Match reportSalah double and Jota strike see Liverpool defeat Brentford
Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool moved up to second in the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Brentford at Anfield on Sunday.
The Egyptian scored in either half, with Diogo Jota adding an excellent third goal as the Reds recorded their eighth victory from 12 league games this season.
It also maintained Jürgen Klopp’s side’s perfect record in home fixtures during 2023-24 to date.
After making changes for the Europa League defeat by Toulouse on Thursday night, Klopp again rotated his starting XI, with only Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, Wataru Endo and Cody Gakpo retained.
Gakpo started as one of the three midfielders alongside Endo and Dominik Szoboszlai, with Salah, Darwin Nunez and Jota in attack. Alisson Becker returned in goal, while Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold lined up in defence.
There was a new name on the substitutes’ bench, too, with 16-year-old midfielder Trey Nyoni included in a Premier League squad for the first time.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold (Quansah, 90), Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Endo, Szoboszlai (McConnell, 90+4), Gakpo (Elliott, 84), Salah, Nunez, Jota (Diaz, 84).
Unused subs: Kelleher, Chambers, Scanlon, Nyoni, Doak.
It was Gakpo who had the game’s first effort on goal, four minutes in. The Dutchman exchanged passes neatly with Szoboszlai but saw his 20-yard strike held by Mark Flekken.
Brentford supplied a threat of their own almost immediately, with Ethan Pinnock scuffing wide after a period of pinball in the Reds penalty area.
Flekken denied Nunez at his near post after a good pass from Salah on 16 minutes, while Bryan Mbeumo shot off target after a loose touch from Alexander-Arnold at the other end.
Nunez had the ball in the net after 23 minutes, only to see his celebrations cut short by an assistant’s flag, with VAR judging the Uruguayan had strayed fractionally offside.
Flekken then superbly kept out Van Dijk’s header, and though Nunez eventually guided the ball home with an acrobatic finish, he was again denied by an offside flag.
Liverpool needed Alisson at his best just after the half-hour mark, the Brazilian standing big to deny Mbeumo one-on-one, and the Reds then hit the front six minutes before half-time.
Matip won possession high up the field, allowing Alexander-Arnold to find Nunez in space. The No.9 turned and fed Salah, who stroked home his 11th goal of the campaign.
Nunez, at the heart of everything, tested Flekken once more with a 25-yarder, while Salah shot off target after a beautiful ball from Alexander-Arnold as Liverpool went in ahead at the break.
At the start of the second period, Alisson touched a 25-yard free-kick from Mathias Jensen over the bar, while both Van Dijk and Matip made big interventions to deny Mbeumo and Christian Norgaard.
Liverpool made it 2-0 on 62 minutes, with Salah grabbing his second of the afternoon as he headed Tsimikas’ cross home at the far post after the left-back stretched to keep the ball in play.
And they extended their lead 16 minutes from time in fine fashion, Jota collecting Tsimikas’ pass before shifting the ball onto his right foot to arrow a superb shot into the far corner from the edge of the box.
The Reds still needed both Van Dijk and Alisson to be alert to preserve their clean sheet, the former hooking away from Neal Maupay on the line and the latter batting away Pinnock’s headed effort.