Brentford 3-1 Liverpool: Talking points as Bees add Liverpool to formidable scalp list

    Brentford put up a fantastic effort against Liverpool at the Community Stadium on Monday night and were rewarded with another huge win as well as a fresh three points in their quest to go further than ever in the Premier League.

    Having beaten Leicester City three days earlier thanks to a pair of own goals from Foxes defender Wout Faes, Liverpool were slightly hurt this time when a corner kick hit Konate’s knee and rebounded into his own goal in the 19th minute. Joan Wyssa, who started in place of the injured Ivan Toni, missed two goals before finally doubling his team’s lead in 42nd place. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saved a header five minutes into the second half, but Brian Mbeumo put an end to the fight with six minutes left.

    Trouble in the defense of “Liverpool” continues

    Liverpool won four Premier League matches on the run before making this trip, but it must be said that their back line didn’t work too well in those games or got enough protection from midfield. This batch brought out a whole new level of problems in this regard, especially with standards.

    To make matters worse for the away side, Brentford are particularly strong in this segment, with unusual formations carefully crafted to create as many problems for the opposition as possible and apparently practiced in practice.

    It should be said that VAR’s decision to let the first goal stand is at least dubious as the ball clearly hit Ben Mee’s wrist and then bounced off Konate’s knee, but that doesn’t really justify Liverpool allowing three goals. The Brentford players attack this ball and only Fabinho can challenge it against them. It seemed to be a zonal marking attempt that the hosts used very well but overwhelmed the Brazilian midfielder at the near post.

    A similar situation arose again in the 27th minute. Mbeumo took another corner from the left to the near post, and this time Christian Norgaard got to the ball in front of Fabinho, striking on goal and provoking a reflex save by Alisson Becker. Liverpool’s closest players, namely Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara and Trent Alexander-Arnold, allowed themselves to be beaten twice on the rebound, but on this occasion, luck served them well as Wissa started from offside and then scored from less than a yard .

    Notice how Nørgaard stays behind Tsimikas and Mi moves in front of Konate, while Janelt (No. 27 Brentford) fends off Thiago (No. 6 Liverpool), creating a space in which, in the event of an accurate cross, Fabinho is left alone against potentially three opponents.

    Another corner, this time Mbeumo took a little longer in the 39th minute, found Wissa to be all time and space in the world, completely unnoticed at seven or eight yards. The striker calmly brought him down with his chest and struck, but this strike was ruled out, as he reflected the deviation from Mi, who was offside.

    However, when Alisson took a free kick to Harvey Elliott about 30 yards from goal, the young midfielder acted very unwisely by kicking the ball over his feet. The dummy attempt backfired as Rasmussen read it well and released Mbeumo from the left with a first touch pass. Mbeumo played the ball back to Matthias Jensen, whose perfectly accurate cross found Wissa at the far post, and this time his header counted as Alisson failed to stop him before the ball crossed the line. A total mess on Liverpool’s part, from Elliott’s shortsightedness, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s and Tsimikas’ inability to stop the cross, to the lack of attention from Conate and Alexander-Arnold, who, along with them, contributed to Wisse being allowed to head.

    The point is that a serious team looking to win a match simply cannot afford to let every ball thrown into the box create so many problems, regardless of the opponents and their ability to use such situations. Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff will have to force their players back to basic cross-defense in training, nothing else will help.

    Problems elsewhere

    The defensive side of the game is definitely a sore spot for Liverpool at the moment. They haven’t looked this bad since Van Dijk joined the club in January 2018. However, this is not the only problem Klopp has to deal with. There is a lot to sort out in the middle as well as in advance.

    The offensive line can perhaps be justified to some extent by the likes of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino, who are missing due to injuries, with rookie Cody Gakpo unavailable for this clash. But there are a lot of red flags when it comes to dribbling down the field and trying to score a goal, which repeatedly hinders Liverpool’s efforts greatly.

    The image above is obviously a screenshot of Liverpool trying to do something in the 18th minute with the score 0-0. The ball is for Thiago Alcantara, whose ability to create is undeniable. But while Nunes is running forward and Tsimikas can perhaps be excused as his flank is simply not in Thiago’s line of sight at this particular moment, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Elliott are extremely static following them. , not trying to open up for a pass. Their respective positions certainly provide opportunities for passing combinations that can lead to chances, but that will require them to be on their toes rather than their heels and move around trying to get a clear line of sight towards Thiago and the ball. None of them, except Nunez, does anything like that.

    In the end, Thiago has no choice but to look for Nunez with a long pass and the Uruguay international does well to get him under control, but before he can turn for goal, the Brentford defense quickly closes in and forces him out. Moments like this have been very common at Liverpool this season, indicating a general lack of ideas and possibly a need for fresh blood in the team.

    Brentford home record

    To reduce the outcome of this match only to the obvious shortcomings of Liverpool would, of course, be extremely disrespectful to Brentford. The hosts showed perhaps one moment of defensive sleepiness that led to Liverpool scoring a goal and manager Thomas Frank will likely want to find out exactly why Oxlade-Chamberlain was allowed to head in this situation. Otherwise, Frank’s team showed an excellent game.

    With just 27% possession and less than 50% passing accuracy, Brentford landed seven shots on target in 10 attempts, one more than Liverpool’s (six of 16). They have never played for possession since securing a Premier League place in 2021, but their determined defense, combined with a formidable counter-attacking style and original set pieces, have seen them win some very difficult games this year. season. They beat Manchester United 4-0 at home at the start of the season and most recently returned from the Etihad with a 1-2 victory over Premier League champions Manchester City. They have now beaten Liverpool as well, drawing with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. The only defeat they have suffered at home this season was against league leaders Arsenal back in September.

    Ranking table

    Brentford are currently seventh in the Premier League table, although they have played more matches than any team in the area. Perhaps, until recently, they were considered teams that were happy to avoid a relegation battle, but now the eyes, ears and hopes of Frank and his players have turned their backs on these conversations and turned to Europe.

    The Bees are likely to score nine points in their next three league games. After they take on West Ham in the FA Cup on Sunday, they will host Bournemouth, travel to Leeds and host Southampton, three opponents from the bottom half of the table.

    As for Liverpool, this game showed some good reasons why they are so far from what they want now and why they are unlikely to finish in the top four. In many ways, this is the worst season since Klopp took over in 2015.

    Merseysiders are currently in sixth place with 28 points, four short of Manchester United in fourth place, and on top of that, United have a game in hand for both them and Spurs. in fifth place. Clearly there is still a long way to go but Liverpool seem to be too fast to squander all the benefits they could have gained through good results and the worst aspect of it all is the fact that they just don’t look like the team they used to be. won. any opposition, including the best of the existing ones, to subdue by force.

    For now, these players are being defeated by what was once their own ultimate weapon.

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