After a tough run of form in recent weeks, Liverpool rebounded with a 3-0 victory over Brentford on Sunday afternoon. While still not quite at their best, the shorthanded Reds were clearly the better side for most of the 90 minutes and were able to cruise to the final whistle.
Manager Jürgen Klopp was very pleased with the result against a Brentford team that caused fits for his squad in a 3-3 draw in September.
“It’s extremely uncomfortable to play against Brentford, to be honest,” Klopp said in his post-match press conference.
“They usually play differently but the way they play against us is really difficult. There were so many moments where the ball was in the air and the moment it was on the ground we had to start playing football.”
For much of the first half, it felt like Liverpool were setting themselves up for another frustrating result despite having the better of the play. They created chances, but the final moves didn’t seem to be quite there, and Brentford keeper Álvaro Fernández looked like he would be hard to beat even when they were. Then, Fabinho found the breakthrough off of a 44th-minute corner kick.
There were some nervy moments in the second half as well, with some very poor passes leading to chances for the Bees. Fortunately, Liverpool were able to hold onto their lead and then put the match to bed with goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino.
“It was not always fluent but that’s how it is very often – the set-pieces can be the opener,” said Klopp. “That was the case today. We could have scored maybe before, but then the next two goals were outstanding.”
Unfortunately, there was a moment near the end that put a damper on the performance. Oxlade-Chamberlain went down after rolling his ankle on a misstep, and he had to be substituted. Klopp confirmed the injury after the match, but couldn’t give much information on the severity.
“He was really good, it’s a shadow on the game. We don’t know yet. Hope it’s nothing serious but we will get more info tomorrow. Too early to say, I have no idea. This is the life of a footballer, no one did anything wrong, it just happened. Let’s wait for it, we don’t know anything about it yet.”
It was an unfortunate end to what was otherwise a great result. Liverpool will be hoping it’s just a knock as they continue to navigate the difficulties of missing players through injury, Covid-19, and the Africa Cup of Nations.