Parkinson stung as Yo & Co run amok
YOANN BARBET, Nico Yennaris and Ollie Watkins scored stunning strikes as Brentford gained a first Championship win of the season at the expense of bottom-of-the-table Bolton.
Wanderers are now the only second-tier team without a win and last season’s League One runners-up have also lost six successive league and cup outings.
Just as worrying for boss Phil Parkinson, his side have not scored for 566 minutes, setting an unwanted club record of six games without a goal.
Substitute Barbet, who came on in the 17th minute for skipper John Egan who suffered a head injury, blasted the Bees into a first-half lead with a left-foot free-kick in the 38th minute from 30 yards after Mark Beevers committed a foul trying to retrieve team-mate Antonee Robinson’s error.
And Romaine Sawyers went close to adding a second before the break.
In the second half, Parkinson brought on Craig Noone and Aaron Wilbraham after 61 minutes to try to change the game.
Instead, former Arsenal trainee Yennaris smashed in a spectacular long-range free-kick with a brilliant 30-yard right-foot special just after the hour.
And Watkins completed a hat-trick of high-quality finishes seven minutes from time for Brentford’s first win at Bolton in 25 years and lifted Dean Smith’s side out of the relegation zone.
Smith said: “Our performances this season have been very good and it was very good again today.
“We took three valuable points with three wonderful goals.
“They have a lot of height and power but we dealt with that really well.”
Bolton boss Parkinson said: “We lost our way today and we can’t hide away from that. Our desire to chase the game in terms of putting more attacking players on ensured it became a more open game and we lost our structure.
“In other games where we have been beaten, like Ipswich last week, we were right in the game until the end and had far more about our play than we did today.”
JURGEN KLOPP’S complete denial of a Liverpool crisis gathered momentum yesterday – courtesy of a sizzling display from Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazilian ace, supposedly unsettled after a summer being chased by the mighty Barcelona, certainly looked back to his stunning best here.
Underlining just why the Spanish giants were prepared to pay £130million for his services, Coutinho made Liverpool’s first goal for Mo Salah before producing a trademark free-kick to put Liverpool on course for a vital first win in five matches.
When Coutinho ticks like this, more often than not the Merseysiders do too.
Even then it needed a remarkable second-half penalty save from much-maligned keeper Simon Mignolet from Jamie Vardy to prevent Leicester snatching a point.
Having been dumped out of League Cup here four days earlier, Klopp’s Reds returned to the scene and took sweet revenge.
And a first league win since crushing Arsenal means they head to Spartak Moscow – who were yesterday held to a 2-2 draw at home to Anzhi Makhachkala – in the Champions League on Tuesday with confidence.
If they are not in contention at the top of the table quite yet, they at least have a reasonably healthy looking 11 points on the board, which puts them in fifth spot.
Klopp said: “It is not a time to be completely cool but overall I was happy with our performance. The boys deserved the three points.
“The free-kick for the first goal was not a free-kick and it was a foul on Simon for the second goal.
“At the start of the second half we played the same football like Leicester – kind of hectic – but the three points are the proof for the public that we’re still here.”
If Klopp’s boys were chuffed at the final whistle, Craig Shakespeare’s Foxes were in the dumps.
This fourth defeat means they remain two places above the drop zone, with only four points – their worst start to a top-flight season since 1994-95.
In a madcap opening, Vardy was denied a sixth goal in four games against Liverpool by Mignolet and then the rebound was blaze wildly over by Riyad Mahrez.
Then when Emre Can smacked the post from 20 yards out, Salah somehow failed to fire into an open goal.
If Klopp feared such spurned chances would come back to haunt them – as had been the case in the Carabao Cup – he need not have worried.
Two minutes later, Liverpool were ahead when Coutinho clipped a beautiful cross to the far post and Salah made amends with a deft header.
And that was the signal for the Samba ace to assume control of proceedings.
Leicester’s fierce, pressing approach was always likely to give away free-kicks in dangerous positions, which is exactly what occurred in the 23rd minute when Wilfred Ndidi fouled Alberto Moreno just outside the box.
From there it was all about Coutinho’s expertise with the dead ball as he fired a quite stunning, curling shot into the top corner. Despite a despairing dive, Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel stood no chance.
Leicester thought they had pulled a goal five minutes before half-time when a remarkably tight offside flag ruled out a sharp finish from Shinji Okazaki.
However, in time added on, the hosts’ energy was rewarded as Liverpool’s creaky defence again fell apart. Mignolet flapped at a corner and when Harry Maguire bundled the ball back into the danger, Okazaki managed to scramble it home.
Liverpool players were furious with the officials for not awarding a foul on their Belgium keeper – but really that anger should have been directed at Mignolet.
Inevitably, the Foxes came out with guns blazing in the second period – only for Jordan Henderson to silence the home fans with a 67th-minute goal created by recently introduced sub Daniel Sturridge.
Yet as quickly they had restored the two-goal advantage, they then threw it away. Mignolet pushed Demarai Gray’s blistering volley straight to Vardy who headed in from close range.
Seconds later the Reds stopper went from zero to hero with the travelling fans in a mad minute of controversial action. He conceded a penalty when, in a race for the ball with Vardy, he sent the Leicester man flying.
Having escaped with only a yellow card, Mignolet save Vardy’s firmly struck spot-kick away to his right.
Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare said: “I am struggling to digest this game. You come in and contribute to another fabulous game of football but ultimately came away with nothing.
“Penalties are there and players have missed them before. Jamie will be gutted because we would have come away with the points had he scored.”
PHIL TOPS THE BILL: Coutinho celebrates his goal