Liverpool 3 Brentford 0 – News

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Brentford’s first trip to Anfield for a Premier League game ended in defeat. Liverpool scored late in the first half and then added two more after the break to secure the points. The final 3-0 score line probably wasn’t as comfortable as it looked, but there was no doubt that Liverpool deserved the win.

The home team scored their goals at important times. Brentford looked set to level at half-time before the hosts struck and they had a good chance of leveling just short of Liverpool’s second. In the end, Liverpool did enough to win the game and Brentford left with nothing.

Liverpool had the best of the first quarter of the competition and most of the game was played in Brentford’s half. The home side dominated possession and pushed the Bees away. It took them a few minutes to start finding gaps, but they created a series of openings in the first quarter of the game, albeit mostly from set pieces.

An Andrew Robertson corner was missed at the near post by Jordan Henderson and the ball bounced around the Brentford penalty area. Diogo Jota got a shot which the Brentford defenders managed to fend off. Henderson then set up Jota after good work down the right, but the shot was superbly blocked by Kristoffer Ajer. The resulting corner was half cleared and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crossed for Jota to head 12 yards out.

Liverpool were forcing mistakes and when Álvaro Fernández failed to get enough distance on a clearance, Trent Alexander-Arnold ran towards the Brentford goal. He created room to shoot, but Rico Henry came back to block. A cross shot from Fabinho almost created the opening goal. Oxlade-Chamberlain tried to head in but failed to make contact and Fernández had to jump to his left to save. Oxlade-Chamberlain was ruled offside, so any goals probably wouldn’t have counted.

Alexander-Arnold fired from close range and then delivered a deep free-kick that Joel Matip couldn’t return home at the far post. A corner from Alexander-Arnold soon after caused problems when he was sent back to the near post and beat Fernández. He hit Virgil van Dijk at the far post, sent it back, but Fernández recovered to make a nice save.

Roberto Firmino fired from wide range, Fernández collected a van Dijk header and Matip saw off a deflected and saved effort after advancing from behind as Liverpool continued to spend most of their time in Brentford territory. There was also a significant block from Pontus Jansson when Firmino tried to head a Robertson first volley ball. But as the half progressed, Brentford gained confidence. Liverpool weren’t keeping the Bees in their own half like they did for the first half hour and the game was more balanced.

Brentford began to muster attacking possession. Ivan Toney was testing the defense at home, playing in the channels on the last line. On a few occasions he was ruled offside, including once when a Vitaly Janelt shot was blocked inside the penalty area. On second glance, Toney was not offside and any goal would have counted. Toney also saw a snap fly from 25 yards and Janelt whistled an effort from a bit.

When it looked like the game would be tied at half-time, Liverpool struck. It started with a brilliant move down the left for Liverpool. Firmino set Jota up for a shot, but Henry came back to block and concede a corner. This was delivered from the left by Alexander-Arnold, bounced all the way through and was headed in from close range by Fabinho. There was a body scrum in the center of the goal, but no one touched and Fabinho was able to nod unchallenged.

This gave Liverpool the half-time lead and Brentford were forced into a substitution early in the second half when Henry left uncomfortably to be replaced by Sergi Canós. Fernández saved from Fabinho when Brentford failed to clear his lines, then latched on to a drilled shot from Curtis Jones. Alexander-Arnold exploded well and a Matip header was blocked as Liverpool continued to have the initiative.

But Brentford had more ball at the start of the second half than for most of the first. Liverpool definitely had the upper hand, but the Bees managed to set up some possession spells, and they could have equalized. Toney collected the ball in the middle of the field and a reverse pass from Christian Nørgaard found Bryan Mbeumo inside the box. He was able to break free and get a shot that beat Alisson and flew just past the post.

Liverpool had more ball and chances and Oxlade-Chamberlain whipped well before Alexander-Arnold forced his way into the penalty area and created space for a Jota shot which broke the far post . Firmino recovered the loose ball, but his low shot was saved by Fernández. Firmino then created a chance for Jota to sneak into the penalty area. He was left with only Fernández to beat, but the Brentford keeper made himself big and kept him out.

Liverpool found a way through soon after. A drilled cross from the left by Robertson found Oxlade-Chamberlain diving to head ten yards out. The cross arched delightfully above the Brentford defense and Oxlade-Chamberlain couldn’t miss.

Brentford came up the other end and nearly took one out as Ajer crossed from the right, Mads Roerslev faked and a shot from Toney was blocked when it looked like it would bother Alisson. Ajer blocked Robertson after good work from Jones and Alexander-Arnold hit from range.

Liverpool killed the game with a third in the final 15 minutes. Brentford played trouble in their own penalty area and Liverpool won the ball. Firmino squared square and Takumi Minamino drew from close range.

Play was even more open in the closing stages as Brentford sought a goal and Liverpool used the space provided. Fernández saved a lob from Minamino before making a nice one-on-one block from Kaide Gordon. Alexander-Arnold recovered the loose ball and shot just past the far post.

Minamino had another blocked shot before Janelt and Yoane Wissa combined to find Canós in space at the other end. His shot was blocked. A fabulous pass from Mathias Jensen freed Toney in the death, but he couldn’t beat Alisson with a low shot. Referee Jonathan Moss ended the game moments later and Liverpool went on to win.

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexandre-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Jones; Oxlade-Chamberlain (under Minamino 74 min), Firmino (under Milner 78 min), Jota (under Gordon 82 min)

Substitutes (not used): Kelleher, Konaté, Gomez, Tsimikas, Williams, Morton

Brentford: Fernandez; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Roerslev, Baptiste (under Wissa 67 min), Nørgaard, Janelt, Henry (under Canós 49 min); Toney, Mbeumo (under Jensen 75 mins)

Subtitles (unused): Lössl, Stevens, Bech, Bidstrup, Ghoddos, Forss

Reservations: Ajer (19 mins)

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