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Liverpool 3-0 Brentford: Player ratings as Salah sends Bees packing

Liverpool maintained their 100% record at Anfield in 2023/24 with a scintillating 3-0 victory against Brentford on Sunday afternoon.

Jurgen Klopp’s side slumped to a 1-1 draw against Premier League newcomers Luton Town last weekend before losing 3-2 at Toulouse in midweek Europa League action.

Amends for back-to-back disappointments were at the forefront of their minds against a Brentford side they’ve defeated ‘to nil’ in both previous top-flight meetings on home turf.

However, Thomas Frank’s side headed into the game in a buoyant mood following an impressive run of three league triumphs on the trot, including a 2-0 win at Chelsea on their last Premier League travel.

Brentford had the first chance of the first half, but Yoane Wissa failed to take advantage of a scramble inside Alisson’s six-yard box minutes after the first whistle. 

Liverpool replied through Darwin Nunez, who fortunately got on the end of Dominik Szoboszlai’s wayward shot and slotted the ball past Mark Flekken. But the linesman’s flag went up immediately, and VAR upheld the call.

Nunez thought he had made it at the second time of asking as his stunning overhead kick found its way to the top corner. Unfortunately, he was well offside.

Despite seeing two of their early goals disallowed, the Reds were relentless with their high press, which almost backfired when Bryan Mbeumo sprinted behind the lines. 

The quicksilver forward broke one-on-one with Alisson, who showed impressive reflexes to parry away the Cameroonian’s attempt from the edge of the box.

Klopp’s team quickly punished Mbeumo’s miss. After a perfectly-crafted move, Nunez played an inviting through ball into Mohamed Salah’s stride. The Egyptian was calm and composed to open the scoring with a routine finish.

Liverpool could’ve gone 2-0 up at half-time if it weren’t for Salah’s incredible miss. Trent Alexander-Arnold chipped the ball over the top for his forward to latch onto it, only for the ex-Chelsea man to launch it over the crossbar.

A catalogue of wasted chances in the first half never came back to haunt the Reds as they established a two-goal cushion just after the hour mark through Salah.

Kostas Tsimikas somehow kept the ball in play, lifting the ball to the far post, where Liverpool’s most prolific scorer was waiting all alone. His free header finished in the net, ending Brentford’s comeback hopes.

But scoring precisely three goals at Anfield has been the Reds’ thing this season, and in-form Diogo Jota maintained that trend with a brilliant solo goal in the 74th minute. 

The Portuguese winger danced past a couple of Brentford defenders before unleashing a thunderous shot from the edge of the penalty area to make it 3-0. 

Liverpool vs Brentford Player Ratings

Liverpool

Alisson (8/10) – A brilliant display from the Brazilian goalkeeper! Made several incredible saves to keep his third home clean sheet against Brentford.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (7/10) – Mbeumo gave him a slip, which almost cost Liverpool dearly in the first half but improved as the game progressed. Unlucky not to grab an assist.

Virgil van Dijk (8/10) – A vintage van Dijk performance! In addition to winning numerous aerial duels in both penalty areas, had several vital tackles. 

Joel Matip (7/10) – Looked insecure in the early stages but regained confidence after a sluggish start, forging a wall in front of Alisson’s goal.

Kostas Tsimikas (8/10) – One of his liveliest showings this season. Set aside the assist for Salah, he created all sorts of problems for Brentford’s backline with his trademark runs down the flank.

Wataru Endo (6/10) – Left his heart and soul on the field, cutting down the visitors’ attempts to hurt Liverpool on the break. But an over-zealous challenge early in the second half almost led to an expulsion.

Dominik Szoboszlai (6/10) – Not one of his most eventful performances this season, but still did enough to help the Reds dominate proceedings in the middle of the park.

Cody Gakpo (7/10) – Was at the thick of every movement in the first half with another energetic showing in the final third.

Diogo Jota (8/10) – Scored a superb solo goal to seal Liverpool’s thumping victory and was in red-hot form the entire game. 

Darwin Nunez (7/10) – Grabbed an assist for his trouble, but his run of misfortunes continued. Even when he scores, it doesn’t count.

Mohamed Salah (9/10) – There’s nothing more Klopp could’ve asked from his talisman. Opened the scoring with a classic ‘Salah’ finish and put the game to bed with a poacher’s header.

Substitutes 

Harvey Elliott (6/10) 

Luis Diaz (6/10) 

Jarell Quansah (NA/10)

James McConnell (NA/10)

Brentford 

Mark Flekken (6/10) – It’s difficult to give him a high grade after conceding three times. In his defence, there was very little he could’ve done on all three occasions.

Mads Roerslev (3/10) – Salah had a field day past him. Always seemed to be on the back foot against the Egyptian speed demon.

Ben Mee (5/10) – You’d expect a towering defender to at least dominate in the air. But that wasn’t the case today.

Ethan Pinnock (4/10) – One of his worst games this season as Nunez, Jota and Salah proved too hot to handle.

Nathan Collins (5/10) – Like his defensive colleagues, he will want to forget today’s match as quickly as possible.

Kristoffer Ajer (6/10) – Perhaps the only Brentford defender to have shown signs of life today. Did a decent job defensively and wasn’t afraid to go forward when he had space.

Mathias Jensen (5/10) – Apart from losing the midfield battle to Szoboszlai and Gakpo, his set-piece deliveries were disappointing.

Christian Norgaard (7/10) – The captain tried to lead by example, but his teammates let him down.

Vitaly Janelt (5/10) – Never gained a foothold in this match despite refusing to shy away from the challenges.

Yoane Wissa (4/10) – Not only was he disconnected from the pack, but even when he had the ball, he couldn’t do anything noteworthy. 

Bryan Mbeumo (6/10) – Who knows how the game would’ve panned out if he didn’t miss his early chance? 

Substitutes 

Frank Onyeka (6/10)

Neal Maupay (5/10) 

Yegor Yarmolyuk (4/10) 

Saman Ghoddos (5/10)

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