Liverpool 3-0 Brentford: Mohamed Salah’s brace sees him join an illustrious group of Premier League legends… as Diogo Jota completes trio of goals to help Jurgen Klopp’s side bounce back from disappointing week
- Mohamed Salah scored a brace of goals to help Liverpool defeat Brentford 3-0
- Diogo Jota followed up with the third goal late in the second half to seal the win
Mo Salah joined an exclusive club of Premier League greats as Liverpool took advantage of their early kick off to move joint-top of the table.
Salah struck in each half to become only the fourth player to score in his first six Premier League home matches in a season – following Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Les Ferdinand.
It was also the 15th consecutive league match at Anfield in which the Egyptian King has contributed either a goal or an assist.
Liverpool then wrapped up a comfortable home win with Diogo Jota adding a third.
In tricky wind and rain, Jurgen Klopp responded to Alexis Mac Allilster’s one-match ban by drafting in summer signing Wataru Endo for his first Premier League start at Anfield.
Seven of Liverpool’s nine substitutes were aged 20 or younger on a youthful bench.
Brentford included 34-year-old defender Ben Mee for his first start since September following a muscular injury.
Liverpool survived an early scare when Ethan Pinnock narrowly failed to connect from close range to put Brentford’s back-five under heavy pressure.
Darwin Nunez was rarely far from the action. He forced Mark Flekken into a save at his near post and then twice had goals ruled out for offside.
First, he sidefooted Dominik Szoboszlai’s intended shot and then delivered an overhead kick after Virgil van Dijk’s header was brilliantly saved by Flekken. On both occasions the flag was raised and VAR checks confirmed it – though the first decision was by the length of a big toe.
The only danger to dominant Liverpool’s was themselves. A slack pass by Alexander-Arnold inside his own box could have been punished by Bryan Mbuemo’s shot but it went high.
The forward then got goalside of Alexander-Arnold but Alisson was alert and made the save.
Referee Paul Tierney wasn’t popular with The Kop when he booked Joel Matip – the Germany imploring his innocence for a foul on Christian Norgaard.
Having come close to scoring, Nunez was more successful as a provider.
After 39 minutes, he cleverly turned and released Salah down the right. There was a sense of inevitability at what happened next – the winger clinically firing into the bottom corner.
Nunez and Salah could have added a second goal before the break but it duly arrived through Salah again after 62 minutes– shortly after a VAR check had decided Endo’s sliding challenge on Norgaard was not on an offence.
For the goal, Kostas Tsimikas centred from the byline and Salah converted with a simple header.
Nobody moved to the halfway line to restart until VAR checked the whole of the ball hadn’t crossed the line. They ruled it hadn’t and though it appeared close, it wasn’t contested as vehemently as Newcastle’s recent winner against Arsenal.
That spelled the end of Brentford’s run of three consecutive wins and hopes of a first win at Anfield since 1937.
Jota added a third after 75 minutes, taking a pass from Tsimikas by the left angle of the penalty and shifting inside Frank Onyeka before driving a finish past Flekken.
uis Diaz got a specially loud cheer when he came on as an 83rd-minute substitute – his first Anfield appearance since the release of his kidnapped father in Colombia. And in injury-time one of the next generation, 19-year-old James McConnell, was sent on for his Premier League debut.
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