Liverpool’s top-four hopes were dented as Brentford capitalised on woeful defending to win 3-1 on Monday.
Brentford tasted success against Liverpool for the first time since 1938 as goals from Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbuemo, after Ibrahima Konate’s own goal, sealed victory in the absence of talisman Ivan Toney at Brentford Community Stadium.
Losing 2-0 at half-time, Jurgen Klopp rang the changes, including replacing Virgil van Dijk, and Liverpool had hope thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 50th-minute header.
Yet Mbuemo pounced on Konate’s mistake late on to kill the game off and snap Liverpool’s four-match winning streak in the Premier League.
An Mbeumo shot was palmed away for a corner early on, but Brentford had their opener from the resulting set-piece – Konate diverting into his own net from Mbeumo’s inswinger.
Brentford’s threat from corners continued, with Wissa twice having the ball in the net, only for the offside flag to twice come to Liverpool’s salvation.
Wissa would not be denied a third time though, heading home from Mathias Jensen’s cross, with Alisson unable to scoop the ball away before it crossed the line.
20 – Liverpool have lost each of their last 20 Premier League games in which they’d been 2+ goals behind at half-time, since a 3-2 win at Man City in October 2008. Uphill.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe)
Klopp made a triple-change at the break and it looked to have made an instant impact when Darwin Nunez lashed in, but a VAR check showed he was offside.
Liverpool had one back shortly after when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s sublime cross was met by Oxlade-Chamberlain on his 100th league appearance for the Reds.
Yet having weathered the storm, Brentford wrapped up a memorable, deserved victory with six minutes remaining, muscling Konate off the ball before drilling beyond Alisson.
What does it mean? Bees’ off to a flyer in 2023
Brentford’s excellent Premier League campaign continues, with yet another win against one of the big boys meaning they have now beaten Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool this season.
A superb win and performance without key man Toney saw them move up to seventh, just two points behind Liverpool, and the Bees have surely left any fears of relegation firmly in the past.
Mbeumo missed a big chance early on, but he bounced back with a brilliant creative display before capping it with the third goal late on.
His set-piece delivery caused havoc all game long for Liverpool as he created a team-high two chances, and his 84th-minute strike summed up his excellent performance.
Nunez draw another blank
The questions from the Aston Villa game over Nunez’s finishing will go on as Liverpool’s £85million man failed to get on the scoresheet again here, including a shocking miss in the first half.
Nunez did the hard work by rounding the goalkeeper from Mohamed Salah’s throughball, only for Ben Mee to block the Uruguay international’s shot off the line.
Matters would not get better for Nunez, who saw a goal disallowed after half-time while not managing to help his side back into the game. He has missed more big chances than any other player in the Premier League this season (15).
Key Opta Facts
– Brentford have never lost a Premier League game in which they have opened the scoring, winning 15 and drawing four times.
– Liverpool have lost each of their last 21 Premier League games in which they have been 2+ goals behind at half-time, since a 3-2 win at Manchester City in October 2008.
– Liverpool have only won their opening league game in two of the last nine calendar years (D3 L4), beating Burnley 2-1 in 2018 and Sheffield United 2-0 in 2020.
– Oxlade-Chamberlain became the eighth player to score on his 100th Premier League appearance for Liverpool and the first since Mohamed Salah in March 2020.
– Wissa has scored two goals in his three Premier League games against Liverpool; he hasn’t scored more than one against any other side.
Both teams are in FA Cup third-round action on Saturday, when Liverpool play Wolves at Anfield while Brentford will host West Ham.