Jurgen Klopp reaction: No Salah or Mane, Brentford win, 350th game at Liverpool

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Liverpool snapped their three-game winless skid in Premier League play, with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Brentford at Anfield on Sunday.

[ MORE: Liverpool 3-0 Brentford recap & highlights ]

Below is live reaction (via the BBC) from Merseyside after Liverpool vs Brentford, as the Reds cruised to a comfortable victory without Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane…


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, on the absences of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane…

“It’s completely normal. We knew it would happen when the boys went away. It’s really helpful the result today to calm these discussions down a little bit. You’re right, I understand the thoughts behind it, but they are not here so we don’t talk about the boys who are not in. We find ways to break the opponents down. We wish the boys in Africa the best of luck. We were celebrating when Mo scored last night and Sadio the other day. We wish all of them to win the tournament, which unfortunately is impossible.”

Jurgen Klopp, on Sunday’s victory over Brentford…

“It was good. Brentford are uncomfortable to play against. They had an incredible amount of long balls. Our job was to be ready for these moments and to calm the situation down. We did really well.

“The big strengths of Brentford are set pieces. They are tricky to defend and they have a lot of routines. You have to defend them in the right areas. We had really good set pieces again today. In the second half, we struggled a little when they took more risks. We had to adapt to that. They had a big chance and could have scored. We adapted, scored wonderful goals and won the game.”

“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.”

Jurgen Klopp, on managing his 350th game as Liverpool boss…

“I’m happy. When I arrived in 2015, the picture looked completely different. It has been intense times since then. Each little thing you do is really worth it because of the size, and the emotion of this club. It is like a family. We want to stay like this. You are not always lucky. I am lucky. We are far away from finishing the book, so we will keep writing and see where we end up.”


Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson, on the state of the Premier League title race…

“Man City are a fantastic team — one of the best in Premier League history. We have closed a bit, but we have to concentrate on winning games. The gap is too big to be looking at for the moment. We are up against one of the best and we will give it a go and try and pick up as many points as possible.”

Andrew Robertson, on Sunday’s victory over Brentford…

“Every team who has managed to get points off Brentford has had to be patient. They are a quality, well-organized team. We had a good few chances in the first half and we knew we could hurt them potentially on set pieces. That goal settled the crowd and I thought in the second half we were pretty dominant. It could have been a couple more. Diogo Jota hit the post, Bobby Firmino had a few chances.”

West Ham vs Leeds final score: Harrison hat trick seals shock win

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Leeds beat West Ham 3-2 in an incredible game at the London Stadium, as Jack Harrison scored his first-ever Premier League hat trick to seal a huge win for the Yorkshire club.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Harrison put Leeds ahead twice in the first half after Jarrod Bowen had briefly equalized and although Pablo Fornals equalized in the second half in a topsy-turvy clash, Harrison popped up with the winner to seal his first Premier League treble.

Both teams had numerous chances throughout an enthralling clash but it was Leeds who prevailed as they move on to 22 points for the season and are nine points clear of the relegation zone. West Ham remain on 37 points.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY


West Ham vs Leeds final score, stats

West Ham 2-3 Leeds

Goals scored: West Ham – Bowen 34′, Fornals 52′; Leeds – Harrison 10′, 37′, 60′

Shots: West Ham 15, Leeds 18

Shots on target: West Ham 5, Leeds 5

Possession: West Ham 47, Leeds 53


Three things we learned from West Ham vs Leeds

1. Raphinha at peak of his powers: Harrison will get all of the headlines, and rightly so, but Raphinha was superb for Leeds. He put the ball on a plate for Harrison to score the winner, set up another that was disallowed and smacked the woodwork with a fine free kick. The Brazilian is getting better by the week and you can understand why top teams across Europe are chasing his signature. What a wonderful talent who makes everything look so easy when he’s on the ball, but he also works so hard to win it back.

2. Home form hampering Hammers: West Ham have picked up more points on the road than at home this season, and that is unbelievable. The Hammers have lost at home to Southampton, Brentford and now Leeds, as they struggle to stop teams hitting them on the counter when they are expected to take the initiative in games. David Moyes’ side missed a great chance to boost their top four hopes and sorting out their home form against teams in the bottom half of the table is something they need to do if they’re going to qualify for Europe.

