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Brilliant Brentford stuns Liverpool

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Brentford sprung a new year's upset, punishing a disorganized Liverpool side in a 3-1 victory at the Gtech Community Stadium.

LONDON -- Red-hot Brentford surged past Liverpool 3-1 as they recorded yet another famous win on Monday and they beat Jurgen Klopp’s side without their talisman Ivan Toney.

The west London club continue to defy the odds as this was their first win against Liverpool in 84 years.

FULL MATCH REPLAY

Brentford took the lead through an Ibrahima Konate own goal and Yoane Wissa made it 2-0, but only after he was involved in two Brentford goals being ruled out for offside. Wissa, in for the injured Ivan Toney, played a huge part in this win.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got Liverpool back in it early in the second half after Darwin Nunez had a goal ruled out for offside.

Bryan Mbuemo then added a late third to send the Gtech Community Stadium wild as Thomas Frank’s secured yet another upset win.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

The victory means Brentford sit seventh in the table on 26 points, just two points behind Liverpool who missed a big chance to gain ground on in the top four race.


How far can the brilliant Bees go?

It seemed like a lovely story when they were promoted to the Premier League for the 2021-22 campaign. It would be fun for perhaps one season. They were excellent to start last season. Then looked they might go down. Then they rallied and finished the season strongly. And now this season they look like a legit top 10 team and perhaps even a team which can compete for European qualification. Seriously. Even without Ivan Toney they still played direct and stuck to their game plan. They get the ball wide early and often, whip in crosses and use every single ounce of ingenuity they have from set piece situations. Simply put, Brentford is a club which is squeezing every ounce out of its limited (compared to its Premier League rivals) resources. They may make a few signings in January to kick them on further (just like they did with Eriksen last season) but whatever happens now the job Thomas Frank has done is remarkable. It is no fluke they’ve beaten Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Man United and now Liverpool since they were promoted to the Premier League in the summer of 2021. Even though they’ve been hit by injuries, everyone at Brentford believes they can keep defying the odds. And why not? They have that one magic ingredient every successful team has: confidence. In the 19 Premier League games they’ve scored first they’ve won 15 and drawn four. Their belief is growing and it is a joy to watch.

Liverpool can’t defend crosses as injuries catch up

This was a shambolic defensive display from Liverpool. Every cross that came into their box looked like it would end in a goal for Brentford. Yes they were missing Henderson, Milner, Diaz, Jota and Firmino through injury. But this wasn’t good enough. A triple sub at half time briefly improved things but Brentford could play long and in-behind their full backs way too easily and Liverpool had no answer to a fairly simplistic game plan from the excellent hosts. Most worryingly for Klopp there appeared to be a lack of hunger and desire as his side were battered and didn’t really look up for the fight. All is not lost but after a resurgence of four-straight Premier League wins (most of which were unconvincing) they were back to the kind of display they showed early in the season. Klopp needs his players to regain fitness, focus and hunger because the quality is clearly there. In a season of wake up calls this was perhaps the biggest one.

Jurgen Klopp hits out at referees


Stars of the show

Yoane Wissa: Stood in for Ivan Toney admirably and finally got his goal after two efforts were ruled out by VAR. A threat from crosses and he worked so hard up top.

Christian Norgaard: Brilliant ball for Mbuemo to clinch the win and he is so underrated. The Dane held things together in midfield expertly and is always so calm when he wins it back. Also, a special word on another unsung hero: Rico Henry was everywhere from left wing-back. Surely he will be called up by England soon?

Bryan Mbuemo: Ran Virgil van Dijk ragged in the first half and got his goal late on. Step up admirable in the absence of Toney.

Brentford vs Liverpool


How to watch Brentford vs Liverpool live, stream link and start time - Analysis from Joe Prince-Wright at the Gtech Community Stadium!

Kick off: 12:30pm ET, Monday (Jan. 2)TV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com

FULL TIME: Brentford 3-1 Liverpool - What a win for the hosts. This stadium is going bonkers!

GOALLLL! Christian Norgaard plays it over the top and Bryan Mbuemo surges towards goal, pushes Konate off it and finishes. 3-1 to Brentford! That should be that.

CLOSE! Konate heads a corner just wide for Liverpool. They’re pushing hard for this equalizer.

20 minutes to go. 2-1 to Brentford. They are dropping deeper and it is all Liverpool. Can Klopp’s side grab an equalizer? This is going to be intense.

This game is perfectly poised. Liverpool going for it and getting the ball forward wide early and often. Brentford have a real threat on the counter. Next goal wins? Bring it on.

It is allllll Liverpool now. Fabinho with a lovely turn in midfield and he runs forward and his low shot is pushed out by David Raya.

GOALLL! Oxalde-Chamberlain heads home after a fine cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold. What a start to the second half for the Reds. Brentford 2-1 Liverpool.

