Football

Liverpool vs Burnley | Talking points from the high octane clash at Anfield

When Ashley Barnes put Burnley ahead in the 7th minute at Anfield, it didn’t feel as much of surprise as it should’ve. The expression on Klopp’s face conveyed “here we go again”. 

Liverpool has struggled against lower class opposition all season, and they made a slow and nervous start again. However, they rallied back well, with Wijnaldum scoring just before the stroke of half time. 

Liverpool played better in the second half but had to rely on a wonder strike from almost absolutely nothing by Emre Can to get them the 3 points. 

Burnley’s wait for an away victory this season continued; however, they gave a good account of themselves and were unlucky to go away from Anfield empty-handed.

 

Talking points

 

Where is the energy?

Liverpool only has the Premier League left to play this season. They came into Sunday’s match after 8 days of rest. However, they started slow, and Burnley had them on the ropes in the opening stages of the game. 

Liverpool struggled to play their game, were poor in sticking to their game plan and shape and they did not look like they were a side with 21 more league points. 

It was similar to how they started against Leicester. They seem to struggle against any team prepared to get into their faces, and there was hardly any sign of Klopp’s famous ‘gegenpressing’.

 

Burnley deserve to be in the premier league

Burnley, despite their struggles away from home, have been excellent this season and an interesting addition to the league. While they have been lauded for their no-nonsense and disciplined defending, it was their quality on the ball that was also visible today. 

They dominated the game for decent periods and the way they stuck to their shape and pieced together play was admirable. Sean Dyche has drilled the system into his players and trusted them, and they play their hearts out for him. 

Burnley won almost every second ball and kept possession well. They are not in danger of relegation and should be proud of themselves.

 

Vital Wijnaldum and Can can!

While Sadio Mane was the Liverpool player who caught the eye, proving to be a constant threat and a livewire throughout, it is the goal scorers on a tough evening for Liverpool who should be appreciated. Wijnaldum changed the dynamic of the game by scoring just before half-time. He also lent a sense of control when he was on the ball. He worked harder than his teammates to win back possession and keep it. Whenever they looked panicked or nervous, he was the player to calm them down.

Can struggled to get into the game and dictate play as we would have liked to in the first half. The German spent a lot of time covering the channel that Klavan should have been defending and ended up playing quite deep. 

He showed responsibility by committing himself to win aerial duels from set pieces and scored a wonderful goal in the second half. 

His goal exuded confidence that is laudable from a player who has come under so much criticism lately. If he’s able to fill Henderson’s boots or not, Liverpool need him while their captain is out.

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