Brentford and Liverpool shared the points and six goals on a memorable evening on Saturday. The Bees scored first but the trailed twice before Yoane Wissa scored a late equaliser. After the game, Thomas Frank spoke to the written press via a video call. Jim Levack, who has covered Brentford for many years for Press Association, among others, reports on what Thomas had to say..........
In a nutshell
“It was a fantastic game where we went toe to toe with one of the top teams in the Premier League, Europe and the world, a team that are potentially going to win the title, an unbelievable attacking side with a fantastic manager. But a team we drew 3-3 with and could even have beaten. We constantly wanted to go forward. We gave more chances away then we have done in the first five games but we prefer to be attack-minded and press forward.”
“I am crazy proud of the performance and the players. We showed such great character to come from behind twice. I can’t remember when a team in the Premier League have scored three goals against Liverpool when they’ve been in front. Usually when they’ve been ahead they go on to win the game.
"Going forward we were unbelievably good but defensively we can do better… we were stretched in spells for the first two goals and then we needed some big moments with saves from David Raya. That said they also cleared one off the line so it was a really promising, good performance.”
The 12th man
“I talk about the players and the squad, but the fans were part of our squad against Liverpool. When we went behind their response was fantastic and that’s why we were able to come back twice. Our fans know the power they have and they deserve so much praise because they were so loud in their backing from start to finish, but especially in those key moments. I hope they’re proud today that their little Brentford, a bus stop in Hounslow, matched one of the best sides in the world. Hopefully we can make our new stadium a fortress.”
“We wanted at least a point and wouldn’t settle for losing by one goal to Liverpool. We want more, we want to go for more, we had massive belief that we could get something out of the game but knew it would be difficult. We knew we needed to perform to our top level and win some of the crucial battles. It was a crazy crazy game to be part of. There were times we could have scored but they could have as well, but overall it was pleasing we could hurt them as much as we did.”
The wing back kept Mohamed Salah under wraps for most of the game, and Thomas said: “I always tell Rico he is a top left back and then of course there are things we need to improve. We needed to take it forward and go past people if possible, and he did that. I am constantly trying to reinforce the message of being confident but humble and the need to believe in ourselves. Games like this strengthen the fantastic inner belief in the squad.”
Hanging in there
“I’d prefer to win 3-0 but being part of a game like that is quite remarkable. I was most pleased with how we handled the game and hung in there. The character in the squad is very impressive. We constantly talk about the four pillars of hard work, performance, togetherness where we’re willing to run, play and fight for each other, and that confident but humble approach. The boys showed that and that’s why they kept believing we could create chances and come back into the game.”
A tinge of disappointment?
“Yes, maybe. When you play a big team you need that little bit of luck. We put a top performance in and conceded goals straight away but then fought back and then two inches the other way and Ivan Toney is onside and we could have won it.”
Zanka’s baptism of fire
“I was very pleased with him. One of the reasons we signed him was because we knew we we needed an experienced centre back with a good level. He stepped in and performed well in a very difficult game.”
“Every good performance, well earned point or win adds to that confidence and confidence is everything in life, elite sport and football. We scored three goals and created more chances so that’s big thing for us because to score goals in the Premier League is extremely difficult. We’ve played the best offensive side in the league and I think we can still do better, but this performance gives us a lot to keep building on.”
Ethan Pinnock injury update
“He got a tough contact to the hip so couldn’t continue. I expect it to be a minor thing but we will see how it goes.”
“Before the game I said to David ‘we need one or two big saves from you today mate if we’re going to get something out of this game’. He didn’t disappoint. He was really good and has done fantastically stepping into the Premier League. He made more saves against Liverpool than in any other games. He keeps stepping up and performing.”
… and a few words from Jurgen Klopp
“Offensively I was really happy in moments, and we played some of the best football we’ve played this season and created top chances against a really well organised side. We struggled with Brentford’s long balls and I was not happy with how we started the game, but we reacted well and scored some nice goals.
"In the second half we controlled the game but didn’t finish it off. The door stayed open and Brentford stayed in the game. They did really well with balls in behind us and then picked up the first and second balls. They deserved their three goals and it was a deserved point.”
And a few other comments from those who watched…
"Brentford were intelligent, brave and caused Liverpool all sort of problems. They had a game plan that worked to perfection." – Alan Shearer.
"So many teams come up and want to play the perfect game. They want to outplay Liverpool but it isn't going to happen. You've got to find a way of winning, getting results. That’s why I've got such admiration for what Brentford are doing.” – Jamie Redknapp.
"This has been in the making for the last five or six years. The brand of football is fitting for the Premier League and probably better suited than it was for the Championship." – Club Ambassador Marcus Gayle.