Jurgen Klopp praised the patience of his Liverpool players after explaining why set pieces were the key to their win over a Brentford side that made it “uncomfortable”.
Liverpool claimed a 3-0 win at Anfield thanks to goals from Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino. It marked their first win in the Premier League in a month. In attaining it, they have risen above Chelsea into second in the table.
But they had a battle on their hands despite the comfortable scoreline. Klopp observed a difference in the way Brentford played, which meant Liverpool had to rely on other factors to earn the advantage.
He said, as quoted by BBC Sport: “It’s extremely uncomfortable to play against Brentford to be honest. They usually play differently but the way they play against us is really difficult.
“There were so many moments where the ball was in the air and the moment it was on the ground we had to start playing football. It was not always fluent but that’s how it is very often.
“The set-pieces can be the opener. That was the case today. We could have scored maybe before, but then the next two goals were outstanding.
“Unfortunately Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rolled his ankle. I hope it’s not serious but that was a shadow on the game.
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“The set-pieces were really good today. You need patience, you cannot lose focus or get sloppy. You have to stay full of desire even when you don’t find direction.
“We had to switch sides, play it quick and all these kinds of things. We really controlled it in the second half. That’s good.
“They changed [when Liverpool went 1-0 up] and took more risks. They had more players between the lines. We had two situations where we struggled a little bit with it. That’s how it is.
“You have to adapt. That’s what happens. We adapted to that really well and from that moment, controlled it.
“Everyone is invited to score goals obviously always but the boys did really well. They worked extremely hard, that’s what you have to do. You have to go for it and the boys did that.”
Frank follows Klopp analysis
While Liverpool’s use of set-pieces was a positive for Klopp, it brought mixed feelings for Brentford counterpart Thomas Frank.
On one hand, he was happy that they restricted Klopp’s men in open play. On the other hand, he knows they cannot afford to concede from corners against opponents of such stature.
Frank told BBC Sport: “The first 60 minutes were great. The way we defended and pressed, kept our discipline… Liverpool created nothing in open play, and that is a big statement.
“But we can’t concede from the corner. If you want to get a big result at a place like this you can’t do this.
“The players showed great mentality. Until the second goal we were very much in the game. We have to take the moments we create if we want to take something from the game.
“The third goal was totally avoidable and we have to do better. At this moment we are disappointed, but we will evaluate and move on to face Manchester United on Wednesday.”
Indeed, Brentford’s next game continues a tough run of fixtures for them. Liverpool, meanwhile, face Arsenal in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final in midweek.