Liverpool moved within one point of fourth place on Saturday evening as they beat Brentford 1-0 in the Premier League at Anfield. Mohamed Salah opened the scoring inside in the 13th minute after timing his run well from Virgil van Dijk‘s header back across the box, adding the finishing touch to a 100th Anfield goal to earn him centurion status.
The Reds should have found themselves headed into the break with a 2-0 lead, but Darwin Nunez couldn’t apply the finishing touch to an exquisite pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold, though the home side did have a first half goal when Bryan Mbeumo had the ball in the back of the net before it was quickly called back for offside.
Diogo Jota helped create the best chance of the second half with a cross that was hit with pace across the six-yard box, but Cody Gakpo couldn’t divert it into an empty net. Liverpool’s next chance didn’t come until Alexander-Arnold’s long-range effort forced a strong stop from David Raya diving to his right.
Jurgen Klopp’s side controlled the game well and created enough chances to ensure a comfortable victory. Against a side who they struggled against last time around, Liverpool’s performance today indicated that they have turned a corner since their win at Elland Road against Leeds.
Liverpool gave away too many set-pieces against one of the best sides at converting them in the Premier League this season.
Manager rating (1-10; 10 = best)
Jurgen Klopp, 7 — Klopp’s system continued to provide dividends in terms of chance creation, with Liverpool maintaining control of the match, though he could be disappointed with some of the fouls his side conceded. Looked to deploy more of his taller players to deal with the Bees’ set-piece threat.
Player ratings (players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson 6 — There wasn’t much to deal with for Alisson with Brentford registering just a single shot on target, but he was positioned well and showed bravery when intercepting crosses — at one point taking a strong challenge from Ivan Toney.
DF Andy Robertson 6 — Stretched the play down the left-flank and was quick with his crosses into the box, but they didn’t quite reach the target. Linked up well with his team mates when they roamed onto his side.
DF Virgil van Dijk 7 — An assist for Virgil van DIjk saw him astutely pick Salah out at the backpost, and got his decision right when holding his line against Bryan Mbeumo, who had the ball in the net before it was brought back for offside.
DF Ibrahima Konate 7 — Anticipated attacking moves to clear the danger and kept his position impressively in Liverpool’s defensive line. Picked up a needless booking after kicking the ball away after a foul.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold 7 — Excelled again in his new role and was very unfortunate not to have an assist when creating a big opportunity for Nunez. Caught on the ball at one point in the first half, but Konate was quick to intervene.
MF Fabinho 7 — An excellent ball from the Brazil international opened up the Brentford defence in the build up to Liverpool’s first goal, allowing Van Dijk to cut back for Salah. Aggressive in the challenge, but sometimes gave away fouls too easily.
MF Curtis Jones 6 — Jones roamed around the pitch for Liverpool and often made the right decision with his passing, with the majority of his plays focused on maintaining possession rather than opening up the opposition.
FW Diogo Jota 6 — Worked hard across the line and was a threat with runs in behind, first forcing Mbeumo to commit a yellow card offence before pressuring Aaron Hickey, who had to work hard to avoid conceding possession close to his own goal. Flashed the ball across the box but put too much pace on it for Gakpo to convert.
FW Darwin Nunez 6 — Signs of frustration from Nunez were clear as he missed a chance he really should have been better with when timing his run behind the line from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pass. Replaced by Luis Diaz shortly after the hour mark.
FW Cody Gakpo 6 — Deployed in a deeper role by Jurgen Klopp and was bright when driving with the ball forwards into attacking areas. Had a chance to play Salah through in the second half but seemed to get mixed up with what pass the Egypt international preferred.
FW Mohamed Salah 7 — It took Mohamed Salah just 13 minutes to score what was his 100th goal at Anfield, where he also became the first player in Liverpool’s history to score in nine consecutive home matches. The Egypt international showed confidence in possession and was willing to run with the ball at multiple Brentford defenders, and he was at the heart of the majority of Liverpool’s best attacking plays.
Luis Diaz (Nunez, 65′) 6 –– On for Nunez just after the hour mark but didn’t really get the opportunity to challenge his marker directly.
Jordan Henderson (Jota, 73′) 6 — Provided extra stability in Liverpool’s midfield as the match approached the final stages. Overlapping runs down the right flank helped create space for Salah in attacking areas.
James Milner (Jones, 82′) N/R — On for Jones with Klopp opting to use Milner’s experience to help see the game out.
Kostas Tsimikas (Robertson, 82′) N/R — A like-for-like switch for Andy Robertson on the left flank.