Salah bags 100th Anfield goal as Liverpool win

Liverpool welcomed Brentford to Anfield on Saturday, with Jurgen Klopp’s side desperate to pick up three points as they continue to push for Champions League qualification. At this stage of the season, they’d need Manchester United to drop points – but as we’ve seen so many times throughout this campaign, anything is possible.

Brentford are pushing for Europe too, though a recent dip in form means they may have to settle for the Europa Conference League. Still, they’ll face tough competition if they wish to qualify – with Brighton and Aston Villa also hoping to play on the continent next season.

LIV: Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Konate, Alexander-Arnold; Jones, Fabinho, Gakpo; Nunez, Jota, Salah

BRE: Raya; Henry, Mee, Pinnock, Jorgensen, Hickey; Janelt, Jensen, Onyeka; Toney, Mbuemo

After a controversial playing of ‘God Save the King’ was drowned out by the Liverpool faithful, play finally got underway at Anfield – and it was the hosts that started as the better of the two sides. Mohamed Salah looked to play in Diogo Jota early on, but the Portuguese international slipped before he was able to cut inside.

Jensen attempted to create a chance for his side to take the lead at the other end, firing a free-kick into the box after Virgil van Dijk fouled Frank Onyeka – but the set-piece sailed out uncontested for a goal-kick.

Liverpool’s right-hand side looked promising, and Cody Gakpo did well to play in Salah – though the Egyptian’s cross towards Nunez was diverted behind for a corner by Jorgensen. Fabinho played in Van Dijk, and the defender then poked it back across the face of goal for Salah to find the back of the net. In doing so, he bagged his 100th Anfield goal and brought himself level with Steven Gerrard in the club’s all-time goalscoring list.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

The hosts should have doubled their lead just before the thirty-minute mark, as Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped a tidy pass towards Darwin Nunez inside the penalty area – but the Uruguayan forward got his feet tangled, and his strike sailed wide of the post.

Desperate to redeem himself for that missed opportunity, Nunez dashed down the left wing before picking out Salah in the box. The Egyptian looked to get a shot off, but Ben Mee was well positioned to turn it behind for a corner.

Brentford thought they’d brought themselves level in the 40th minute, as Bryan Mbuemo wheeled away in celebration after he found the back of the net. Ivan Toney found his strike partner with a lovely assist, and the Cameroonian darted past Van Dijk before slotting past Alisson. The linesman’s flag was promptly raised for offside – and a VAR check confirmed the on-field decision.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Liverpool carried a one-goal lead into the interval, though their opponents had certainly shown that they could be deadly on the counterattack. The offside that caused Mbuemo’s goal to be disallowed was marginal – and Jurgen Klopp’s side would have to remain switched on if they were to take anything from this game.

The hosts could have – and probably should have – added to their advantage less than ten minutes after play resumed, when a cross was fired in from the right flank. Gakpo was the intended target, but the Dutchman couldn’t quite respond in time and the chance was squandered.

The second half had been much quieter than the first, but Trent Alexander-Arnold looked to extend Liverpool’s lead as the game headed into the final ten minutes. Picking up the ball in midfield, he thundered an effort towards the top-left corner – but Raya was able to push it behind for a corner.

Jurgen Klopp’s squandered another opportunity to double their lead with just over five minutes left to play. Mohamed Salah got the better of his man on the right flank, and the ball fell toward Cody Gakpo who was central – the Dutchman’s effort was sent wide of the post though.

Liverpool will have plenty of time to rest before their next game – as they’re out of action until they travel to the King Power Stadium on May 15th. They’ll face a struggling Leicester City side, who remain in danger despite showing signs of promise under Dean Smith. As for Brentford, their European push looks increasingly less likely after this defeat. They’ll host West Ham on Sunday 14th May, as the Irons look to pick up three points to venture closer to safety.