A comfortable win saw some noteable performances from a handful of players, and some solid play all-round heading into the international break.
Liverpool 3-0 Brentford
Premier League (12), Anfield
November 12, 2023
Goals: Salah 39′ 62′, Jota 74′
Alisson (out of 10) – 8
Seemed to have a lot of footwork to do early on, often under pressure, but did well in this regard.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
Played plenty of whipped crosses and direct passes from midfield, one of which broke the lines to find Nunez in the build-up to Salah’s goal.
Heavily involved, as might be expected, finishing the game with more touches than any other player on the pitch (83).
Joel Matip – 7
Made some trademark forays forward much to the delight of the crowd, and these gave Brentford something else to think about when defending Liverpool attacks and build-up.
A good block in the second half helped with the defensive cause, and the 32-year-old generally looked comfortable and was effective in all he did.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
A trademark dominant display in all facets of the game from the Liverpool captain.
Threatened to score, too, but saw a headed chance from a Tsimikas corner well saved by Mark Flekken.
Any clearing headers are always with direction towards a teammate, rather than just knocking the ball away, and his passing was accurate, and expansive when needed.
Kostas Tsimikas – 8
Good delivery from set pieces produced two early chances, one from a corner for Van Dijk and another from a free-kick that Jota.
Determination to reach the ball before it trickled out of play resulted in an assist for Salah’s second, crossing on the slide for the Egyptian at the far post.
Is not quite as dynamic as Robertson, but still creates some good chances.
Also gets the assist for Jota’s goal, and defended well against Mbuemo late on.
Wataru Endo – 6
There were a couple of sloppy moments early on in his second Premier League start, but settled into the game.
With his defensive work, it sometimes feels like a case of how long he’s going to last until picking up a yellow card given the way some of his challenges break up opposition play, but he managed to last the whole game.
Given the way red cards have been dealt out lately, he might have been lucky to escape one for a challenge on Christian Norgaard. VAR certainly took its time in deciding not to give it.
Did some useful defending in the latter stages.
Dominik Szoboszlai – 7
Produced some good bursts of attacking play and was one of the more effective channels through midfield, completing 50/57 passes.
Cody Gakpo – 6
Had a couple of efforts from distance, well struck but not well directed.
Played in the advanced midfield role on the left, regularly joining the front line but acted more as a useful distraction than a direct threat.
Mohamed Salah – 9 – Man of the Match
Showed some good control under pressure in tight spaces when things were a bit frantic early on.
Kept his cool and his patience despite most of his early action coming in deeper areas, and was in the right place to make the run for the opening goal.
There seemed no doubt as to the outcome once he latched onto Nunez’s pass.
Missed a good chance from Trent’s cross from the left shortly after, but added another in the second half, again showing patience, waiting at the far post to where the cross eventually arrived from Tsimikas.
Darwin Nunez – 8
An attacking machine. Shots and direct running, but also hold-up play and an assist.
The latter traits were demonstrated perfectly by his role in Salah’s first goal, holding off defenders, taking a difficult pass, and then laying a perfect pass into Salah’s path.
Had a couple of goals disallowed for offside which showed his constant threat.
Diogo Jota – 8
Couldn’t quite make things happen when some easier chances arose prior to his goal.
On another day he might have had a couple more, had he got on the end of a Tsimikas cross, and not lost control on another occasion when the ball came to him in a good position on the left.
But he eventually found the net, cutting inside from the left and firing into the far corner.
Luis Diaz (on for Jota, 83′) N/A
Harvey Elliott (on for Gakpo, 83′) N/A
Jarell Quansah (on for Alexander-Arnold, 90′) N/A
James McConnell (on for Szoboszlai, 90+4) N/A Premier League debut for the 19-year-old.
Subs not used: Kelleher, Chambers, Scanlon, Doak, Nyoni.
Jurgen Klopp – 8
The Liverpool bench showed how limited the manager’s options were for this game, but he still had a few decisions to make.
And all of these decisions ultimately worked.
Gakpo in midfield was effective enough, while the front three of Salah, Nunez, and Jota was a constant danger.
With an international break up next, Klopp saw his side get the perfect result in what was an important game to win to keep pressure on the other teams at the top of the table at this stage of the season.