When the smaller teams attempt to punch above their weight, without a doubt, the contest becomes simmering and Liverpool experienced a tough going against Brentford in their away match yesterday. Jurgen Klopp was seen shaking his head after the final whistle but he would agree that it was a Brentford side that never stopped believing.

These two clubs last met in the league in May 1947 when Brentford’s 12-year stay in the First Division came to an end despite a 1-1 draw at the old Griffin Park. After 74 years, surely, it was time to have fun for Liverpool, but it was the repeat of a draw in a different way.

Obviously, the start of Brentford was shaky, still, they did not lose focus – Kristoffer Ajer scrambled back to clear Salah’s shot off the line after playing him onside, it was the enterprising hosts who should have gone ahead in a frantic opening 10 minutes.

Toney and Frank Onyeka both had opportunities to score after Liverpool’s defence failed to clear the danger before Bryan Mbeumo opted to lift the ball over Alisson when through on goal, allowing Joël Matip to prevent it from crossing the line.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold, Matip and Andy Robertson restored to their defence, Liverpool should have looked more secure but they struggled to contain the live wire Toney and Mbeumo in particular.

Toney’s brilliant back-heel diverted a driven cross from the Liverpool academy product Sergi Canos into the path of Pinnock at the back post to open the scoring.

Brentford’s joy was short-lived, however. A brilliant cross from Jordan Henderson allowed Diogo Jota to ghost in front of his marker and guide home the equalizer.

The woodwork and an excellent save from David Raya to deny Curtis Jones and then Jota prevented Liverpool from going in ahead at half-time.

Alexander-Arnold and Robertson pushed forward at the start of the second half as a sign of Liverpool’s intent and it did not take long for them to find the breakthrough after Raya saved Jota’s effort from point-blank range.

Fabinho’s floated ball to the back post deceived all of the Brentford defence and there was Salah to volley home his landmark goal despite the assistant referee initially flagging him offside. Replays showed it was Canós who had played the Egyptian onside.

But Brentford again found a way through Liverpool’s brittle defence with relative ease. Pontus Jansson’s shot crashed off the bar after a cross into the box before Vitaly Janelt was able to nod the ball just over the line despite Alexander-Arnold’s best efforts to get there first.

Parity lasted all of three minutes, though, as Jones let fly from the edge of the box and his shot deflected off the unfortunate Ajer to beat Raya at his near post.

Salah would certainly have sealed the victory had he not spurned a golden opportunity when his side were leading 3-2 but this was all about the pulsating performance from Thomas Frank’s new boys that sparked into life whenever needed as Yoane Wissa – came on as a late substitute just four minutes earlier having joined from Lorient in the summer, coolly lifted the ball over Alisson to seal a deserved point for Brentford.

“We went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the Premier League and more than held our own,” said a delighted Frank.


“It was a wild ride,” admitted Klopp, who was also full of praise for the outstanding Ivan Toney. “We played some of the best football we have played this season but struggled against their long balls. It was really tricky for us to control the game and they deserved their three goals. But we got a point so it’s not so bad.”

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