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Liverpool beat Brentford to go second

Liverpool moved up to second place in the Premier League table with a routine 3-0 win over Brentford at Anfield on Sunday, thanks to goals from Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino.

Manchester City’s win over now third-placed Chelsea on Saturday underlined the defending champions’ dominance in the title race but Liverpool ensured they finished the weekend how they started it, 11 points behind City with a game in hand and a trip to the Etihad still to come.

Their faint hopes of catching Pep Guardiola’s side continue thanks to a first win in four games in the Premier League, with Fabinho’s back-post header from a corner a minute before half-time, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s diving effort in front of The Kop on 69 minutes and a gift for birthday boy Minamino (77) sealing the points.

Bryan Mbeumo had almost bent in an equaliser for Brentford on 58 minutes but was just falling away as he hit his shot after turning Joel Matip and, after Diogo Jota had hit the post and been denied by a super save from Alvaro Fernandez, Liverpool finally finished off the contest.

“I knew before that the game Brentford would be a tough one,” said Jurgen Klopp afterwards. “It was a tough one and that’s why I’m so happy we did well. We have to find ways to break opponents down and today we did that particularly well and I’m really happy about that.”

Fabinho’s opener was nothing less than the home side deserved after putting Brentford under sustained pressure for most of the first half and forcing Fernandez into a brilliant stop from Virgil van Dijk after Jota and Trent Alexander-Arnold sent efforts over the bar early on.

The visitors appeared to have weathered the storm well and, with the help of some loose passes from Alexander-Arnold and Matip, caused some problems of their own as the half wore on, with Vitaly Janelt and Ivan Toney shooting off target.

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