| 7.7°C Dublin

klopp rocked Liverpool's flaky defence cost them dearly and this Brentford result could come back to haunt them

Close

Brentford's Ethan Pinnock celebrates scoring his side's first goal against Liverpool

Brentford's Ethan Pinnock celebrates scoring his side's first goal against Liverpool

Brentford's Ethan Pinnock celebrates scoring his side's first goal against Liverpool

LIVERPOOL were guilty of throwing away two points at Brentford last night, as a horrible defensive performance proved costly in a sensational 3-3 draw.

All credit to Brentford as they gave Jurgen Klopp’s men trouble all night with their brand of direct and aggressive football, but Liverpool contributed to their own downfall with some terrible defensive slips.

Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold were exposed as Brentford looked to get in behind them and it left Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip with far too much to do as they tried to hold off their powerful forward players.

Then at the other end of the field, Liverpool failed to convert chances that could have finished the game off long before Brentford’s third goal, with Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota missing big chances when the game was there for the taking.

In the end, Liverpool probably didn’t deserve to win the game as they were far too flaky at the back and in the final third, but this was a result that could come back to haunt them.

On a day when Chelsea and Manchester United lost, this was three points they badly needed and they allowed then to slip away.

From what I saw against a very strong Liverpool line-up, Brentford will stay in the Premier League because they have a method of playing that will test a lot of opponents and they gave Liverpool plenty to ponder last night.

Manager Thomas Frank encourages his players to mix things up, going direct when the time is right and then trying to do damage with their forward players.

Close

 Yoane Wissa of Brentford celebrates scoring his side's third goal

Yoane Wissa of Brentford celebrates scoring his side's third goal

Yoane Wissa of Brentford celebrates scoring his side's third goal

The Ireland sides I played in with Jack Charlton did that and while we were never the out-and-out long-ball team the critics suggested we were, using long balls can be effective when you are up against top class sides like Liverpool.

Brentford’s opening goal was a comedy of errors at the back for Liverpool, but their high energy approach had unsettled Liverpool before that.

They are a powerful side and give you a physical test, so if you are not up for the challenge, you will come up short.

We saw a flaky Arsenal side crumbling under the pressure when they lost to Brentford in the opening game of this Premier League season, but Liverpool had a lot more about them and Jota equalised with a fine header just four minutes after Brentford’s 27th minute opener.

Jota should have scored again before half-time, but their keeper pulled off one of the best saves I’ve seen in a long time as he somehow kept out his close range effort and after a moment of brilliance like that, you start to wonder whether it might not be Liverpool’s night.

The pace didn’t dip in the second half and just for once, VAR worked for Liverpool as an off-side flag had initially ruled out Salah’s goal, but the replay clearly showed Brentford’s right back was playing Liverpool’s main man onside.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

To score 100 Premier League goals in just 151 appearances for the club is a sensational record and it highlights what an impact Salah has made at Liverpool.

We often talk about the signings of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker as being crucial to Liverpool’s trophy winning successes under Klopp, but Salah has been every bit as important.

Brentford didn’t give up and found a way to come back, but this thrilling game had another twist when Curtis Jones unleashed a stinging shot to put Liverpool 3-2 ahead.

I watched a lot of Liverpool under-23 games when Jones was coming through the ranks and he scored a lot goals like that, so it is great to see him making the step up and doing it at Premier League level.

The trouble with Liverpool was they didn’t look as strong defensively as we are used to seeing, especially with Van Dijk and Joel Matip back in the side.

It meant that Klopp could not relax until the final whistle sounded and Alexander-Arnold’s failure to deal with another Brentford ball into the box resulted in their second equaliser.

Close

Liverpool's Andrew Robertson (left) congratulates Curtis Jones (right) after he scored his side's third goal

Liverpool's Andrew Robertson (left) congratulates Curtis Jones (right) after he scored his side's third goal

Liverpool's Andrew Robertson (left) congratulates Curtis Jones (right) after he scored his side's third goal

Before that, Salah wasted the chance to end the game and make it 4-2 when he just had to finish when clear in the box, but he flicked his shot over the bar.

It proved to be a crucial moment as the goal to make it 3-3 was not long in coming.

Roberto Firmino missed a chance to win it for Liverpool in the closing stages and I felt Liverpool had a penalty claim when Jota was man handled in the box, but VAR didn’t bother looking at that one for some reason.

It was breathless stuff, but this was a game that got away from Liverpool and the only winners from this weekend of Premier League action was Manchester City after their win at Chelsea.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy