Virgil van Dijk's fury plain to see before Liverpool substitution at Brentford

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Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk's fury plain to see before Liverpool substitution at Brentford

Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool endured a miserable afternoon after they were well beaten at Brentford, where the Dutchman's fury could be seen in the first half.

The Reds lost 3-1 in west London to throw their top four hopes into doubt, with Van Dijk taken off at half-time as Brentford struck through Ibrahima Konate's own goal and a Yoane Wissa effort.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled one back, only for Bryan Mbeumo to shrug off Konate to finish the game.

Liverpool had looked in control of things in the very early stages, although Brentford goalkeeper David Raya's most impressive moment had come from a shot from an offside Van Dijk.

It was then when the Dutchman was outpaced by Mbeumo that the first set of alarm bells began to ring for the Reds, who had Alisson to thank for his smart save from the Cameroonian as he bore down on goal.

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That break suddenly signified a shift in the game though, and one that Liverpool seemed unable to control as the Bees swarmed all over them.

Virgil van Dijk's fury plain to see before Liverpool substitution at BrentfordVan Dijk was furious with Kostas Tsimikas in the first half (AFP via Getty Images)

It was almost like the pitch had tilted and everything flowed toward Alisson, most notably the ball as it struck first Ben Mee, then Konate and then trickled into the net as Liverpool defended meekly from a corner.

Van Dijk was at the heart of that, and he cut a hugely exasperated figure in the moments which followed.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank had spoken about how, in the absence of the injured Ivan Toney, his side were going to try and hurt Liverpool with runs from deep, and that was what they were doing as Wissa and Mbeumo repeatedly raced at a defence which had been changed and looked out of sorts.

Konate and Kostas Tsimikas had come into the starting XI, and Van Dijk didn't appear comfortable alongside either of them as the half unfolded.

At one stage that anger resulted in a steely glare and shout at Tsimikas after the Greek defender opted to play a pass backwards to him instead of forward down the line to Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Van Dijk, under pressure from Mbeumo, was quickly forced to backpedal and play a pass across to Konate as he was quickly closed down, with Brentford's pressing game continuing to set the tone as Liverpool were bullied.

Virgil van Dijk's fury plain to see before Liverpool substitution at BrentfordBrentford earned a deserved win over a lacklustre Liverpool (Getty Images)

Van Dijk then threw his arms up in disgust as Liverpool failed to make any sort of inroads in a game they lost inside several mad minutes before the break.

The hosts had had the ball in the bet twice more only to see their efforts disallowed, before - seconds after the second one - they gave the ball away again as Mathias Jensen crossed for Wissa to head home.

Van Dijk would not return for the second half as Jurgen Klopp opted to make three half-time changes, with the alterations initially improving things for the Reds as Oxlade-Chamberlain headed home, before they succumbed late on after Mbeumo embarrassed Konate.

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Mark Jones

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