3. This is Leeds: Brilliant going forward but suspect at the back, this is Leeds United under Marcelo Bielsa. They switched off and almost coughed up an equalizer in the 94th minute, but they also could have scored seven goals. Without Patrick Bamford and Kalvin Phillips, that is impressive and Leeds remain one of the best teams to watch if you’re a neutral. They are now well clear of the relegation zone after back-to-back wins and they should be just fine this season.

Man of the Match: Jack Harrison – A first PL hat trick and could have scored a few more. Worked so hard and his finishing was clinical.


Leeds grab deserved leed

West Ham were sloppy early on and Leeds took the lead.

Raphinha played in Klich and his shot was saved, but the ball then found its way to Jack Harrison and he smashed home.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

After a few injury delays impacted Leeds with Firpo and Forshaw both replaced, West Ham took the game by the scruff of the neck. Craig Dawson somehow headed a corner wide, as the Hammers built up some momentum.

Red-hot Bowen scores again

Jarrod Bowen then headed home a corner, as he was left unmarked by Stuart Dallas and equalized before half time.

But moments later Leeds were back ahead as a corner was flicked on by Ayling and Harrison tapped home his and Leeds’ second.

Both teams had chances in an open, end-to-end clash, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side continuing to surge forwards.

That cost them as they continued to take chances and Pablo Fornals danced through their defense and slotted home to make it 2-2.

Harrison seals hat trick as Leeds surge back

Just when it looked like West Ham would kick on, Leeds surged back and regained the lead.

Raphinha played in Harrison perfectly and he sealed his hat trick with a fine finish to make it 3-2.

Moments later the brilliant Raphinha smashed the woodwork with a beautiful free kick.

Raphinha then once again led an attack as he dribbled free and pulled the ball back for Klich to slot home to make it 4-2. However, VAR intervened as Klich’s shot hit Rodrigo who was on the line and in an offside position, so the goal was chalked off.

Late on West Ham threw everything at Leeds as they chased an equalizer, as Bowen chested over from a yard out and somehow Leeds held on for a valuable win.

Liverpool vs Brentford final score: No Salah, no Mane, no problem

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Liverpool vs Brentford: The Reds were without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but it mattered very little as they cruised to a 3-0 final score at Anfield on Sunday.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in USA ]

Fabinho opened the scoring after 44 minutes, and though it remained 1-0 until late in the second half, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (69th minute) and Takumi Minamino (77th) eventually got the confirming goals as time wound down.

The victory pushes Liverpool (45 points) back into 2nd place in the Premier League table, two points above 3rd-place Chelsea, but still 11 behind runaway leaders Manchester City. The Reds have a game in hand, with the opportunity to cut the deficit to eight. Brentford, meanwhile, slipped to 14th this weekend after Aston Villa came back to draw Manchester United on Saturday.


Liverpool vs Brentford final score, stats, results

Final score: Liverpool 3, Brentford 0

Goal scorers: Liverpool (Fabinho 44′, Oxlade-Chamberlain 69′, Minamino 77′), Brentford (None)

Shots: Liverpool 27, Brentford 6

Shots on target: Liverpool 13, Brentford 1

Possession: Liverpool 68%, Brentford 32%


2 things we learned – Liverpool vs Brentford

1. No Salah, no Mane, no problem (so far): Liverpool are perhaps feeling rather fortunate that Salah and Mane will likely miss just two Premier League games while on international duty at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Fortunate, because the Reds’ attack predictably lacked the cutting edge and final-third expertise typically on display at Anfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain started on the wing in their absences, and though Oxlade-Chamberlain is serviceable in a number of positions due to him being a well-rounded footballer, he possesses very few of the things which make Salah and Mane truly exceptional.

2. Brentford holding on for dear life: The Bees are a little over halfway to completing their first-ever Premier League season, and Thomas Frank’s men look like they could not be any more ready for the end to arrive. Brentford probably did enough (23 points) in their first 19 games that they will be able to limp over the line and stay in the top flight next season, but the highs of August and September feel a decade and a half ago at this point. Constantly under siege at one end, while rarely traveling to and threatening at the other end — such is life for a newly promoted side after the rest of the Premier League gets a few months of film to reveal exactly how they want to play.

Man of the Match: Fabinho – The Brazilian scored the opening goal and propped up Liverpool on both sides of the ball, with four keep passes and seven aerial duels won.


