Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota were rare bright spots as Liverpool were held to a shock 3-3 draw by Brentford on Saturday.
Liverpool were hot off the gates and nearly scored an early goal, only to see Mohamed Salah being denied off the line by Kristoffer Ajer. Moments later, Brentford suffered the same fate, with Joel Matip denying Bryan Mbuemo. The Reds then grew into the game, although Brentford broke the deadlock against the run of play when Ethan Pinnock scored from close range.
Just past the half-hour mark, though, Liverpool equalised through Diogo Jota, who headed in from Jordan Henderson’s pinpoint cross. Thereafter, the Merseyside giants established a foothold in the game, and pushed forward with intent to get the next goal in the game, which duly came in the 54th minute when Mohamed Salah converted Fabinho’s long pass from close range.
The goal was subject to a check by VAR after initially being ruled out for offside but was allowed, as Liverpool took a 2-1 lead. However, a few minutes later, Vitaly Janelt was in the right place at the right time to make it 2-2 and set up an exciting finale, with Brentford constantly looking to take the game to their visitors.
The Reds grabbed the lead for a second time through a long range screamer from Curtis Jones. But there was time for some late drama, as Brentford equalised through Yoane Wissa at the end of a melee. Liverpool did push for a late winner, but it was not to come, as Brentford held on to earn a point. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 6/10
One could say that there was very little that Alisson could have done to deny Ethan Pinnock, Vitaly Janelt and Yoane Wissa. However, his reluctance in the air whenever Brentford sent in the looping crosses played its part in leaving the Liverpool defenders nervy as well. Needs to address that part of his game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 4/10
Back in the starting lineup after recovering from illness, normal services ought to have resumed for for Alexander-Arnold. However, the English international’s creative boots were nowhere to be seen while at the back, he suffered a few hairy moments and was caught out of position when Pinnock put Brentford ahead. Was left to fend for his own for the other two goals as well, in what was a forgettable evening.
Joel Matip: 5/10
Matip, like every other Liverpool defender, was dreadful on Saturday, but is only getting a slightly better rating for his clearance early in the game, when he showed brilliant awareness to deny Bryan Mbuemo off the goal-line. However, the Cameroonian defender just could not get along with the robust nature of Brentford’s moves, which proved to be his undoing.
🗣 "Toney pretty much had Matip every single time."
Jamie Redknapp says that Brentford have an important focal point with Ivan Toney in their team pic.twitter.com/IHafHJDzL7
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 25, 2021
Virgil van Dijk: 4/10
One of those super rare games wherein van Dijk was a mess at the heart of the Liverpool defence. Nowhere to be seen when Pinnock scored the opener, the Dutchman also struggled to organise the backline, which in turn enabled Brentford to pounce and find space to score from. Will hope to bounce back from this at the first time of asking.
Andrew Robertson: 4/10
This was a bizarre performance by Robertson, who was sloppy on the ball at times while also being a nervy mess at the back. While the Scottish international did show flashes of brilliance, he saw way too many crosses being sent in from his flank, including ones for each of the three goals that Brentford scored. Has to do better.
Jordan Henderson: 7/10
A decent enough performance by Henderson, who proved to be the creator-in-chief for Liverpool amid the struggles of Alexander-Arnold. The Liverpool captain was a bright spark and even popped up high up the pitch to add to the bodies in the final third. Played a game-high three key passes, including one that served the assist for Diogo Jota with an inch-perfect cross.
A game of hits and misses for Fabinho, who struggled to assert Liverpool’s dominance to the extent that it strangled Brentford into submission. Instead, the hosts took the game to the Reds, with the Brazilian international not always managing to stifle them in their counter-attacking moves. The sublime pass for Mohamed Salah’s goal, though, bumps his rating up slightly.
Curtis Jones: 7/10
Making a rare start in the Premier League following a solid showing against Norwich City, Jones did reasonably well for the most part, completing all but five of his attempted passes while putting in the hard yards off the ball. However, the standout moment was his driven long range finish with his final touch in the game.
Mohamed Salah: 7/10
Right from the get-go, it looked like Salah was on a mission to score his 100th Liverpool goal in the Premier League. Early on, though, he was incredibly denied on the goal-line by Kristoffer Ajer before the Egyptian international finally found the back of the net in the second half with a brilliant close range strike. Alas, he could not convert another big chance later on, which would have sealed a win.
Only four players have scored 100 Premier League goals for Liverpool:
🔴 Robbie Fowler (128)
🔴 Steven Gerrard (120)
🔴 Michael Owen (118)
🔴 Mohamed Salah (100)
The Egyptian King. 👑 pic.twitter.com/NkrFfu24jh
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 25, 2021
Diogo Jota: 7/10
Deserved an assist for sending Salah clean through on goal, only to see Ajer produce an unbalievable clearance. Did get his goal involvement when he was in the right place to head in the equaliser. Ought to have scored another later on in the game, only to be denied brilliantly by Raya. Still, one of those who can hold their head up high.
Sadio Mane: 5/10
Not the best of performances by Mane, who toiled hard all through the game but for little end product to show for his efforts. Created a fine chance for Salah only for the Egyptian to miss from close range. Salah then set a chance for him only for the Senegalese forward to miss the target.
Roberto Firmino: 6/10
On for Jones, Firmino did not aim too many shots at goal but was denied late on by Zanka. Will have a big role to play from hereon out.