Mohamed Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp’s side moved a point clear at the top of the table following a dramatic 3-3 draw at Brentford.
The Egyptian forward clocked up another milestone with a second-half volley that saw him reach a century of strikes in just 151 league matches, faster than any other player in the club’s top-flight history.
It was the headline moment in a pulsating encounter that saw the Bees open the scoring on 27 minutes. Ethan Pinnock poked home Ivan Toney’s flick at the far post after a well-worked set piece caught the visitors out down the right.
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Liverpool responded and Diogo Jota headed home Jordan Henderson’s sumptuous cross just four minutes later before David Raya produced a remarkable save to deny the Portuguese forward a second after Curtis Jones’ shot came back off the post.
Salah then put the Merseysiders in front nine minutes after the restart but the hosts hit back when Vitaly Janelt bundled in from close range just past the hour.
Liverpool thought they had won it when Jones thundered home a 25-yard drive on his first Premier League start since May but substitute Yoane Wissa dinked home an equaliser eight minutes from time to earn a share of the spoils.
Liverpool will now turn their focus to Tuesday’s Champions League clash at FC Porto prior to welcoming champions Man City to Anfield next Sunday. Ninth-placed Brentford visit West Ham.
Salah’s big moment upstaged by brilliant Brentford. Another match, another milestone for Mo. Only Roger Hunt (148 games) and Jack Parkinson (149) have scored 100 goals for Liverpool quicker than the 29-year-old and he is only the 13th Reds player to reach that tally. He also becomes Liverpool’s 10th highest scorer outright in all competitions with 131 goals.
His achievement could not cap a Reds win, however, as Brentford showed just what they will offer the Premier League this season. The Bees had already defeated Arsenal on home turf and gave Liverpool’s usually assured defence a torrid time with Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo dangerous throughout.
This was an instant classic with chances galore at both ends. On this evidence, Thomas Frank’s side should enjoy their first season in the top-flight and seem to have enough organisation, spirit and firepower to avoid the drop.
Liverpool will be disappointed not to have taken all three points and Salah did waste a glorious chance to make it 4-2 just prior to the home side’s later leveller. It was a game to learn from defensively from Klopp’s point of view, but results elsewhere have gone in their favour and they will be content to sit top of the pile.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Vitaly Janelt (Brentford). The 23-year-old German capped an industrious display with a goal. Looks assured on the Premier League stage and is a key figure in the Bees’ engine room.
BRENTFORD: Raya 8, Ajer 8, Jansson 8, Pinnock 7, Canos 7, Janelt 8, Norgaard 7, Onyeka 7, Henry 7, Mbeumo 8, Toney 8. Subs: Zanka 7, Baptiste 7, Wissa 7.
LIVERPOOL: Alisson 7, Alexander-Arnold 6, Matip 6, Van Dijk 6, Robertson 7, Fabinho 8, Henderson 7, Jones 7, Salah 7, Jota 7, Mane 7. Subs: Firmino 6.
Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary
Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary
7’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Salah races clear on the keeper from Jota's exquisite pass. He stabs it towards the corner but Ajer doesn't give up and somehow slides in to clear it off the line. Mane tries to sweep in the loose ball from a tight angle but can't get his shot on target.
10’ – BRENTFORD CHANCE! Bryan Mbeumo latches on to Toney's pass and clips it beyond Alisson but Matip slides in to clear off the line!
27’ - GOAL! – Brentford 1-0 Liverpool. Ethan Pinnock stabs in at the far post after a clever set piece routine allowed Canos to get free and cross from the right side of the box.
31’ - GOAL! – Brentford 1-1 Liverpool. Jota plants a fine header into the corner from Henderson's superb right-wing cross.
54’ - GOAL! – Brentford 1-2 Liverpool. Salah charges in from the right and volleys home Fabinho's wonderful diagonal pass. It was initially ruled out for offside, but given after a VAR check.
63’ - GOAL! – Brentford 2-2 Liverpool. Vitaly Janelt bundles the ball home from close range after Pontus Jansson hit the bar.
67’ - GOAL! – Brentford 2-3 Liverpool. Jones cuts in from the left and rifles a 25-yard strike that takes a touch off a defender on its way into the net.
82’ - GOAL! – Brentford 3-3 Liverpool. Wissa clips a neat finish over Alisson after Liverpool failed to clear their lines from a right-wing cross.
Pinnock is the 100th different player to net his first ever Premier League goal against Liverpool; only Everton (142), Tottenham (124) and Aston Villa (102) have seen more players score their first goal in the competition against them.
Five of Diogo Jota's 12 Premier League goals for Liverpool have been headers, after none of his 16 strikes for Wolves in the competition came in this fashion.
Jota has scored 7 goals in his last 8 away league appearances.
Liverpool conceded 3+ goals in a Premier League away game versus a newly promoted side for the first time since January 2016 vs Norwich (won 5-4).
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