NO GOAL! Darwin Nunez lobs home with a beautiful finish but after a VAR check it is ruled out for offside.

Triple sub at half time as Matip, Robertson and Keita on for Van Dijk (!), Tsimikas and Elliott.

HALF TIME: Brentford 2-0 Liverpool - The festive season is just about over but Liverpool have handed out a few more gifts tonight. An own goal and a Yoane Wissa header have the Bees 2-0 up at half time. Liverpool haven’t been able to defend crosses and the hosts are flying. And they’re doing this without Ivan Toney too.

No goal... then GOALLLL! Wissa’s fine finish from a corner deflects off Mee but is ruled out for offside as Brentford have another goal disallowed. However, moments later a fine cross from Jensen from the right finds Wissa and his header creeps over the line and the goal is given. This stadium has gone BONKERS. Liverpool just cannot defend these crosses. Wow. Brentford 2-0 Liverpool in the first half.

Liverpool are working hard to find the equalizer but Brentford continue to play the ball long and find gaps behind Liverpool’s full backs.

Brentford have the ball in the back of the net again as another corner causes chaos inside the Liverpool box. Wissa wheels away in celebration but it is premature. The offside flag is up and VAR confirms it is no goal.

SAVE! David Raya with a good stop down low to deny Tsimikas. After the ball fell to him in a promising position, Liverpool’s left back should have scored. Great game! So open and Liverpool close to an equalizer.

GOALLL! Konate own goal. A corner is whipped in and the ball comes off Konate’s left knee cap and flies into the bottom corner. Nothing Alisson can do about that. The home fans go bonkers here in west London! Brentford 1-0 Liverpool.

SAVE! Alisson with a huge stop as Bryan Mbuemo is played in down the flank. Exactly the kind of stop Alisson is known for. Stands tall until the last moment. Brilliant from the Liverpool goalkeeper.

Bryan Mbuemo heads wide at the back post. Brentford having a lot of joy out wide with their wing backs. Alexander-Arnold and Tsimikas being overloaded.

CHANCE! Darwin Nunez is in as he sidesteps David Raya but Ben Mee blocks on the line. Great ball by Salah to set him up. Liverpool look so sharp early on.

CLOSE! Virgin van Dijk gets on the end of a cross and volleys it towards goal but somehow David Raya saves and it hits the bar. Looks like VVD was offside but still, that is a ridiculous save.

KICK OFF: We are underway here! Home fans are in very good spirits and there’s plenty of noise from the away end too. Strap in. It always feels like there’s a whiff of an upset in the air here...

The team news is out and the big news is there is no Ivan Toney. His injury isn’t as serious as first feared but he still isn’t fit enough to feature in the squad. Wissa comes in for him. Liverpool bring in Konate, Tsimikas and Fabinho, while Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino miss out. Intriguing.

Welcome to west London as the winter sun sets to our west! A lovely evening for a game here and it feels like when the big boys roll into town, Brentford never disappoint.


Key storylines

The Bees continue to overachieve and only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane have scored more Premier League goals than Ivan Toney this season. His knee injury being less serious than first thought is a huge relief as he was stretchered off late on during their win at West Ham. Toney is the focal point to Brentford’s entire game and alongside him Bryan Mbuemo is so important too. It looks like Brentford will be well clear of the relegation battle this season.

Liverpool are getting the job done and even though they weren’t great against Leicester they are picking up wins again and are back in the top four hunt. After their shocking start to the season they have recovered well and Klopp will now be keen for Darwin Nunez to hit the back of the net as he continues to miss big chances. With Cody Gakpo arriving from PSV, Liverpool have even more firepower and they need Mohamed Salah to get back to his very best. In defense they still look a little shaky and Toney and Co. will cause them problems.


In-form players to keep an eye on

Toney has scored three goals in his last three games and is the man of the moment for Brentford. Off the pitch the investigation by the FA into his alleged betting breaches continues but on it Toney is doing his best to push Brentford towards the European spots. Elsewhere David Raya, Ben Mee and Christian Norgaard are having very good seasons.

Liverpool’s full backs continue to be key as Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are so dangerous in attack. Salah keeps plugging away despite his goalscoring numbers not being at its usual level, while Jordan Henderson is doing his best to hold things down in midfield with injuries pilling up.


Brentford team news, injuries, lineup options

Ivan Toney does not start despite his knee injury only being much more of a muscle issue, much to their relief. Aaron Hickey, Shandon Baptiste and Kirstoffer Ajer remain out. Frank Onyeka could feature as he will have a fitness test. If Toney isn’t fit enough to start then perhaps Yoane Wissa will come in for him.

Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

Arthur Melo, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota remain out injured. While James Milner and Roberto Firmino are out and Ibrahima Konate starts after his late return from the World Cup. Cody Gakpo is not on the bench, while Fabinho and Harvey Elliott are fit to start and Andy Robertson is on the bench.


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