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5 talking points from Brentford 3-3 Liverpool

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Liverpool‘s first trip to the Brentford Community Stadium saw reason and logic thrown out of the window as an absurd game ended with a point apiece.

Brentford 3-3 Liverpool

Brentford Community Stadium, Premier League
Saturday 25 September, 2021

Goals: Pinnock 27′, Janelt 63′, Wissa 81′; Jota 31′, Salah 54′, Jones 66′


Curtis Jones, remember him?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Milner or Jones? That was the big call for Jurgen Klopp pre-game, with the rest of the line-up pretty much as expected.

The young Scouser got the nod, his first league start of the season. To be blunt, he needed to have an impact: his tremendous efforts in the first half of last term seem to have been overlooked or forgotten as he hardly played from March onwards. This year, Harvey Elliott‘s emergence has left him further out of the spotlight.

First half he certainly put himself about and got involved in the game, though a few stray passes didn’t help his cause.

But he got through a huge volume of work, helped massively in transitions and scored a (deflected) belter, just after blazing another one almost into the gardens of the tower of flats behind the goal.

Subbed just after and all hell broke loose once he was departed.


Jota’s aerial prowess

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Liverpool's Diogo Jota scores the first equalising goal with a header during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With three larger than life centre-backs in place, the swung crosses didn’t really have the desired effect for much of the first half for the Reds.

But Diogo Jota apparently cares not for the laws of physics and continues to plunder headed goals past beefy defenders and massive keepers, despite being largely seen as an on-the-ground forward at his best.

His run – and Hendo’s cross – were perfectly timed and the header into the corner was unerring, a good response after falling behind.

Jota continues to be a moments player, very different to Salah’s continual involvement in terms of Reds attackers. He keeps having those moments, which is important, but he can also be peripheral for long stretches.


100 for Mo

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah scores the second goal past Brentford's goalkeeper David Raya during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

100 Premier League goals for Mohamed Salah in a Liverpool shirt!

The relentless Egyptian will probably be more concerned with not having buried his one-on-one that would (and should) have made it 4-2, such is his commitment to finding the back of the net (and the fact it proved costly), but his finish for 2-1 was superlative.

Neither the defender trying in vain to track his run, the despairing dive of David Raya or the erroneous offside flag could deny Mo that time.

Only three players – Aguero, Kane and Shearer – have reached the century for a club quicker than Salah’s 151 games in the Premier Lague era, while he’s in the top 10 of all time for the club now too.


Defensive lapses

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk looks dejected after the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. The game ended in a 3-3 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Not for the first time, Liverpool went into their game after being handed an opportunity of sorts, with two rivals failing to take points with their earlier fixtures. We took one and stayed unbeaten, which leaves us clear at the top, but it should have been all three of course.

Sadly, the defensive work was not up to scratch: first half it was Trent’s side targeted repeatedly, second half Robertson could barely keep up with anyone.

Virgil van Dijk was largely excellent – forgive any on-the-whistle lapses if there are any here, quite a lot happened – but Ivan Toney gave Joel Matip a battering at times.

If not for Virg and Hendo’s brilliant covering runs, Matip’s off-the-line clearance, and some well-held lines by the entire defence, Brentford could have had even more.

The fact all those last-ditch interventions were required is the concerning thing.

Brentford‘s style, with two fast and strong forwards, continues to be Liverpool‘s worst nightmare. See Watford away, twice – the 3-3 in 2017 and the 3-0 defeat in 2020.


Next up: Crucial clashes

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. The game ended in a 3-3 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Porto on Tuesday. Man City next Sunday.

Clearly, the organisation needs to be better for both of those opponents, and probably the clinical edge on show too, despite another game in which the Reds netted three. This match might have been 6-6 with ease.

Don’t be surprised to see Klopp go back to basics in the Champions League to an extent – we’ve seen him use the game before a Man City clash as a dry-run for that day’s approach more than once.

Two wins from two and we’ll go into the international break flying; considerably less and we might end up looking at a very long and somewhat bleak October.

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