Soccer-Liverpool go second with comfortable win over Brentford

Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Brentford - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - January 16, 2022 Liverpool
Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Brentford - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - January 16, 2022 Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring their second goal with Andrew Robertson and teammates REUTERS/Phil Noble

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Liverpool climbed to second in the Premier League after goals from Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino earned them a 3-0 win over Brentford at Anfield on Sunday.

The win moved Juergen Klopp's side above Chelsea in the table and 11 points behind leaders Manchester City with a game in hand. City beat Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday.

The win ends a three-match winless patch in the league for Liverpool which has seen them fall off the pace in the title race.

Liverpool were without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane who are playing at the African Cup of Nations and their lack of potency in attack was evident as they struggled to open up a determined Brentford defence.

The home side finally broke through a minute before the interval when a corner from Trent Alexander-Arnold bounced to the back post and was nodded home by Fabinho.

The London side continued to prove resilient opponents after the break although Diogo Jota struck the post in the 62nd minute after Alexander-Arnold had burst into the box and Brentford keeper Alvaro Fernandez did well to keep out another effort from the Portuguese forward.

But Brentford stayed in the contest until the 69th minute when Oxlade-Chamberlain stooped at the back post to head in a wonderful cross from left back Andy Robertson.

Substitute Minamino wrapped up the win, tapping home after Brentford's attempt to play out from the back was intercepted by Roberto Firmino who set up the Japanese forward for a simple finish.

There was nearly a dream league debut for 17-year-old substitute Kaide Gordon, who was put through on goal but was denied by another good save from Fernandez.

"We needed these three points and a good performance so it was nice to do it in front of our fans. It will be good to grow our confidence," said Fabinho.

"The team played really well with the ball. The front three played really well. We created a lot of opportunities to score. It is a chance for everybody to show their quality and step up. We did that today," he added.

Promoted Brentford are in 14th place on 23 points.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, Editing by Ed Osmond and Toby Davis)

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