Liverpool will head into the international break as their nearest rivals Manchester City in the Premier League after beating Brentford 3-0 at home.
Darwin Nunez had two first-half efforts denied from offside (precisely, one close, one wide) before Mohamed Salah headed home his 148th Premier League goal. Read up on Núñez-Salah’s impressive stats, but the latter’s 39th-minute opener also made him the first player to score in Liverpool’s first six home league games of each season, and only the fourth to do so. Premier League.
Salah added his 149th on 62 minutes and Diogo Jota’s third on 74 minutes to make it the first time since October 1980 that Liverpool have won nine consecutive games by at least two goals.
Greg Evans answers the key questions about Liverpool’s last-gasp victory.
Does Nunez’s impressive Salah endorsement record show how the game has evolved?
Another Premier League game went Núñez without a goal – his eighth clean sheet in 11 away games this season – but that only paints half the picture.
The Uruguayan has developed a reputation as a misfiring striker and while it’s true he missed some easy chances and switched from his strong corner to a corner, his overall figures were well put together.
Not just his seven goals in 17 games in all competitions, but his contributions at every turn and his incredible relationship with Salah.
Núñez has provided 7 assists for Liverpool in the Premier League and all of them have been with his brilliant strike partner, becoming the first player in history to score in all six of Liverpool’s home games in a season. Only three other players to have achieved this for a club in the Premier League are Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers, 1995-96), Les Ferdinand (Newcastle United, same season) and Thierry Henry (Arsenal, 2004-05), but not this one. It is the first time Salah has found himself in such esteemed company.
Nunez has nine Liverpool assists since joining the club in the summer of 2022, all for Salah. Only Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (for Erling Haaland) has created more goals for one player in the Premier League since last season.
The Egyptian will no doubt have Nunez to thank for his goals this season. The former Benfica player has transformed the game since his debut season at Anfield, becoming a versatile and versatile number 9.
How did Salah, Nunez, Gakpo and Jota start?
Liverpool are the get out of jail free goalscorers this season. The presence of Salah, Nunez, Cody Gakpo, Jota and Luis Diaz feels like a cheat code at times.
All five of them scored important goals. They scored 20 of the 24 goals scored by the club before this week and showed that today is the difference.
It’s rare for four of the five to start together, though, and only once in the Premier League did Salah, Nunez, Gakpo and Jota make the starting XI – last season’s home win over Brentford. By chance?
So how did Liverpool shape the starting four? Well, they certainly weren’t short of opportunities.
Gakpo linked up well with those in front leaving him deep between the four. It was Nunez who came flying in for the second time before half-time with 5 shots on goal and two finishes that were unfortunately missed by the VAR check.
The Uruguayan’s relationship with those around him in his second season at Liverpool is now clear, as is his goal-scoring streak as he starts among the front five.
However, today’s final result should not obscure some of the problems Liverpool face on the counter-attack. With such an attacking front line and summer signing Wataru Endo still finding his footing in English football, there were occasions in the first half where Brentford easily won the midfield.
This means that the accidents in the game were eliminated as soon as the second goal was counted.
What’s behind Liverpool’s fantastic home performance?
Having won six of six in the Premier League this season, they look more comfortable at Anfield and have not conceded a goal in their last three.
Jurgen Klopp encourages his side to play aggressive, fast-paced football, and at home his players responded to this call. Now the task is to deliver such a form on the road. Then we know Liverpool are real title contenders.
This game was only going one way after Liverpool ended their winning streak. They have lost just once in their last 111 Premier League games, against Manchester City.
Liverpool’s 139-game unbeaten run was inevitable at half-time and the combination of those records – alongside goalkeeper Alisson’s weekly heroics – will make playing at Anfield a challenge for any visiting team. .
What were the VAR decisions?
Nunez’s first “goal” came when he controlled Dominik Szobozlay’s attempt and fired it past Mark Flecken. He was clearly offside in an instant – and a VAR check showed he was, although it was close.
Flecken failed to play Virgil van Dijk’s header offside and the rebound allowed Nunez to score and shoot wide of the goal, but this time well beyond the second Brentford man (below).
His frustration continued during another VAR check after Endo tackled Christian Norgaard and his foot found the Brentford player on his knee.
What did Jurgen Klopp say?
Against Manchester City at 12.30pm after the international break: “The lads have responded well but now they all go and when we come back we can only train once before we play Man City.”
We won so that no one can say that I moaned, but how can you play a game like this on a Saturday at 12:30? In fact, the people who make these decisions cannot feel football, it is impossible.
“No one should tell us that this is the season when the world is paying so much to watch football. I don’t know if that’s the case, I really don’t.
“You have these two groups; With a total of 30 international players. By the way, all South American players will come back on the same plane. They will all fly back (together), we will put them on a plane from Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia. One plane and they arrived here. It’s crazy. But we have to make sure we are ready.
What about next to Liverpool?
Sunday 25 November: Manchester City (A): Premier League: 12.30pm GMT, 7.30am ET
Just after the international break, Liverpool face another Saturday lunchtime clash – this time against champions City. Klopp’s side are winless in the league in seven seasons at the Etihad, with their only top-flight win coming a month into their tenure.
Liverpool then host Austrian side LASK in the Europa League group stage (five out of six) on November 30.
(Top photo: John Powell/Liverpool via Getty Images)