LONDON ( Associated Press) – Liverpool lost the most ground in the race for the top four spots in the English Premier League on Monday when they fell 3-1 at Brentford.
Defensive lapses cost the Reds two goals in the first half and a disgruntled Jürgen Klopp ordered the substitution of leading figure Virgil van Dijk at halftime.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain brought the visitors close with a goal, but Brian Mbumo ended Liverpool’s hopes, who lost to Brentford for the first time since 1938 in any competition.
Brentford climbed from tenth to seventh in the table. He is now two points behind Liverpool.
An own goal from Ibrahima Konate gave the Bees the lead, who widened the gap in the last breath of the first half, with a header from Yoan Visa, replacement for Ivan Toni, Brentford’s top scorer with 13 goals this season. Huh.
In a fast-paced first half, two Visa goals were first disallowed for offside.
Uruguayan Darvin Nuñez continued to waste chances in front of goal for Liverpool. He was supplied by Mohamed Salah and tricked Spanish goalkeeper David Raya before firing low.
However, Ben Mee was at the right time to slide and cover the shot.
At the other end of the pitch, Visa left Mbeumo alone in front of goal, but the latter’s shot was saved by Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson. Brentford took the lead when the ball bounced off the knee of World Cup finalist Konate with France and out of Alisson’s reach.
Mbeumo’s corner kicks continued to cause problems for the visitors. Wissa found two to send him over the network, although both goals were disallowed.
Four minutes before halftime the third time was the charm for the winger. He scored with a superb header from Matthias Jensen’s cross. Alisson managed to grab the ball, but referee Stuart Atwell used the electronics attached to his watch to confirm that the ball had crossed the goal line.
In one of the three adjustments before the plug-in, a furious Klopp ordered Van Dijk to leave and Joel Matip to replace him.
The unfortunate Núñez found the net shortly after the restart, following a one-on-one face-off with Raya. But the video referee (VAR) disallowed the goal due to advanced positioning.
Moments later, Liverpool managed to score. Oxlade-Chamberlain took advantage of a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross and finished with a header.
The Reds pressed for an equaliser, but Raya deflected Fabinho’s shot before Konate’s header missed.
Brentford leveled the game with six minutes to go when Mbeumo made a weak tackle from Konate and scored the third goal.