5 talking points from Liverpool's 3-0 win over Brentford

Liverpool maintained their unbeaten home record in the Premier League with a comfortable 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday.

Darwin Nunez had two goals ruled out for offside in the first half before the Uruguayan set up Mohamed Salah to open the scoring in the 39th minute.

In the second half, with the outcome of the game still in the balance, Wataru Endo, starting place of the suspended Alexis Mac Allister, escaped a red card following a VAR review.

After this perhaps lucky escape, the Reds went in search of more goals, and the second arrived in the 62nd minute when Salah headed home a Kostas Tsimikas cross.

The Greek was involved yet again just 12 minutes later, teeing up Diogo Jota on the edge of the area to make it 3-0 and send the Reds into second place in the table.

Here are five talking points from today’s game.

1) VAR, the centre of attention again

VAR certainly seems to be having “a moment”. It’s impossible not to watch a game without it being at the centre of attention.

Luckily for the Reds today, decisions from Stockley Park overall went in their favour.

It didn’t feel like that in the first half, though. Darwin Nunez was denied his first goal of the game by the length of his big toe. He then had another denied for a rather clearer offside.

In the second half, however, those with the monitors spared Wataru Endo a red card when there probably wouldn’t have been too much to complain about if it had gone the other way.

Then, when the whole Bees defence had seemingly stopped, VAR confirmed that Tsimikas hadn’t run the ball out of play as he slid to tee up Salah for his second of the day.

2) Darwin shines

Darwin Nunez’s first-half performance was quite possibly his best 45 minutes in a Liverpool shirt.

He showed great composure to convert when he found himself free in the six-yard box from Dominik Szoboszlai’s mishit shot but was unfortunate to be denied for an offside by a matter of centimetres.

He then put a delightful overhead kick in the top corner from a very tight space, but again the lino’s flag denied him.

However, his most meaningful intervention was an inch-perfect pass for Mohamed Salah on the turn, who opened the scoring with his trademark finish.

Though his influence waned in the second half, the Uruguayan looked a much more finely polished player.

3) Endo on the edge

A combination of suspensions and injuries gifted Wataru Endo a rare Premier League start on Sunday - and he was perhaps lucky to see the game through.

The Japan international was understandably keen to impress and played with a high intensity. However, he played a somewhat dangerous game and was fortunate to escape without punishment for the aggressive challenge which left Christian Norgaard in a heap.

His studs made contact with the Dane’s knee but ultimately he was adjudged to have won the ball sufficiently.

Endo’s tenacity throughout the game must be applauded but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Alexis Mac Allister slotted straight back in now that he’s served his suspension.

4) Versatile Gakpo

Prior to his arrival at Liverpool, Cody Gakpo was considered one of the brightest young left-wingers in Europe. However, since rocking up at Anfield, the Dutchman has played everywhere but on the flank.

Today, not for the first time, he started in the centre of the park, and didn’t look out of place.

With everyone fit and available, this probably wouldn’t have been Klopp’s first-choice line-up, but with Brentford playing a back five, this seemed to suit the Red - with Gakpo and Szoboszlai both playing as “tens” at times, creating a numerical advantage in attack.

Likewise, he had the nous and the legs to cover in defence, especially when Tsimikas joined the attack.

5) Injury concerns

While there was nothing particularly unusual about the Reds’ starting line-up on Sunday, a quick look at the bench may well give reason for concern.

The Reds knew they would be without Alexis Mac Allister (suspension), Curtis Jones and Ryan Gravenberch (both knocks) for the Brentford clash, but injuries struck the defence too in the build-up to the game, with both Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate missing through injury.

As a result, amazingly, Luis Diaz was the only outfield player on the bench over the age of 20. At 26, he would have felt incredibly old in the presence of Trey Nyoni (16), Ben Doak (18), Luke Chambers, James McConnell (both 19), Harvey Elliott and Jarell Quansah (both 20).

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