Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool defence were ‘bullied’ by Ivan Toney, with Brentford striker spotted in Jurgen Klopp exchange, as Reds accused of ‘being carried’ by Mohamed Salah

Liverpool key man Virgil van Dijk and the rest of the Reds’ defence were ‘bullied’ by Brentford striker Ivan Toney during their six-goal thrillier, talkSPORT has been told.

And fans are suggesting they might be seeing him at Anfield again soon, after spotting a post-match exchange between the striker and Jurgen Klopp after the 3-3 draw.

Ivan Toney proved a constant nuisance for Liverpool in the Reds’ six-goal thriller with Brentford

Toney was incredible in the air during the draw[/caption]

The Bees forward was in top form during the incredible draw, winning nine aerial duels against Liverpool’s defence, and managing one assist with a brilliantly placed flick-on for Bryan Mbeumo’s opener.

The Northampton-born striker racked up a gigantic 33 goals and 10 assists for Brentford in the Championship last season, and has carried his form into the top flight, winning plaudits from all around.

None more so than from talkSPORT’s Gabby Agbonlahor, who thinks Toney will only improve.

“Ivan Toney looks like with every Premier League game he plays he’s going to get better,” said the former Aston Villa captain.

Toney was in dominant form during the draw with Liverpool

Toney even had time to defend against Sadio Mane[/caption]

“Watching him last season, it’s like every game he played he got better, today he’s winning every header, he’s working hard for the team. 

“He looks like a hungry striker who wants to play for his country, wants to get Brentford up the league.”

Liverpool had an injury crisis that crumbled their title defence last season, losing all three of their first choice centre-backs to long-term injuries.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had only conceded one goal in their first five games this season since the return of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, but that all came crashing down against Brentford.


The injury-prone Matip has looked solid next to van Dijk, making a goal-line clearance yesterday[/caption]

Agbonlahor thought both teams put on a poor showing defensively at the Brentford Community Stadium, but he was particularly surprised by Van Dijk’s performance.

“Some of the defending today was kamikaze, especially from Liverpool,” he said on Saturday.

“I mean we talk about Van Dijk being back and Liverpool are so good now defensively, but today he was playing in second gear.

Some lapse defensing saw Wissa send Brentford fans wild by making it 3-3

“Toney bullied the whole of that Liverpool defence, [Bryan] Mbeumo as well, he was outstanding.”

Toney, a boyhood Liverpool fan, was also spotted in discussion with Reds boss Klopp post-game.

And supporters are suggesting on social media that the frontman may have put himself in the German’s thoughts after a fine display.

Liverpool have been widely linked with new strikers in recent transfer windows, with Roberto Firmino facing persistent criticism over his lack of goals.

After the game, Toney admitted he was thrilled to finally face the team he supported as a boy, and some supporters even dug out an old social media post from back when the striker played for Peterborough, where he named Liverpool as the team he’s move like to join.

Klopp and Toney were spotted in discussion long after the final whistle
Toney posted this on social media during his spell in League One with Peterborough
@IvanToney1 on Instagram
Boyhood Liverpool fan Toney was buzzing to play against Klopp’s Reds
@IvanToney1 on Instagram

A move for greater depth up front may be necessary for Liverpool to maintain their position at the top the table, with Agbonlahor claiming Mohamed Salah is carrying the team.

The Reds are set to be without the Egyptian forward to start 2022, with the African Cup of Nations beginning on January 9.

Salah scored his 100th Premier League game in a Liverpool shirt against Brentford on Saturday – the Egyptian King has six goals and two assists in seven appearances in all competitions this season so far.

Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota are the club’s next top scorers this term with three.

“I think Liverpool are going to need to have a six to nine point gap to the other teams below them come the African Cup of Nations,” Agbonlahor said.

“Mohamed Salah, for me, is carrying Liverpool. His goal today, great bit of movement, but he’s the main player at the moment that’s getting the goals, putting the performances in.”

Mohamed Salah has been Liverpool’s player of the season so far, but will be missing in January and February due to AFCON

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