Made up with that. We needed a result and a performance after the last couple of disappointing games and that’s what we got. It wasn’t perfect and on another day this could have been a much closer game than it was because Brentford did what they do well and gave us plenty to think about, but our superior finishing proved to be the difference.
We took three of the chances we created, whereas Brentford took none of theirs. And they had plenty. They’re a right handful aren’t they? Especially against the better sides when they change their set up to 5-3-2 and play on the break. They don’t need much of the ball to cause problems and they had the two clearest opportunities of the first half, both of which came at 0-0 I think. If they take either of those it’s a different game. But they didn’t, and it wasn’t.
Low key we’ve got something of an injury crisis going on and as a result of that our bench looked like a school kids day out. Robbo, Thiago and Bajcetic are long term absentees, Jones and Gravenberch we knew would miss the game, Macca was suspended and then Konate and Gomez were added to it unexpectedly. I may have forgotten about someone too.
The starting eleven was still quite strong looking and we had Elliott and Diaz in reserve, but there was not a great deal else in the way of experience. I wasn’t surprised Diaz was benched but Harvey can consider himself lucky to have missed out, especially to Gakpo who isn’t a natural midfielder.
It was only afterwards it became clear what Klopp’s thinking was with that; defending set-pieces. Not only was his starting line up effected by this, but he also left his subs much later than usual because he needed his tallest players on the field while the game was still in the balance. It’s a compliment to Brentford really, but Klopp knows the threat posed.
With some opponents you’re wary about giving away corners or free-kicks in your own final third. You can manage that to some extent by keeping them away from your goal. With Brentford it’s not that easy. Look at their first chance of the game that should have led to a goal by Pinnock. It’s a foul by Endo in the Brentford half, but they sent everyone forward and the keeper (I think) knocked it long. A flick on, a cross, some confusion and before you know Pinnock has the goal at his mercy, seven yards out. He skewed his kick wide but even then there was a Brentford player a whisker away from sliding in and converting at the back post.