Liverpool pegged back by Brentford in a crazy encounter
Liverpool were held to a pulsating 3-3 draw by Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday. Yoane Wissa snatched a late equaliser for the Bees as the Reds split points for only the second time this season.
In an enthralling action-packed game, the home side took the lead through Ethan Pinnock after some good work down the right flank. But Diogo Jota equalised with a fine header shortly thereafter.
Mohamed Salah, with his 100th league goal for the Reds, then put the visitors in front for the first time in the match after the break before Vitaly Janelt restored parity for Thomas Frank’s men.
The Reds, who boasted a fine defensive record coming into the game, were all at sea on the night. Nevertheless, they thought they scored the winner after Curtis Jones fired a fearsome strike from range. But in the 82nd minute, their shortcomings at the back came back to haunt them, as another goalmouth scramble resulted in Wissa firing home a third for Brentford.
The crazy game ended three-all with the sides settling for a share of the spoils in what looked like a fair result for both teams. On that note, here are the five key points from the game:
#5 A wonderful night of football
Phew…that was quite something.
Maybe ‘wonderful’ is a bit of an understatement. The game was absolutely enthralling, replete with end-to-end stuff and nail-biting moments at both ends.
Brentford, playing in the Premier League for the first time, have quietly surprised this season. But still, no one gave them a chance against Liverpool, who’ve been having a fine campaign.
But far from having a walk in the park, the mighty visitors were made to work hard by the Bees. That in turn, produced an intense, high-octane encounter that surpassed all expectations.
There were goals galore, spectacular strikes, VAR interventions, goal-mouth scrambles, close misses, records and roaring comebacks.
#4 Mohamed Salah writes another piece of history
Mohamed Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal for Liverpool.
Mohamed Salah has made and broken records in equal measure since arriving at Liverpool in 2017 from AS Roma. Against Brentford, he added another feather to his already bulging cap.
With a goal against Brentford, the Egyptian ace reached the 100-goal milestone in the Premier League in only 151 games. That made Salah the fastest player to accomplish the feat in Liverpool‘s history.
He scored 95 goals in the previous four league campaigns for the Reds, an incredible record by itself. Salah has now started the new campaign on a tear.
The 29-year-old has joined the legendary ranks of Robbie Fowler (128), Steven Gerrard (120) and Michael Owen (118) as the only Liverpool players to score 100 Premier League goals.
#3 Brentford are here to stay
The Bees showed amazing fighting spirit.
Brentford produced a fabulous outing against Liverpool. The Bees had marked their Premier League debut only last month with a stunning 2-0 defeat of Arsenal. Most dismissed that as ‘beginner’s luck’. But there was nothing fortuitous about their result against Liverpool.
Sure, it was only a draw, which keeps them in ninth place. But their performance on the night was absolutely breathtaking, worthy of a side in the top half of the league table. Brentford hardly looked like a newly promoted side playing their first top-flight campaign in 74 years.
Brentford looked dangerous on the break, and looked to make the most of the space left behind by Liverpool’s marauding full-backs, especially Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right. No wonder two of Brentford’s three goals came from that side of the pitch.
Moreover, players like Mbeumo, Toney and Janelt were strong in the air too. They caused several nervous moments inside the Liverpool box with their heading ability as the crosses kept coming in.
Their defence, which had only leaked two goals coming into this game, was all over the place against Liverpool, whose attacking might can be hot to handle for most teams. But that was perhaps the only sore note in an otherwise brilliant performance from a team that could finish in the top ten this season.
#2 Curtis Jones scored a special goal
Jones fired a rocket in the second half.
Curtis Jones rarely scores. But if he could produce breath-taking screamers like the one he did on the day, fans wouldn’t mind waiting a while to see him getting on the scoresheet.
The 20-year-old picked up the ball near the edge of the ball in the second half. Following a few touches, he unleashed an unstoppable pile driver into the far post, beyond Brentford custodian David Raya’s despairing dive.
He combined power with accuracy perfectly, a strike most goalscorers would be proud of. However, it must be said that his strike did take a small deflection off Kristoffer Ajer on its way in.
#1 Liverpool’s defensive lapses could prove costly
Brentford constantly targeted the space left behind by Robertson and Alexander-Arnold.
With two of their close rivals, Chelsea and Manchester United, dropping points earlier in the day, Liverpool had the chance to extend their lead at the top of the standings.
A draw keeps them ahead of the pack, but it really should’ve been all three points, had their defence been more resolute. Coming into the match, the Reds had conceded only once from five games. But they ended up letting three in this game alone in what was a total capitulation at the back on the night.
The main culprits, as hinted earlier, were Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, who left acres of space at the back. Neither could keep up whenever Brentford broke forward on the break at pace.
Thanks to Virgil van Dijk’s aerial dominance, Matip’s on-the-line clearance and a few other instances of fine defending, the Bees could have scored more. This could be a one-off. But Liverpool struggled against Brentford’s high press, something other sides might have taken note of.
Here are the sides the Reds are going to face in the next few weeks: Porto, Manchester City, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid.