Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s loss at Anfield.
Unsurprisingly, Brentford came out in their 5-3-2. The back five consisted of Mee, Pinnock and Zanka, with Jansson out for the season. Rico Henry the left wingback and a surprising start for Hickey over Roerslev to round out the back 5. Nørgaard is unlikely to play again this season, so Janelt continued to fill in as the central midfielder, with Jensen on the left, and Onyeka to the right. Toney and Mbeumo lead the line agaisnt an in-form Liverpool squad.
Liverpool started in a 4-2-3-1 with Van Dijk and Konate the centerbacks. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson the fullbacks, with Alexander-Arnold moving into midfield when in possession. Fabinho and Jones the defensive minded midfielders while Gakpo roamed forward joining Nunez. Salah and Jota occupied the wings to stretch out Brentford’s compact defence.
Possession: Liverpool 54% – 46% Brentford
xG: Liverpool 2.24 – 0.20 Brentford
Shots: Liverpool 15 – 5 Brentford
Clearances: Liverpool 27 – 18 Brentford
Other Brentford stats:
Aerial duels won: 14 (50%)
Brentford set up to play in their compact 5-3-2 and not allow space in-behind. An early goal for Liverpool changed Brentford’s gameplan and they had to adjust midgame. Liverpool threatened Brentford in numerous ways, through set pieces, open play, slow build-up, and quick long balls into space.
Brentford struggled to create much going forward and again couldn’t connect on final passes. Brentford tried to take advantage of dead ball situations, but only created 0.05 xG from set pieces. Brentford’s total xG of 0.20 is made worse only by the 0.03 xG on target.
An overall disappointing performance for Brentford, but Jensen ended with 5 tackles and interceptions. Jensen also led the team in key passes, but struggled to connect on his long passes (2/9). Rico Henry only played 71 minutes, but led the team with 9 recoveries. Brentford had 18 crosses, but none of those were completed into the box. Jensen and Hickey both had two shot creating actions, but Brentford barely troubled Liverpool’s defence.
Brentford brought on Dasilva and Schade to try to create more opportunities going forward, but they still had difficulty in the final third. Brentford will look to get three points with West Ham coming into town on Sunday. Look out for our match preview thread on Twitter before the game.