Liverpool 1-0 Brentford Mohamed Salah puts pressure on Man Utd as Reds win sixth in a row
Report and free match highlights as Liverpool make it six wins in a row to heat up the race for the Champions League; Mohamed Salah’s early opener from close range enough to close gap on Man Utd to one point, albeit having played two games more; Brentford remain in ninth
Liverpool moved to within a point of fourth-placed Manchester United as Mohamed Salah’s 30th goal of the season sealed a 1-0 win over Brentford.
Salah’s 13th-minute opener from close-range brought him level with Steven Gerrard on 186 goals as Liverpool’s joint fifth-highest goalscorer after a bright start from the hosts at Anfield, where the pre-match rendition of the national anthem was drowned out on the day of King Charles’ coronation.
“For us, it’s clear, [Salah] is an all-time great,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports. “The numbers are outrageous.”
Liverpool were able to hold on for just their second clean sheet in seven games to extend their winning run to six and pile the pressure on their stuttering rivals Man Utd – who have two games in hand on the Reds – ahead of their trip to West Ham on Sunday evening.
Premier League table
Brentford had a goal disallowed for Bryan Mbeumo in the first half but lacked the cutting edge to break Liverpool down despite threatening in the second period. Thomas Frank’s side remain in ninth, but Fulham can close the gap on their west London rivals to two with a win against relegation-threatened Leicester on Monday
Liverpool: Alisson (7), Alexander-Arnold (8), Konate (7), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Gakpo (6), Fabinho (7), Jones (6), Salah (8), Nunez (6), Jota (6).
Subs: Diaz (6), Henderson (6), Milner (6), Tsimikas (6).
Brentford: Raya (7), Hickey (6), Zanka (6), Pinnock (6), Mee (6), Henry (6), Onyeka (7), Jensen (7), Janelt (6), Mbuemo (7), Toney (7).
Subs: Schade (6), Dasilva (6), Damsgaard (6), Baptiste (6).
Player of the match: Mohamed Salah.
How Liverpool extended winning run
Mohamed Salah celebrates giving Liverpool the lead against Brentford
Liverpool took no time to settle into the game as their attacking line-up, which included Cody Gakpo on the right of a midfield three, put Brentford on the back foot. Salah then made the pressure pay after 13 minutes as he bundled in at the back post after Virgil van Dijk headed Fabinho’s cross into his path for his 100th Anfield goal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold impressed again in his hybrid role and thought he had grabbed a seventh assist in seven games when he floated in a wonderful through ball to Darwin Nunez. The misfiring Liverpool striker could not find a way past Brentford goalkeeper David Raya from close range, though.
- Liverpool made three changes as Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo and Andy Robertson started the game.
- Zanka and Frank Onyeka started for Brentford as Thomas Frank introduced two fresh faces to the line-up.
Brentford grew into the game as Van Dijk struggled to keep up with the speed of Mbeumo. The Brentford forward had the ball in the back of the net after an impressive run, which saw him evade Van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold, but he had failed to beat the Liverpool offside trap.
Frank’s side made it a tense affair for Liverpool, although there were no clear-cut chances for Mbeumo or Ivan Toney to test Alisson, who became the fourth-quickest Liverpool goalkeeper to reach 100 clean sheets. Brentford finished the game with an Expected Goals tally of 0.19, their lowest in the Premier League since promotion in 2021.
Gakpo was unfortunate to miss from two yards wide as Diogo Jota hit a low, hard cross into his shins which ricocheted off him and wide of the goal. The January signing from PSV should have done better in the closing stages as he missed the target again after Aaron Hickey’s misplaced header fell to him.
Liverpool, almost by stealth, find themselves in the top-four picture after a turbulent campaign with Jurgen Klopp’s gamble to change system mid-season paying off. Speaking to Sky Sports before the game, he said “we had nothing to lose” and that is exactly what makes the Reds so dangerous heading into the final three games of the season.
Klopp: Salah an all-time great
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says his side’s defensive focus made the difference in their win over Brentford.
Klopp told Sky Sports: “I can’t see him stopping because that’s just his nature. As an offensive player, you need to have this desire to score goals. A lot of people forget how many goals he sets up. He’s very often involved in the goals we score, with the last pass, the challenge he wins back or with his own finish.
“It makes him really special but we all know. When he sits in a studio in a few years in a studio and works as a pundit everybody will then finally know how good he was when we were all watching him.
“I don’t speak for the Liverpool supporters but for a lot of other people don’t appreciate players enough when they are still playing. For us, it’s clear, he’s an all-time great but at the moment he has to work extremely hard to help us and that’s what he’s doing.
