Burnley battle to the death as Liverpool falter.
Sean Dyche’s men continued their fantastic form in the beginning of this season by holding 1-1 at Anfield. Klopp’s men notched up 35 efforts on Pope’s goal compared to Burnley’s paltry five, and they nearly lost it toward the end of the game but Matip but a goal line clearance from Ben Mee’s header.
Phillipe Coutinho made his first start since Liverpool rejected the £114m bid for his services from Barcelona and he looked good, some pinpoint passes, lovely turns, and there was no sign off the supposed bad back that existed solely in England and disappeared in South America. He was one of the seven changes made to the starting XI from their game midweek.
They started brightly probing toward the Burnley defence but it was the Clarets that took the lead in the 27th minute through Scott Arfield’s lovely finish past Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goal. However this lead lasted less than three minutes as Mohamed Salah continued his scintillating form with a well taken goal: he controlled the ball expertly on his thigh, took it down, shifted it pass a defender with a right left and then drilled it past Nick Pope at his near post. From that moment on Liverpool looked like they would net a second and maybe even a third but thanks to the strong and organised Burnley defence, that never came. Sturridge tested pope with a low shot, as well as hitting the side netting and Salah also had a penalty appeal dismissed.
At the start of the second half Sturridge and Coutinho came close with attempts going just over the bar and Emre Can had an effort saved. The closest they came was when Dominic Solanke, coming on with Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 78th minute, side footed a volley against the bar but they couldn’t breach that Burnley defence: Liverpool had 71% of the possession, 35 shots, 9 on target, and had 12 corners, more than enough opportunities to take the win but Klopp’s boys just could not finish it off.
Liverpool weren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination: teams have struggled against them all season so far, most notably Chelsea, and they were firm and resilient again today. With 35 attempts on goals creativity wasn’t Liverpool’s issue just the execution. Burnley are and always have been defensively sound under Dyche and today just wasn’t Liverpool’s day. Theres nothing to worry about from this performance from a Liverpool perspective but if you’re a Burnley fan, well, my friends good times could well be ahead.
Written by Olly Norman.