Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool's failure to deal with Brentford's "chaos" led to their 3-1 Premier League defeat on Monday while also accusing the Bees of "stretching the rules" at set-pieces.
Liverpool’s poor defending contributed to their own downfall at the Gtech Community Stadium and inflicted a painful blow on their top-four chances with the Reds four points off the Champions League places.
Ibrahima Konate scored an own goal from one corner and Yoane Wissa had two goals disallowed for offside from two more corners before putting the hosts 2-0 ahead before half time with a fine header.
That was only after Darwin Nunez had added to his growing catalogue of wasted opportunities in front of goal, rounding David Raya only to see Ben Mee recover to make a goal-line clearance.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled one back after the break, but Bryan Mbeumo left Konate in a heap to fire in the third and finish Liverpool off.
Liverpool have now dropped 23 points so far this season – one more than they did all last term when they finished second to Manchester City.
Klopp, who substituted key defender Virgil van Dijk at half time, said: “Brentford create chaos with set-pieces. When I say they stretch the rules, they do, in offensive set-pieces.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s smart, but they do. If you could single out all the situations you would find five fouls but because it’s so chaotic no one sees it in the end.
“So that’s what they do and it’s really good. You know before the game how strong they are from corners. The game got decided by the second goal which was our fault.
“We got away with an offside. That’s all OK, and then we are not awake, they cross the ball and score the second that decided the game.
“The third goal should not have been allowed but we should have played better.”
Victory for Brentford was all the more impressive in the absence of 12-goal top scorer Ivan Toney who was ruled out with a knee problem and proved the West London club, who moved up to seventh on 26 points, just two behind the Reds, are a match for any team having also beaten Manchester United and City this season.
Brentford are now unbeaten in their last six matches and boss Thomas Frank said the club, who were only promoted to the top tier in 2021, should set high targets.
“These players don’t surprise me but they always impress me. It shouldn’t in a way be possible for Brentford to beat Manchester City, draw with Tottenham, beat West Ham away and beat Liverpool at home, but we did it,” he said.
Asked about a possible push for a European place, Frank added: “I hope the fans dream big, and the players, but on the flip side we are very realistic.
“This is a relentless league. Injuries to key players and we could struggle a bit. For us today it’s 100 per cent my rule of 24 hours. We will celebrate, I will have a glass of wine, but then in 24 hours focus on the next game.”
Brentford are in FA Cup action on Saturday when they take on West Ham in the third round while Liverpool face Wolves.