverpool off at their peril:
“Somehow, there is now just one point separating Manchester United in fourth and Liverpool in fifth. Although Erik ten Hag’s side have two games in hand on their bitter rivals, there is no doubting Klopp’s men have plenty of momentum for the run-in.
“Liverpool’s revival is reminiscent of the 2020/21 campaign, when they picked up 26 points from their final 10 Premier League games to climb from eighth to third in the table.
“The Reds are still likely to miss out on a top-four finish, but they would send a huge message to the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal if they can finish the campaign with a nine-game winning run. At last, they are starting to look like title contenders again.
“The future is bright, Liverpool fans.”