Liverpool vs Brentford highlights

Fabinho heads Liverpool into the lead after Brentford fail to clear (goal video)

In reference to point no. 2 (above), set-piece dominance was the hallmark of Brentford to begin the season. Now, they’re undone by the most elementary of mistakes inside their own box.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain heads home for 2-0 (goal video)

Takumi Minamino capitalizes on Brentford errors to make it 3-0 (goal video)

Manchester City vs Chelsea final score: De Bruyne the hero for runaway leaders

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Manchester City vs Chelsea final score: This clash was decided by a moment of magic by Kevin de Bruyne, as Pep Guardiola’s side extend their lead atop the Premier League table.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

City looked more dangerous throughout and De Bruyne won it in the second half as the reigning Premier League champions are now 13 points clear at the top.

Chelsea never really got going in a game they had to win, as City have now won 12 games in a row and are surging towards back-to-back titles.

Liverpool can cut the gap at the top to eight points if they win their games in hand, but all signs points towards another title parade at the Etihad Stadium in May.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY


Manchester City vs Chelsea final score, stats

Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea

Goals scored: De Bruyne 70′ 

Shots: Manchester City 11, Chelsea 4

Shots on target: Manchester City 6, Chelsea 1

Possession: Manchester City 56, Chelsea 44


Three things we learned from Manchester City vs Chelsea

1. City are the champions-elect: Liverpool are the only team that can catch City now and even if they win their games in-hand, they need City to lose three of their final 16 games to have a chance of winning the title. That doesn’t seem likely. City have won 12 in a row and have been consistently excellent throughout the last three months. Guardiola has rotated his team perfectly and different players are stepping up all the time. City are the champions elect, even if they don’t want to admit it.

2. Lukaku has a point about Chelsea’s playing style: When he revealed he wasn’t a fan of Tuchel’s tactics, many questioned what the heck Lukaku was talking about. Maybe he’s got a point? Lukaku made so many good runs, especially in the first half, but Chelsea were slow on the ball and not direct enough to find him. He needs a partner up top, someone like Werner? In the second half Lukaku was denied by Ederson with his only chance of the game and Chelsea have to find a way to get the best out of him if they want to win other trophies and defend their Champions League trophy. Their Premier League dreams are done after this defeat.

3. De Bruyne holds a grudge: Kevin de Bruyne scored the winner and he has now scored five goals against Chelsea, his former club. That means KDB has scored more goals against Chelsea than against any other PL team and he clearly wants to remind them it was a mistake to let him leave. Of course, both he and Chelsea were in different places when he was allowed to depart Stamford Bridge but Kevin de Bruyne is making them rue the day they allowed him to leave for Wolfsburg. His beautiful goal sealed the win and he got the better of N’Golo Kante, which few people have ever done. A classy display.

Man of the Match: Kevin de Bruyne – He had the game-winning moment and oozed class throughout. Plus, a special word for Raheem Sterling who caused City’s defense (and especially Alonso) so many problems.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]


Romelu Lukaku runs towards goal but can’t make the most of it

 

Jack Grealish denied by Kepa

Ederson denies Lukaku after Kovacic played him in

De Bruyne curls home a beauty to win it

Rangnick, Bruno Fernandes feeling like Manchester United lost 2-2 draw

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Manchester United threw away a two-goal lead against Aston Villa in a 2-2 draw after a righteous start to Saturday’s Premier League match at Villa Park fell apart in a span of four minutes.

The Red Devils led after just six minutes on Emiliano Martinez’s howler helped Bruno Fernandes get on the board, and Ralf Rangnick’s men were buzzing around the Villa final third for the first half hour.

The hosts got into the game before halftime but Fernandes got a second goal in the second half and United appeared to be cruising to a complete win.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Villa 2-2 Man Utd ]

That most certainly did not happen, as Jacob Ramsey and super-sub Philippe Coutinho each had a goal and an assist between the 77th and 81st minutes.

“It is tough to take because I think the game was under control,” said Bruno Fernandes. “The performance was better than the result, more controlled but the main point is winning games and points. We deserved more, but it’s not about deserving it is about getting points. We still have a lot to improve but it is about performance and results together.”

Rangnick was mystified at what he believed to be an inexplicable lapse.

After all, he said, this was United’s best game under his watch.

“It is very difficult to find positives after these 95 minutes,” he said. “I felt it was the best game since I came here. In the first half for 30 minutes we dominated the game. We had taken took some steps forward but have a few things to do better.

“It feels like a defeat, to be honest. Right now it’s very disappointed but what we showed was a step forward. It’s about getting the results, it feels like two points lost and given away.”

Villa’s point moves it 13th with 23, while United inches to 32 points. That’s five points back of fourth-place West Ham.