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Friday, February 23, 2024

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Liverpool win Jurgen Klopp’s 350th game in charge as they beat Brentford

Liverpool got back to winning ways against Thomas Frank’s Brentford as they scored three goals without reply.

In the first half Fabinho got the scoring underway and in the second half Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino got on the scoreboard helping the team when it is needed most without Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

It moves Liverpool ahead of Chelsea up to second 11 points off Manchester City.

The first half began in similar slow fashion to the Arsenal League Cup semi-final with Liverpool struggling to open Brentford with the best chances coming from long distance efforts or scruffy corners.

In the first 20 minutes Diogo Jota had an attempt blocked on the goaline, Alexander-Arnold had a long range shot drift wide of the right post and Virgil Van Dijk had a shot after a corner brilliantly saved by Alvaro Fernandez who recovered superbly.

Liverpool were getting on the edge of the box and could not find too many gaps in a stern Brentford backline.

The Bees Starman Ivan Toney had their only close effort in the first half as his shot from distance in the 38th minute went just wide of Alisson Becker’s post.

Just before half-time though finally one of Liverpool’s corners paid off and it was by no means straightforward as Alexander-Arnold’s delivery went through everyone to the back post were Fabinho was free to head the ball in.

A crucial goal to lift the players before the break.

In the second half Brentford had the first chance close to the hour mark with Bryan Mbuemo’s shot going just wide.

It was a wake-up call for Liverpool who immediately got back on the front foot after that as Jota hit the post a few minutes later after some nice skill from Alexander-Arnold to make the chance.

The Portuguese again came very close after Roberto Firmino played a delicate ball through to him but Fernandez saved impressively again but soon after in the 69th minute the pressure resulted in The Reds doubling their lead.

A cross from the left by Andy Robertson was met by the head of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was playing in the front three.

An exquisite delivery deserved to be put in the back of the net and it all but won the game for Jurgen Klopp but they weren’t done as eight minutes later Brentford went into self-implosion mode as they lost the ball from a short goal-kick due to Firmino’s pressing.

The Brazilian stole the ball and gave it to substitute Takumi Minamino who scored from close range for his second league goal of the season.

17-year-old Kaide Gordon almost got the cherry on top of the cake as he nearly got the ball past Fernandez for what would have been a goal on his league debut but unfortunately it was not to be for the youngster.

Jurgen Klopp was back to his charismatic best after the final whistle celebrating with the fans doing his famous fist bumps.

An important victory and now Liverpool need to crack on to get back to their consistent best with three cup competitions still up for grabs.

The second leg of the League Cup is up next for Klopp and his players.

READ MORE: Kaide Gordon makes history as Liverpool book their place into the FA Cup fourth round to play Cardiff City

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