It was described as a “crazy game”, a “wild ride” and something Brentford could only dream of as the newly promoted side came from behind twice to draw with title-challengers Liverpool.
“That’s football,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said afterwards.
In a memorable and topsy-turvy encounter at the Brentford Community Stadium, the hosts scored a dramatic late equaliser to make it 3-3 after Curtis Jones looked to have sealed victory for Liverpool.
Former Arsenal and England striker Alan Smith was impressed, claiming on Sky Sports: “If Brentford can do this to Liverpool, they can do this to anyone.”
Brentford manager Thomas Frank said they “went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in Europe”.
His players did a lap of honour at full-time, the fans were singing long after the final whistle and Brentford goalscorer Vitaly Janelt was in disbelief.
“I’m not sure enjoy is the right word. It was a wild ride,” said Klopp. “Brentford deserved a point. I have no problem with accepting it when you play this kind of football.”
‘It’s what we dream for as kids’
Seven years ago, Brentford were playing in League One.
Centre-back Ethan Pinnock, who opened the scoring, began his career in non-League football with Dulwich Hamlet and Forest Green Rovers.
And goalkeeper David Raya – who Klopp said “could have the shirt with number 10 on” – was on loan at Southport six years ago.
“It was a crazy game. We went toe-to-toe,” Raya told BBC Sport. “Liverpool had their spells but we played really well and were solid. It was a great game for the neutrals as well.”
Former England striker Alan Shearer told BBC Match of the Day: “Brentford were intelligent, brave and caused Liverpool all sort of problems. They had a game plan that worked to perfection.”
Janelt added to Sky Sports: “We drew 3-3 against Liverpool, it’s what we dream for as kids. Before the game we said we will try the best against Liverpool – one of the best teams in the world – and now we draw 3-3.”
Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp said there was a real connection between the Brentford players adding that they “play with guts”.
“So many teams come up and they want to play the perfect game, they want to outplay Liverpool,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“It isn’t going to happen. You’ve got to find a way of winning, getting results. That is why I’ve got such admiration for what they are doing.”
Ex-Brentford striker Marcus Gayle added: “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.”
Salah’s 100-goal milestone overshadowed
Brentford’s performance stole the limelight from Mohamed Salah who is living the dream himself, continuing to break records as one of Liverpool’s deadliest goalscorers.
He put Liverpool 2-1 up early in the second half with his 100th Premier League goal for the club.
The Egyptian could have made it 4-2 when he chipped over the bar after being put clean through, with Klopp admitting afterwards that Salah would “love to have 101 goals” to his name.
Salah’s goal came in his 151st league game for Liverpool – meaning he reached 100 goals in fewer appearances than any other player in the club’s history.
Only Alan Shearer for Blackburn (124 games), Harry Kane for Tottenham (138) and Sergio Aguero for Man City (147) have reached 100 Premier League goals for a single club in fewer appearances.
“It’s an incredible moment,” Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson told Sky Sports. “He’s been incredible ever since he came to the club.”