Ahead of their match with Brentford, Liverpool was poised to move to fifth on the EPL table. Instead, following a 3-1 loss, it's the Bees who flew up 3 spots to 7th. Ibrahima Konaté fell victim to an own goal in the 19th minute before Yoane Wissa doubled the Brentford lead just before halftime. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave the Reds hope with a marker in the 50th minute header and while Liverpool did play better in the 2nd half, it was not enough to rescue a much-needed result.
Darwin Núñez got off to a bright start for Liverpool. He drew a foul within the first 90 seconds of the contest. He also looked to be in on an empty net in the 3rd minute, but his shot was blocked by a Brentford defender
The action picked up again in the 18th minute, but this time it was the Bees who took flight. After forcing a save from Alisson, the resulting corner was deflected in the back of the net by Konaté for an own goal. From that point, Brentford's Yoane Wissa took over the match.
He had a pair of potential goals disallowed in quick succession, but he found the back of the net in the 42nd minute with a header. Alisson punched the ball away, but goal-line technology ruled that the ball had already crossed the line. As a result, Brentford led 2-0 at the half.
Liverpool made a triple change at halftime and Andy Robertson immediately earned a corner. While that chance went for naught, the Reds showed signs of life. Núñez had a goal taken off the board by VAR in the 48th minute. The goal finally came in the 50th minute off the head of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to cut the Liverpool deficit to 2-1.
The energized Reds kept pushing for an equalizer and nearly got it on several occasions. A shot from Fabinho in the 55th minute was saved and Thiago was blocked twice at the hour mark. Nunez put a shot wide of the post in the 70th minute while Konaté 's header was also just wide in the 80th.
Brentford sealed the match thanks to a counter-attack goal in the 84th minute from Bryan Mbeumo, giving the Bees the famous victory.
Var Giveth And Taketh Away
As bad as the loss to Brentford is, the scoreline could have been much worse. Wissa scored two goals that were disallowed by VAR in the first half or else he could have been sitting on a hat trick. Of course, VAR is a double-edged sword as it took a top-class finish away from Núñez. With the run of luck, he has had lately with several near misses, could have used a break, but it was not to be.
The Bees have already had several big results in the Premier League this season, including wins over Manchester City and Manchester United. However, the victory over Liverpool must have been as sweet as honey for the supporters as it is the club's first home win over the Reds since 1938.
Down On The Corner
Liverpool had trouble defending set pieces, particularly corner kicks all match long. Konaté's own goal came off of a corner, as did one of Wissa's overturned goals. That is something Jürgen Klopp will have to address when the team returns to the training ground.
LFC Globe Verdict
While 2022 finished on the highest of highs for the Reds 2023 has begun on the lowest of lows. Don't get me wrong, what Thomas Frank has done with Brentford is amazing, but this should have been 3 points for Liverpool, especially without Ivan Toney in the lineup.
Now Liverpool have to deal with the fact that they have dropped more points already than all of last year. I thought the 4-match win streak meant that the club had turned a corner, but I was wrong. Liverpool is not a bad team, just an inconsistent one and it might be time for fans to adjust their expectations accordingly.
Man Of The Match & What's Next
Man of the Match has to go to Brentford's Yoane Wissa. He emphatically answered who was going to pick up the scoring load in the absence of Ivan Toney. He continually stretched the Liverpool defense with his pace and seemed to always be in a dangerous spot on attacking set pieces.
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 50'
- Ibrahima Konaté (OG) 19'
- Yoane Wissa 42'
- Bryan Mbeumo 84'
- Joel Matip for Virgil van Dijk HT
- Andy Robertson for Kostas Tsimikas HT
- Naby Keita for Harvey Elliott HT
- Curtis Jones for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 83'
- Josh Da Silva for Mathias Jensen 74'
- Keane Lewis-Potter for Yoane Wissa 74'
- Saman Ghoddos for Vitaly Janeit 87'
- Sergi Canós for Bryan Mbeumo 88'
- Mads Bech Sörensen for Rico Henry 90+'