“I know he is proud of what he’s achieved today. All really special [records], the numbers are outrageous.”
Asked about Liverpool’s top-four chances, Klopp added: “Maybe it’s a bit too late but better late than never. That game today was the best defensive set piece performance I’ve ever seen in my life against the best set piece team I’ve ever played.
“We didn’t concede a real chance with 60, 70 set pieces, that’s how it felt at least. It was because the boys were really focused. Could we have controlled the game better in moments? Yes but it was really tricky because they break the rhythm not only with the set pieces they have but with the time they take with it. It’s all legal and fine but it’s just difficult to deal with.”
Frank: We could’ve got something from the game
Thomas Frank says Brentford frustrated Liverpool but they were not clinical enough in attack to take any points at Anfield.
Brentford boss Frank told Sky Sports: “We definitely could have got something out of the game. High pressure was very good, we frustrated them a lot. We were close to creating even more problems for them. I think in the first half, they only had the goal and Nunez chance when they normally start really fast.
“Second half we were creating a lot of problems for Liverpool and throughout the game, if the centre-backs, number six get a yellow card, you must have done something right that created a problem for them. If you get Alisson a yellow card at Anfield for time-wasting then I think it’s OK.
“Of course we want more, and if I could say one thing, it would be the quality in the final pass or cross that could have created more opportunities to score, equalize and then see what could have happened.
“We would have loved to create more chance but we were in so many good places where we missed the final pass or cross to create trouble for Alisson. I have some good players.”
Carragher: Salah is a Premier League great
Mo Salah celebrates his winning goal against Brentford.
Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher: “When Mo Salah eventually stops playing for the club, he goes right in there as one of the top players that ever played for the team. He goes in an all-time Liverpool XI and you could argue he’s in the top five or six players to have ever played for the club.
“He’s not an out-and-out striker but I wouldn’t class him as a winger also. He’s a wide striker, he plays very narrow and makes those penetrating runs into the box. He has been a revelation of the Klopp era.
“He’ll go down as not just one of the greatest players to ever play for Liverpool but one of the greatest we’ve seen in the Premier League.”
Salah: I feel at home with Liverpool
Mo Salah to Sky Sports on scoring 100 goals at Anfield: “It means a lot to me. I said before I feel at home here. We need to finish the season in the best possible way. As much as I’m scoring goals, the team is winning games is the most important thing.”
Analysis: Liverpool have new blueprint for success
Sky Sports’ Zinny Boswell:
“This time last season Liverpool were slugging it out with Manchester City for the Premier League title. They’ve fallen some way from those heady heights.
“Liverpool were, after all, two games from winning it all. Coming so close to an historic quadruple and falling short at the last hurdle had taken the wind out of their sails.
“As Jurgen Klopp says, Liverpool, for all intents and purposes, were dead and buried about a month ago. But the gamble to change the team’s system mid-season has paid off for the German.
“Irrespective of the outcome of this season, Liverpool have found a new blueprint for success.
“Six wins on the bounce has brought about a sense of hope back to Anfield. The supporters can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“You never know, they could emerge from it with Champions League football if things fall their way in the final month of the season.”
Liverpool head to relegation-threatened Leicester on Monday May 15. Kick-off 8pm.
Brentford host West Ham on Sunday May 14. Kick-off 2pm. The Bees’ final two games see them visit Tottenham and then welcome Manchester City on the final day.
May 15: Leicester (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
May 20: Aston Villa (H) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
May 28: Southampton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
May 14: West Ham (H) – Premier League, kick-off 2pm
May 20: Tottenham (A) – Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm
May 28: Man City (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
Fantasy Premier League
FPL Stats: Liverpool vs Brentford
|Bonus points||Van Dijk (3), Salah (2), Alexander-Arnold (1)|
Opta stats: Landmark day for Salah
● Liverpool have now won six successive Premier League games, with each of the last five being by exactly one goal – they’re the first side in the competition to win five in a row by a one-goal margin since Birmingham in December 2009.
● Brentford mustered just five shots, their joint-lowest in a Premier League game, while their xG of 0.19 is also their lowest in a single fixture in the competition since promotion in 2021.
● Mohamed Salah became the first player in Liverpool history to score in nine successive games at Anfield in all competitions, with his opener his 100th goal at the ground for the Reds.
● This is the third successive season that Mohamed Salah has scored at least 30 goals in all competitions, and indeed his fourth time in six seasons overall. Since 2020-21, Kylian Mbappe is the only other player to score 30+ goals in all competitions among players in the big five European leagues.