Liverpool player ratings, heroes and villains vs Brentford as Reds ease to 3-0 victory to go above Chelsea

Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino were all on target for Liverpool in their defeat of Brentford.

Liverpool moved up to second in the Premier League table as they eased to a 3-0 victory over Brentford at Anfield.

The Reds refound their scoring boots in the absence of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane and ensured they leapfrogged Chelsea - and didn’t lose any further ground on leaders Manchester City.

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Liverpool had to be patient for opportunities in the first half, with Virgil van Dijk being denied by a fine save from Brentford keeper Fernandez.

However, the Reds couldn’t have scored at a better time one minute before the interval. Fabinho lost his marker from a corner and nodded home with ease.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doubled the lead in the 69th minute with an excellent diving header in front of the Kop.

Then Takumi Minamino put the gloss on the victory on 77 minutes - only moments after coming on as a substitute - following a defensive mix-up from Brentford.

The heroes

- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: had an up-and-down season but took his goal excellently. Oxlade-Chamberlain timed his run to perfection to latch on to Andy Robertson’s cross and couldn’t have finished any better.

- Joel Matip: made two excellent challenges in the first half to thwart Bryan Mbeumo and then Ivan Toney. Also nearly helped himself to a goal when he went on one of his trademark slaloming runs.

- Fabinho: completely ran the show in midfield. He was superb both defensively and going forward. Now scored three goals in as many games. Man of the match.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring for Liverpool. Picture: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

The villains

- Christian Norgaard: failed to know their was pressure on him and sold his goalkeeper short with a backpass that led to Minamino’s goal. Completely killed the Bees’ hopes of a comeback.

- Ivan Toney: the striker struggled to impose himself on the Liverpool back line like he did in the reverse fixture. Also couldn’t take advantage of some decent opportunities, one especially in the dying embers.

Bryan Mbuemo: a similar performance to his strike partner. Persistently strayed offside and squandered a good chance in the second half to equalise.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Alisson 7, Alexander-Arnold 7, Matip 8, van Dijk 7, Robertson 7, Fabinho 8, Henderson 7, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7 (Minamino 74; 7), Jones 7, Jota 7 (Gordon 82), Firmino 7 (Milner 78).

Brentford: Fernandez 5, Ajer 5, Jansson 5, Pinnock 5, Roerslev 5, Janelt 5, Norgaard 5, Baptiste 5 (Wissa 65), Henry 6 (Canos 49; 5), Mbeumo 4 (7Jensen 75) Toney 4.

What’s Liverpool’s next fixture?

The Reds travel to the Emirates Stadium where they meet Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg on Thursday.

The tie is finely poised after a 0-0 draw in the first leg.