BrotherA 3-0 victory over Brentford on the evening of January 16 helped Liverpool surpass Chelsea to second in the English Premier League, but still 11 points behind the top of the table Man City.
Excluding cups, Liverpool are undefeated in the last three Premier League matches. They drew Tottenham and Chelsea 2-2 in turn, and in the middle was a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Leicester. The big victory over Brentford in round 22 today, therefore, means to relieve the psychology of coach Jurgen Klopp and his students, in addition to putting them ahead of Chelsea to take second place in the table. However, the 11 points difference and the fact that Man City is playing too stable – winning all the last 12 matches – shows that Liverpool do not have too much hope of competing for the championship with the top team.
Before Brentford, Liverpool continued to struggle in the absence of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah – the attacking duo are in Cameroon on national duty in the African Championship. Brentford still performed a strong defense, and they easily neutralized the somewhat monotonous crosses from both sides of the home side. Statistics show that Liverpool held the ball up to 71% in the first 30 minutes, but were powerless to penetrate the away line. Not only that, they also sweat a few times because of Brentford’s counter-attacks.
In the midst of difficulties, Liverpool suddenly made a breakthrough from a fixed phase, in the 44th minute. Trent Alexandre-Arnold took a corner and the ball went into a favorable position for Fabinho to head, opening the score.
The same scenario recurred after halftime, but Liverpool still know how to optimize the lead, when their remaining team is still at a much higher level of quality than their newly promoted opponent. In the 69th minute, the Anfield team doubled its advantage with the first accurate cross of the match. Andy Robertson sends the ball in from left to let Oxlade-Chamberlain knock down goalkeeper Álvaro Fernández with a header.
Oxlade-Chamberlain soon had to retire due to injury. But his replacement Takumi Minamino from the 74th minute only took three minutes to be present on the field to score, reinforcing the belief of victory for Liverpool. The big credit in this goal belonged to the goalkeeper… Brentford, when Fernández passed too short and was caught by Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian striker of Liverpool stole the ball in the foot of the guest defender right at the edge of 16m50 and then turned on the wall for Minamino to score with an easy cushion.
After this victory, Liverpool will have four days off to prepare for the second leg of the League Cup semi-final against Arsenal at 2:45 am on Friday, January 21, Hanoi time. Next, they will be guests of Crystal Palace in the 23rd round of the English Premier League at 9pm on Sunday, January 23. Meanwhile, Brentford returned home to host Man Utd in the English Premier League at 3am on Thursday 20/1.