Liverpool saw out a very frustrating 3-3 draw with Brentford on Saturday evening. Here are five things we learned from the fixture.
Klopp takes a big chance
Jurgen Klopp’s selection wasn’t just about Brentford today. Liverpool face Porto on Tuesday and then host Manchester City next Sunday – this was undoubtedly the game to rest players.
But the boss didn’t take any chances with Brentford and went full-strength. Not a single first-team player was rested and you’d expect the majority of this XI to face City next Sunday.
Will he come to regret that? There were no immediate injury concerns but it makes the selection against Porto very interesting.
Brentford took the lead here and you’d have to say that Curtis Jones showed a lapse of concentration for it. He didn’t cover Sergi Canos from the free-kick and allowed a dangerous ball into the box.
Now, we also question why Fabinho didn’t hack it away with his left foot. He waited to try and use his right and allowed Ethan Pinnock to steal it with a toe-poke.
But the initial error was from Jones. It’s times like this where you remember he’s still only 20 and not all that experienced. Positional mistakes are a little inevitable – it’s something to learn from.
And that’s why you push through the errors and cut Jones some slack. Yes, the strike took a slight nick but the Scouser is one of the few midfielders Liverpool have who can take a shot like that on.
Jones found some space, teed it up perfectly, and caught it sweetly. He earned a bit of luck off the defender.
Liverpool have a bright, technically confident young player here. We think Jones is a very special talent – and pretty underrated. Moments like this should wake some people up.
Klopp shakes things up
While Klopp kept things simple with his lineup, he did try something new in the second half. Well, not that new – we’ve seen the formation change before – but it’s a rarity.
Roberto Firmino came on for Jones, moving Liverpool into a 4-2-3-1 shape. With the team a little light on midfielders right now, this is a way to keep the team threatening.
It worked, too. Liverpool immediately created two or three chances after the change as the forwards stretched Brentford. It won’t be the last time we see the switch.
Errors, errors, errors
We mentioned Jones’s error for the opener but mistakes didn’t stop there. Brentford’s second goal saw Trent Alexander-Arnold trying to win a header against three players – why didn’t he have help?
Liverpool conceded three sloppy goals, all of which should have been prevented. But the mistakes weren’t just defensive.
Mohamed Salah scored a great goal but he also blew a chance to give Liverpool a two-goal lead before Brentford made it 3-3. Diogo Jota, too, had a couple of chances he should have taken.
The Reds shot themselves in the foot here.