MIRROR Online: LONDON, England, By Tom Victor – Liverpool welcomed back Mohamed Salah in their victory against Brentford, but Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered a worrying double injury blow at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Darwin Nunez, Alexis Mac Allister and the returning Salah were all on target for Jurgen Klopp’s side in West London. Ivan Toney pulled one back late on, but it was too little, too late for Thomas Frank’s side, and Cody Gakpo added some even later gloss.

The victory allowed Liverpool to move five points clear of Arsenal and Manchester City, with the Reds’ title rivals playing later on Saturday. Arsenal travel to Burnley, with City at home to Chelsea in the 5.30 kick-off

With the Carabao Cup final a little over a week away, though, the fitness of Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota will be a concern. Both men were withdrawn before half-time, with Jota leaving the field on a stretcher.

Liverpool received a pair of early scares, with Vitaly Janelt and Ivan Toney both dragging efforts wide of Caoimhin Kelleher’s left-hand post. However, they took the lead in the 35th minute as Nunez rounded off a rapid counter-attack with a delightful chipped finish.

They doubled their lead after the break, with the returning Salah laying on a goal for Mac Allister. The goal was just a second for Mac Allister since his summer arrival from Brighton, and two soon became three when Salah capitalised on some sloppy defending.

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Mohamed Salah scoring for Liverpool against Brentford

Mohamed Salah got his goal after a couple of missed chances Getty Images

Brentford striker Toney had been uncharacteristically quiet for much of the game, but did at least get on the scoresheet when he put away a rebound 15 minutes from time. Here are Mirror Football‘s talking points from a busy lunchtime game which brought three valuable points for Liverpool.

1. More injury worries for Liverpool

Liverpool were already without several players going into Saturday’s game, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai among the absentees. They won’t have wanted another setback with the Carabao Cup final a little over a week away, but that’s what happened when Curtis Jones was forced off before half-time after a challenge with Christian Norgaard.

Curtis Jones down injured for Liverpool at Brentford

Liverpool are sweating on the fitness of Curtis Jones AFP via Getty Images

There was also a problem for Diogo Jota, who went down after a coming-together with Norgaard when the Brentford man landing on his knee. That meant an earlier-than-planned outing for Salah, less than 10 minutes after Gravenberch took Jones’ place.

Things went from bad to worse at the start of the second half, with Nunez failing to reemerge after the break. Gakpo was the man to take his place, and some will be sweating on Nunez ahead of next week’s Wembley trip.

2. Darwin composed as Salah shakes off rust

You have to go back to New Year’s Day for the last time Mohamed Salah stepped onto the field for Liverpool. The top scorer was deemed fit enough for the bench at Brentford, but was thrust into action before half-time after Diogo Jota was stretchered off.

Darwin Nunez chipping the ball over Mark Flekken

Darwin Nunez set Liverpool on their way AFP via Getty Images

There was almost an instant impact from the Egyptian, but he couldn’t quite adjust quickly enough after Luis Diaz’s cross took a touch on the way through to him. Fellow frontman Darwin Nunez, however, was the coolest man in the stadium as he lifted the ball over Flekken for the opener.

Salah had another big chance after half-time, with space opening up and allowing him to run through on goal, but only Flekken to beat he got his outside-of-the-boot finish all wrong. He wasn’t going to waste a third opportunity, though, and eventually found a way past Flekken 20 minutes from time.

3. Bradley getting stuck back in

With Trent Alexander-Arnold injured, Conor Bradley returned to the first team after being given time off following the death of his father. The right-back scored his first Liverpool goal against Chelaea at the end of January, and looked to pick up where he left off with an improvised early effort which tested Mark Flekken.

Conor Bradley in action against Brentford

Conor Bradley had a busy day against Brentford

Bradley wasn’t afraid to put himself about on his return. A challenge with Neal Maupay wasn’t deemed a foul as the Frenchman appealed for a penalty, while the right-back left Ivan Toney on the ground clutching the back of his leg early in the second half.

Ultimately it was another game without a clean sheet for Liverpool, and there were some nervy moments before Toney’s goal. Bradley, however, looked like he’d never been away.

4. New role for Mac Allister

Alexis Mac Allister scoring against Brentford,

Alexis Mac Allister scored Liverpool’s second PA

Alexis Mac Allister has often started deeper at Liverpool than he did for previous club Brighton, but some forced changes could spell good news for the Argentine’a attacking instincts. The World Cup winner was pushed forward after Curtis Jones made way for Ryan Gravenberch, and reaped the benefits with a well-taken goal to make it 2-0.

Mac Allister scored 13 times for Brighon last season, though a number of those came from the penalty spot. A more withdrawn role has meant fewer openings this term, but he may still be disappointed to have only scored once before the Brentford game.

If Jones and Szoboszlai aren’t fit for next week’s Carabao Cup final, the 25-year-old may look back at this game as an audition for a more advanced role. And it’s one he looks to have passed.

5. Kelleher gets minutes ahead of cup final

Caoimhin Kelleher playing for Liverpool against Brentford

Caoimhin Kelleher started with Alisson out injured AFP via Getty Images

Over the summer, there was hope from some in West London that Caoimhin Kelleher might join Brentford as a replacement for Arsenal-bound David Raya. Liverpool were in no mood to sell, though, with Kelleher given a chance to show the Bees what they were missing while deputising for the injured Alisson.

Top Feature Photo: Mohamed Salah scored on his Liverpool return Image: Kieran McManus/REX/Shutterstock)