Liverpool got back to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon as they enjoyed a 3-0 victory over Brentford at Anfield.
The home side had the ball in the net twice courtesy of Darwin Núñez, who was offside on both occasions, but the Uruguay international soon played a role in the opening goal with his ninth career assist for Mohamed Salah, whose first touch was as impressive as his finish.
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The Reds were forced to defend well in a couple of bright Brentford moments after the restart, but it was ultimately a lapse in concentration from the Bees that saw them go 2-0 down. Kostas Tsimikas crossed the ball toward the back post just before it went fully out of play and, amid appeals from defenders, Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead with an accurate header.
The second goal for Jurgen Klopp’s side saw them begin to find their stride, and they soon put the game out of reach as Diogo Jota produced a fine effort from the edge of the box for Liverpool’s third.
Luis Díaz and Harvey Elliott were introduced in the 83rd minute as the Reds played the rest of the game out in an impressive win.
Liverpool created plenty of chances in a performance in which they looked back to their best after two games without a win to keep themselves in touch with the Premier League title race.
There were a couple of moments when Liverpool required better concentration. Brentford had some chances that they should have done better with, in particular Bryan Mbeumo’s opportunity in the first half that could have put the visitors 1-0 ahead.
Jurgen Klopp, 8 — Klopp came into this game with a number of injuries affecting his squad, and he seemed to get the best out of his side who produced a performance worthy of the three points.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 7 — An important save kept the game at 0-0 after Brentford forward Mbeumo attempted a deft chip over him, with the goalkeeper reacting quickly to push the ball away on his left hand. Another strong stop in the second-half denied a powerful header from Ethan Pinnock
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 — Unlucky not to get an assist with an excellent pass into Salah just before the break in an overall positive display in attacking areas. Could have been positioned slightly better against Mbeumo in the first half before Brentford’s best chance of the game.
DF Joël Matip, 8 — Matip was unlucky to be booked for his reaction to being penalised for a foul after cleanly winning the ball, but his performance improved after that. He soon played a key part in Liverpool’s opening goal after a tackle began the attack from high up the pitch. A strong block defined an all-round assured defensive display, preventing an effort from Christian Norgaard inside the box.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 8 — The Liverpool captain commanded his defence well in a strong all-round performance, and he was close to scoring after forcing a save from goalkeeper Mark Flekken at a corner. Defended dangerous situations comfortably in the second half, with a crucial intervention keeping the game at 3-0.
DF Kostas Tsimikas, 8 — The Greece international enjoyed getting forward where he was able to link up with Jota. He put in some dangerous crosses when stretching the play down the left flank, securing two assists by the end of his day’s work.
MF Wataru Endo, 7 — The Japan international produced an assured display at the base of the midfield three, where he came in for the suspended Alexis Mac Allister. Endo helped control the tempo of the game well, and looked comfortable playing at a high pace. Signs that he is beginning to settle on Merseyside.
MF Dominik Szoboszlai, 7 — Brentford defenders struggled to pick Szoboszlai up when he drifted forward to link with the attack, and he always looked to play progressively when in possession. Provided plenty of energy in midfield, tirelessly pressing Brentford in moments they were looking to build in central areas.
MF Cody Gakpo, 7 — Gakpo looked calm on the ball when in possession, and he chose the right moments to drive right at the defence. Had an effort from range in the second half but couldn’t get it on target.
FW Mohamed Salah, 8 — A cool finish put LIverpool ahead in a performance where Salah was involved in the majority of the Reds’ best attacks, and he got his second goal of the game when heading in a cross from Tsimikas.
FW Darwin Núñez, 7 — Came close to opening the scoring after being marginally offside for his first effort, but the striker was a constant threat throughout the day and he timed his pass perfectly to Salah for Liverpool’s first goal.
FW Diogo Jota, 7 — Jota was a handful for his marker as his intelligent movement put Brentford into difficult defensive transitions. The 26-year-old was sharp with his decision making, and capped his performance with an impressive right-footed strike from the edge of the box.
Harvey Elliott (Gakpo, 83′), N/R — Tested the goalkeeper from range with an effort that was almost pushed into Salah’s path.
Luis Díaz (Jota, 83′), N/R — Bright when introduced, always looking to challenge his marker directly.
Jarell Quansah (Alexander-Arnold, 90′), N/R — Introduced for the final minutes of the match.
James McConnell (Szoboszlai, 90+3′), N/R — Made his Premier League debut in the final moments.